I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about what’s happening in our country today relative to race, justice and equality. I’ve talked with friends and colleagues about what we’re seeing on the news every day and am asking myself the sometimes uncomfortable question: how can we make things better? I hope this message will begin to answer that question.
Every day as a management team, we make decisions that are highly calculated to determine the risk/reward, impact to our business and reputation, and try to maintain a level of middle ground. Now is the time to not hide behind our fear of reactions, but to stand up for what is right and just.
For the last two weeks, the citizens of this country have no longer been able to pretend that racial discrimination and inequality is something that doesn’t continue to exist. The brutal killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and others have shown us that systemic racism is still alive in 2020. I am personally angry. Angry that in this country, which I believe is the greatest country on earth, these types of things are still occurring. Angry that we as a society often look the other way and pretend that nothing is really going on or even worse that it’s somehow justified. Angry that, while a segment of society is hurting and feels marginalized, we bury our heads in the sand and go about our day.
It’s obvious that we have not made enough progress towards equality, whether it’s race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or other areas in which we differ. We must learn to celebrate the differences that everyone brings to this nation. Our greatest strength is our diversity, but we also allow it to be the one thing that divides us the most.
As for U.S. Xpress’ role in this movement, we must support our Black colleagues and show them that we want change as well. We value everyone that’s a part of our broad U.S. Xpress family, and we will not stand by while our friends and colleagues are hurt and yearn for change. We support all our colleagues who have ever felt marginalized or discriminated against in any manner.
We have a conscientious company, and we are building an amazing culture. However, we also know our success will be driven by our employees and through the support of their families. With all of this in mind, I lay out the things that I want us all to remember and to focus on as ambassadors of U.S. Xpress. Most of these are obvious and things that we all already do on a regular basis:
- We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind. That’s not just a company policy but one that needs to be felt by every individual in the organization.
- We will celebrate diversity and the differences that everyone brings. Learn from those with different experiences than yourselves. Personal experiences and context make us who we are and frame our beliefs.
- We will not be afraid to speak out against inequality and we will inspire others through our words and actions.
- We will be mindful of what we do and say, not just while at work but at all times in both our work and personal lives.
- We will lift each other up and support all of our coworkers because we are all on the same team and working for the same goal.
For me, this is more than a company “policy” or a political stance. It’s a human stance. It’s the right thing to do. We can all have our opinions about ways to effect change or the direction that we want to see the country go in as long as it’s one that celebrates the diversity that makes this great country so special. I am proud of everyone at this company, and I know that the people of this organization will rise to any challenge. Please join me in spreading acceptance and inclusiveness in all that we do. Look for information coming soon about action we’ll take as a company to contribute to healing and progress for us, our colleagues and our country.
Eric Fuller | President and Chief Executive Officer