What I Did Not Like About #ItIsTimeAU

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The back story is long. If you have no idea of what I’m talking about, you can read the context to this post here, here, here, or here.

If you know a thing or two about what happened, let’s jump right in.

Here are 4 things that I didn’t like about #ItIsTimeAU ( and by #ItIsTimeAU I mean my overall sentiments on both the initial video as well as the formal response ).

1. How it shakes my understanding of communication.

My knee-jerk reaction to the initial video was that it may not have followed due process. Many questions arose: “What is the policy for notifying grievances at AU? Was a mass social media post lacking context the greatest of methods? “Why was there….”  And so on.

Many of them were answered. Some, better than others.

That being said, I believe the video successfully did one thing:  jump-start a previously dormant, yet utterly important, conversation through an intentionally provocative platform. It got people talking. It got people thinking.

I’ve come to realize that what I don’t like about the video is not necessarily the mode nor the motivation of the video as much as how it shakes my perception of effective communication. 

Can I critique the means while conceding its effectiveness? I think so.

2. How it causes me to check my biases.

The moment the video surfaced was the moment my notion of being the ultimate embracer of all was put to the test. I soon had to realize that a cross-cultural mutt does not an inclusive person make.

Dialoguing with individuals with differing viewpoints forced me to check my biases.

I realized that I was prejudiced against different types of people: those who were unwilling to have a civil conversation, those who were dogmatic about their position at the expense of other possible viewpoints, and those who cherished binary thinking when it comes to complex issues.

Silly video. Caused me to check myself.

3, How it challenges my understanding of leadership.

The formal response from Andrews is arguably one of the best live examples of inspiring leadership I’ve seen yet.

Just when I thought that I had a solid understanding of what leadership should look like, Dr. Luxton and the administration of AU gave me something new to consider.

From the beginning of her speech which rivaled Kendrick Lamar’s “We Gon Be Alright” till the end of the video, I saw what Christ-like, humble, classy, leadership should look like.

More to learn about leadership. Surely.

4, How it sensitizes me to the “other.”

Birds of a feather flock together. Because to do otherwise would require work.

It is far more comfortable to be with like-minded individuals than those who differ from you. Both the videos, in a significant way, forced me to look outside my comfort zone of sameness to interact with those who held a different perspective than mine.

The more I interacted with the “other” dissident voice, the more I was frustrated. The more I confronted the reasons for my frustrations, the more I grew.

——

Self-examination is hardly exciting.

The closer you look at yourself, the more you have to confront and endure. Growth and progress, sadly, happens less in ease and more in these moments of discomfort.

Therefore, similar to embracing pain at a gym to improve muscular fitness, almost everything I didn’t like about #ItIsTimeAU has been beneficial and redemptive to my soul.

My hope, for you my brother and sister, is that the celebration of this moment ( or the lack thereof ) does not distract you from the introspection of your heart.

What were your thoughts about #ItIsTimeAU? Leave a comment below!

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