The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Einstein Was Smart In More Ways Than We Know …

In the 20 years before Einstein died, he almost never accepted invitations to speak at universities.

In 1946 he broke his self-imposed rule to give an address – and accept an honorary degree – from a small, traditionally African American, university in Pennsylvania.

There he declared:

“The separation of the races is not a disease of coloured people*, but a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.”

Now on one hand, the fact I hadn’t heard him say this before means that maybe he left it too late to not be quiet about it … but that aside, that is advice we should all be adhering to.

As I wrote about a while ago, I used to think it was enough to simply not think that way.

It’s not.

We have to act.

We have to stand up.

We have to make sure the actions and behaviours of those who wish to define and undermine others are met with resistance.

Words are – sadly – not enough.

Sure. they’re a start, but we need more than that.

People from other heritages and backgrounds have consistently shown their support for rights and freedoms we enjoy every day – and yet we think it’s enough to just ‘say’ we support them back.

It’s not.

It’s embarrassing we think it would be.

But if anyone needs more reasons to help make the change that should have happened and needs to happen, then how about the fact we would all end up benefiting if this happens.

Of course that shouldn’t be the reason we do it, but as I wrote about giving equal opportunities for female leadership, the benefit of letting hundreds of millions of smart people, with different experiences and ways of looking at the World means they can see ways to push us forward in ways we may never have considered.

And I say ‘all’ because unlike [many] white males, they’re generous with their ambitions and aspirations so actively bring others on the journey with them rather than leave them behind.

We have a lot to benefit from fighting for equality.

But we have to fight.

As Einstein worked out years ago.


* The term ‘coloured people’ is obviously wrong, but in 1946, I imagine that was the acknowledged universal term … which shows how little we have progressed in that time.

11 Comments so far
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I’d never heard this about him either. As you write Rob, things haven’t changed that much for the African American community. Certainly not in proportion to the time that has passed. Arguably worse. Societies great shame.

Comment by Pete

While I had seem all manner of prejudice in my life – especially having lived in so many countries – it was being in America that truly shocked me to the level of division the ‘land of the free’ embraces and enables. It was also down to the generosity of people like Maya, Bree, Chelsea and Lani that I got to understand the implications to being part of an oppressed culture and what I – as a white male – had a responsibility for. Which was far more than just not being a racist or prejudiced individual.

I hope more people recognize this …

Comment by Rob

We need more men like you to speak out like this Robert. You have been writing some very important posts recently. Thank you. It matters.

Comment by Mary Bryant

My feelings exactly Mary.

Comment by Lee Hill

I remember when you were asked how a company could understand black culture more. You said, “hire black people”.

Pretty obvious yet the audience were still shocked. The white audience.

If obvious answers still surprise, then things are pretty bad. Good post Rob.

Comment by Bazza

Hahahaha … yeah, that sounds like me. Though I would add …

“… at all levels and with a commitment to listening, learning and enabling them to remain true to who they are rather than trying to change them to who you are”.

Comment by Rob

It’s not mentioned in any of the biographies or archves apparently. I wonder why. More here.

Comment by John

You should do more of this

Comment by Northern


Comment by andy@cynic

youre in fucking danger of being a positive influence for once. stop it campbell before you end up disappointing people more than you usually fucking do.

Comment by andy@cynic

It can only end in tears and I just hope they’re not mine.

Comment by DH

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