Life isn’t fair. I think we do our children a disservice when we tell them that they can expect fairness. It is expecting others to have a moral compass and to do the right thing. The reality is that we live in a world that has different scales of justice that do not apply to us all.
There are disparities that surround us. A recent case reminds us that no matter the strides that have been made for the sake of justice, there are still too many occurrences of inequity. For example, Carla Campbell-Jackson, a former State Farm claims section manager stated that the insurance company retaliated against her for reporting racist and discriminatory behavior.
In February, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a determination of reasonable cause over Campbell-Jackson’s claims. The commission found Campbell-Jackson was “harassed due to her race and discharged in retaliation for complaining about harassment.”
As a Black woman, I have had numerous experiences of mistreatment because of my race, my gender, and even age. Data proves that this isn’t just a one-off occurrence. According to <leanin.org>: “Black women are paid less than White men—and White women.
On average, Black women in the U.S. are paid 37% less than White men and 20% less than White women. “Black women enroll in college at higher rates than men overall and (most notably) at higher rates than White men. But the gap is largest for Black women who have bachelor’s degrees and advanced degrees—35% less than White men on average.
Even in the same job, Black women get paid less than White men. Black women ask for promotions and raises at about the same rates as White women and men—yet the ‘broken rung’ still holds them back at the first critical step up to manager. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 58 Black women are promoted.”
These inequities are not only unfair but unacceptable. There are several scriptures on injustice and the mistreatment of others. Yet what do you do when you are the one who is mistreated, overlooked, and harmed by the decisions of others who can not see past your difference?
- Own your feelings. You have the right to be angry, frustrated, and hurt. Yet, do not allow your anger to cause you to do something that’s unproductive and hurts you more. “And “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Ephesians 4:26. Express how you feel but do not stay there. Do something with your anger that is productive and transformative.
- Find your tribe and share your story. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ,” Galatians 6:2 (NIV). Do not carry the burden alone but allow those who care for you to be there for you. So often we internalize pain instead of releasing it. Let it out so you can let it go.
- Seek wise counsel. “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed,” Proverbs 15:22. Make sure you are not just involving your ‘Amen corner,’ but seek those who have experience and can offer insight as well as options.
- Try to find a resolution and if that does not work, you do not have to remain in a place that will not accept you. “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye de-part out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet,” Matthew 10:14.
- Ultimately, put your faith and trust in God to lead you. God’s word must be your source for direction and comfort. “I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 9:10.
- “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you,” Deuteronomy 31:6-8. God says repeatedly: Be strong and courageous—so you got this!
God has a place for you. It might be the same place or a new one. You will be victorious, and you will win! “So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings if we don’t give up,” Galatians 6:9.
As I often tell my daughter, ‘bet on you.’ Never give up on you and do not ever give up on God!
(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the vice president of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)