Juneteenth – An Open Letter To Fellow Industry Professionals

hello fellow industry professionals,

today is juneteenth. juneteenth recognizes the end of slavery in the US, when the emancipation proclamation reached texas (which was then the most remote confederate state) on june 19, 1865. on that date slaves were to be “fully free.”

although slavery was officially “ended” on this day it is clear from reading the news that many of our fellow citizens don’t feel “fully free.” it is clear from watching the news that racism remains a big problem in our world.

when i was a young boy, over 50 years ago our family experienced a first hand taste of racism. after a week long vacation in florida (at the boxwood motel) our very tanned family drove home. we stopped to eat at a diner in georgia. after waiting a very long time for service the head cook came over and asked to talk to my dad. my dad came back to the table and told us we had to leave immediately. we were all very confused. in the car my dad explained that the cook told him, “we don’t serve your kind here.”

that was my introduction to racism. it was my first and only taste of being a “victim” of racism. i have never again had any experience or have any fear about being a “victim” of racism. i live a life that is “fully free” of worry about being a victim of racism.

when the police stop me, my biggest fear is whether i am going to get a ticket.

when the police stop some of our black brothers and sisters, their biggest fear is whether they are going to die.

i encourage all of us to do some reflecting today, and over the next few days, to see what we can do to help all people live a life that is “fully free.”

first, we need to reflect on our own thoughts and feelings and be sure we are “fully free.” we need to be sure that we are “fully free” of thoughts of prejudice and racism. a simple, but powerful test would be to watch the news. if we experience feelings that are racially charged, anger or outrage about a race or class of people rather than anger and outrage at the behavior of people without regard to their race or class then we are NOT “fully free.”

second, we need to work to replace any feelings or attitudes that are racist or prejudiced with feelings of compassion and love. compassion and love toward our brothers and sisters in life. it is only with compassion and love that we will fill our hearts so there is no room for racism or prejudice. it is only with compassion and love that we can be “fully free” of racism and prejudice.

then, when are all “fully free” of racism and prejudice, our black brothers and sisters and all people can be “fully free” to live life without racism or prejudice.

vera and i want to make it perfectly clear on this special day that we will not tolerate racism or prejudice of any kind within our proforma family. more important, we encourage all of us to examine our hearts; fill our hearts with love and compassion; and live in a world we all deserve. a world filled with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and our dreams.

may god bless you and all of us.
greg

p.s. thank you to proforma affiliate owner matt del valle for your encouragement and feedback.

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About The Author

With over 40 years of experience and nearly $500 million in sales, Proforma is the technology and business success leader in the printing and promotional products industry. Proforma's record breaking success includes having 25 of its Affiliate Owners named to Inc. Magazine's 2019 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies. In 2019, Proforma celebrated 193 Affiliate Owners achieving its annual Million Dollar Club with sales ranging from $1 million to $40 million. The Proforma Million Dollar Club is the largest collection of million dollar and multi-million dollar Affiliate Owners in the industry