There's no question in my heart how I feel. And I rarely have any trouble saying how I feel.
I typically don't have trouble writing it, either. But there is no safe zone for this conversation. All bets are off, and they have been off for a long time. And I have so much respect for people speaking their minds right now. But there is a lot of noise out there.
I think that's why I don't really know what to say. But it's time for me to say something.
I haven't known what to do since George Floyd was killed by police on May 25, 2020. I feel depressed, sad, hopeless and ashamed of my country, and of how many members of the Caucasian race have treated African Americans since, forever.
There's no question I'm ashamed with the current president of my country, and the hate that fuels everything he does.
What has made me feel even more hopeless is when people make comments on social media (or just in face-to-face conversations) deflecting the real issue at hand to some other issue to make themselves feel better - or simply because they're too fucking dense to listen to other people and have an open mind.
It's obvious to me who has taken Black History Classes and who hasn't. I challenge any American who has taken a Black History Class to make any kind of comment other than "Black Lives Matter" at this time.
You can roll your eyes at what I'm saying, but you can't dispute how I feel, because I'm the one who feels this way.
And the one thing I did that made me feel "unstuck" recently was to attend a rally in my current home of Valencia, Spain.
It was a chance for my wife Kate and I to involve our children in the conversation, and to unite with like-minded people from around the world, some expats, and many from other countries in the Black Lives Matter message.
It was a chance to educate our kids about the injustice that exists in our world; about George Floyd, yes, but also about all the other names before him and the fact that the problems that led to Mr. Floyd's death are very real.
Attending this rally gave me a voice. Even though I wore a mask and didn't really say anything (I didn't even know what to write on a sign) - I showed up, and it felt right.
In many ways I still don't know what to say, and probably won't say much if you engage with me in this conversation to be honest, but at least now I've written how I feel, because I know how I feel.
I want my kids to know how I feel. And I want those out there doing a lot more than me to eliminate hatred and injustice in the world to know that I'm on their side.
Black Lives Matter.
Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!
Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC and founder of Nashville Voice Conference, has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 15 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing, Email Marketing and most recently, Voice App Design and Development - Alexa Skills and Google Actions. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.