What Your Brand Says By Staying Mum on Matters that Matter: Consider the Carters

"They" tell you not to talk politics or religion when it comes to business, but your silence on matters that matter speaks volumes to your supporters, clients and followers. This week has been tragic to say the least.

The way life has been so senselessly taken.

The graphic recordings of murder.

Witnessing children cry and squeal in pain for their dead loved ones.

It's all been too much to bear.

This week has been a haze for those involved and those that can relate to the ills of our current social climate. You may be asking what that has to do with you and/or your business. You may be asking why you should use your sphere of influence to address such a hot button topic.

Let's explore the case of The Carters.

Power couple Jay Z (Shawn Carter)  and Beyoncé (Beyonce Knowles-Carter) have both publicly responded to the fatal shootings of two black men by police officers this week – Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday and Philando Castile in a suburb of St Paul, Minnesota, on Wednesday.

Jay Z has released a new song, Spiritual, on his streaming site Tidal, which includes a note from the rapper:

“I made this song a year or so ago. I never got to finish it. Punch (Terrence Henderson, the co-president of Top Dawg Entertainment) told me I should drop it when Mike Brown died, sadly I told him, ‘This issue will always be relevant.’ I’m hurt that I knew his death wouldn’t be the last. I’m saddened and disappointed in THIS America – we should be further along … Blessings to all the families that have lost loved ones to brutality.”

The note ended with a quote from the 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass:

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organised conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

The lyrics of the song deal with what many in the US have to go through because of the color of their skin. While Jay-Z's current economic and public status affords him a certain privilege not given to other black men when faced with being harassed by the police, he uses his voice to speak out against issues plaguing those that love and support him and his business ventures. 

Beyoncé, Jay-Z’s wife, posted the statement below to her website which responded to the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

 Source: Beyonce.com

Source: Beyonce.com

Beyonce also issued links to address Congress or the Louisiana or Minnesota State Legislature about these issues on the site for easy access after calling everyone to action.

Last night in Glasgow, Beyoncé held a moment of silence for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and to protest police brutality. The images and videos swarming online of the concert are powerful to say the least.

So maybe you're still wondering what this has to do with you?

The Carters are black so you can understand them addressing it.

They have their money and you don't want to alienate someone who may be against the issue because they may buy from you too.

“All too often, when we see injustices, both great and small, we think, That's terrible, but we do nothing. We say nothing. We let other people fight their own battles. We remain silent because silence is easier. Qui tacet consentire videtur is Latin for 'Silence gives consent.' When we say nothing, when we do nothing, we are consenting to these trespasses against us.”  Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist

Please understand that silence implies consent. You may be sending a sign to your customers, followers, and supporters that while you appreciate their money, you don't appreciate them, their rights, or matters that involve their well-being. Your failure to speak up speaks volumes about your character, values, and what you deem important. What do you stand for as a business, brand, and business owner?

In no way am I saying you need to be on the front lines at a rally, or re-posting gruesome videos of a tragic killing, or even passing opinion on what occurred. What I will say is your compassion and ability to care about what goes on with everyone in this country will go far. You don't have to be black or rich or political to show concern for your fellow man.