For everyone, Eight Inc. members, friends and families:
As the results were being tallied in the American presidential election and the winner was being declared I received a call from my son. As a young man of both Caucasian and Asian descent he had a simple but disturbing question for me. He asked me if he was no longer safe in his own country because of his ethnic background. I thought of him. My daughters. My friends. Were they all now at risk?
The slow realization began. Apparently 27% of people in America appear to believe those who will demean, insult and ridicule women, minorities, people of different sexual orientation, immigrants and the physically/mentally disabled are worthy of leading this country. Equally pathetic is the 47% of eligible voters who chose not to care enough about one another to vote.
I tried initially to explain to my son, that many people in our country experience prejudice, violence or death because of their skin color, religion, or ethnicity and that while it is illegal it has been a fundamental and tragic part of American history since its founding.
The more I tried to rationalize this disgusting condition the more determined I became. Why, today, should anyone who does not fit someone else’s idea of their America, feel fear or retribution for simply being themselves. Its unacceptable. This is a direct threat to human dignity we must actively stop this behavior wherever we encounter it. As an American company and as a global company we will not accept this barbarism in any form. We refuse to be a party to fascism. We must stand up together and defend everyones right to be different. It’s a relentless protection of these inalienable rights and active resistance to hate mongers rather than anger though that will endure.
Our diversity of thought, culture and experience has always made us better at what we do. It’s an essential part of a healthy creative environment and a vital part of 8. Sadly, in this new political reality, the hate speak that has become almost acceptable throughout the presidential campaign is not and never will be acceptable in our company. 8 is now more than 25 years old and this is unprecedented for us but necessary to reassure everyone where we stand as a company. It is our formal 8 policy to reject all of the hate speak and bigotry demonstrated through this electoral process or anywhere else. It will not be tolerated in any form. We will actively pursue all legal recourse should it appear, whether client, vendor or anywhere. Further, we support and encourage anyone who may feel threatened or experience any form of harassment from within or outside our organization to immediately report this to me or another Principal in the company. We will fight against this type of behavior in the strongest available methods whenever or wherever it may occur.
I am deeply saddened by this outcome not because of political policy differences but the dehumanizing rhetoric. We have a choice to dedicate ourselves to building a better and safer place to live and work. I am an optimist and understand that sometimes as a nation, America must step back before we can make a great leap forward again.