This last week, we have seen turmoil all around us and it touches us deeply at John’s Crazy Socks as it has so many across the United States. When our society is unjust to one member, we all suffer, and we all have a responsibility to bring about justice.
At John’s Crazy Socks, justice stands at the heart of our mission. We are committed to showing what people with differing abilities can do. Part of that mission means we advocate for the rights of people with differing abilities. Why? Because people with differing abilities are often among the weakest and the most vulnerable in our society. Our society, sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally, commits injustices that diminish the lives of people with disabilities.
This past week reminds us all too painfully that racial injustice persists in the United States. We saw once again how people of color have their lives diminished. We witnessed the very public death of a man of color. We cannot deny reality and we cannot turn away. Yes, there has been progress. Yes, many have worked to bring about change, but it has not been nearly enough. Just as we are all responsible for ensuring justice for people with differing abilities, we are all responsible for ensuring justice for people of all races and creeds.
We have long taken Rosa Parks as an inspiration. She did not hold a position of power, she was not famous, yet she took a stand. Ms. Parks showed what one person can do and how one person can change the world. When we say that we are a couple of guys from Long Island selling socks and all we want to do is change the world, we think of Rosa Parks. She showed us the power of individual action. She showed us the importance of individual responsibility.
Rosa Parks stands as a challenge to each one of us. What can we do? At John’s Crazy Socks, we can take the same approach that we do with people with differing abilities. We can look at ourselves and ask what we must learn, what we must change. We can look at our recruitment and hiring practices. We can look at how we treat our colleagues, our friends and our neighbors. We can vote for candidates that promote racial justice. We can hold accountable those who encourage and condone injustice. And when injustice occurs, as it did last week in Minnesota, we can stand up and call it out. We need to stand, peacefully, vehemently, and tell the world, this is unacceptable.
What is done to the least of our brothers, is done to all of us. We can wait no longer. We cannot put this off or tell our brothers and sisters that their time will come. The time is now. Each of us has a responsibility to stand up. Our company is not an abstract entity. We are flesh and blood, started by a father and son, a business built on love. We cannot stand by as injustice persists, be it for people with differing abilities or people of color, we must help bring about the change we need to see.
John and Mark