Saturday Morning's Founders Call for 'Sacrifice, Not Just Sympathy' in Open Letter to White America

'Now is the time for action,' they write

Saturday Morning, the creative collective launched in 2016 by four top black advertising executives to address issues of racial injustice, issued an open letter Friday in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter protests—calling on white America to undertake a true reckoning on the issue of race, and to recognize and dismantle oppressive systems rather than just pay more lip service to the cause.

"George Floyd, Breeona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others not captured on video are vivid reminders of how far we are from realizing our mission," the group writes.

"The world must be ready to address so-called Whiteness for what it really is, a fabrication based on your complexion and not your origin. Whiteness is not a race. It's an auxiliary of countries, a construct for separation, and a metaphor for power. We cannot fight for our equality without also fighting to redefine so called whiteness, and the belief that this world is a birthright of a select few. When in fact it's a co-op of complex cultures and ideals built for every man and every woman."

The letter goes on to say that "in order for us to find true equality there has to be sacrifice and not just sympathy. Otherwise this moment will fade away like so many before it, and we'll find ourselves here again asking why we are still here."

Saturday Morning was launched by Kwame Taylor-Hayford, Geoff Edwards, Keith Cartwright and Jayanta Jenkins. Its efforts have included powerful campaigns on the issue of race for the likes of P&G and Spotify.

Click the thumbnail below to read the full letter. The text is also pasted below.

Once again, we open this letter with the highest level of optimism, that this moment will bring about real change in the world. We have always believed that the true success of our organization can only be realized when SATURDAY MORNING no longer needs to exist. George Floyd, Breeona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others not captured on video are vivid reminders of how far we are from realizing our mission.

James Baldwin once said "Why is it that when any white man in the world proclaims, give me liberty or give me death, the entire white world applauds. When a black man says exactly the same thing, word for word, he is judged a criminal and treated like one." The protests around the world are like nothing we've ever seen in our lifetime. An affirmation that the silent majority are ready to confront our history of separation, hatred and oppression, and finally after 400 years we are beginning to realize the words of our own Declaration, "We find these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal."

This means the world must be ready to address so-called Whiteness for what it really is, a fabrication based on your complexion and not your origin. Whiteness is not a race. It's an auxiliary of countries, a construct for separation, and a metaphor for power.

We cannot fight for our equality without also fighting to redefine so called whiteness, and the belief that this world is a birthright of a select few. When in fact it's a co-op of complex cultures and ideals built for every man and every woman.

These are the struggles that we have to face to make sure that this moment is not just another moment. In order for us to find true equality there has to be sacrifice and not just sympathy. Otherwise this moment will fade away like so many before it, and we'll find ourselves here again asking why we are still here.

We have been fortunate to work with leading companies and brands who understand they have a role and the power to be a voice for real change. Once again, the true success of our organization can only be realized when SATURDAY MORNING no longer needs to exist. We encourage others in this moment to take bold steps and not shy away from the difficult issues of racism and injustice. Now is the time for action. We are continuing our work and have the highest level of optimism that this moment will bring about real change.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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