On Saturday, I went to the Brooklyn store to meet a few customers who had placed orders for curbside/in-store pick-up. Since it was a beautiful day, I had the door propped open to let the sunshine and fresh air in. Two Black women came into the doorway and one asked the price of a pair of clogs in the window. We were all wearing masks so it was difficult to hear since her voice was muffled. I invited them in. The woman tried the clogs and said she would think about them. As she sat on the bench putting her socks and shoes back on, she said, "Thank you for letting us in." I assumed she was referring to the fact that retail stores are still closed to the public and I responded, "My pleasure! You have no idea how nice it is to have customers in the store having been closed for more than two months." She said, "No. Thank you for letting us in." Then she looked at me hard and said, "You know what I mean, right?" Unfortunately, I did know what she meant.
I mention this story because a person shouldn't have to express gratitude for being treated decently. But unwelcome gazes and a feeling of discomfort upon entering a space are all too common for black and brown Americans. The systemic racism in this country needs to end. Black men and women should not be made to feel less than, and they should not be made to feel that they need to move through this world fearing for their lives. The murder of George Floyd is unconscionable. We stand in solidarity with the black community and against acts of violence against black lives. Systemic racism and hatred toward black and brown communities has no business here.
We stand with our neighbors as part of the "No Hate" Campaign by Three Furies
As a small business focused on sustainability and ethical fashion, human rights is among our core values. We have always striven to work with brands and companies that ensure fair working conditions, both within the United States and throughout the world. However, we can do better. Whether through conversation, social media activism, donating, signing petitions or peacefully assembling in protest, we can all do better.
Photo Credit: Juan Arredando/ New York Times
For those protesting (peacefully), click here for a master list of resources, from legal aid to steps on what to do if you get detained. For others, this list also contains resources on where to donate. KAIGHT donated this week to the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and Until Freedom. Other ways to participate and act include talking to friends and family, sharing on social media and signing petitions. Click here for a list of resources.