It's time for the uncomfortable and hard conversations kids.
If someone you know or are connected to promotes racism what would you do? Would you actively engage and educate? Or would you just hide and hope it all goes away?
Well people, it is not going away and Madison Butler will not have any of it. Madison on LinkedIn aka Corporate Unicorn on Twitter speaks her mind and attracts racists on LinkedIn like a tiki torch magnet.
This podcast segment hammers away on one burning question...
How do we stop hiring racists?
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PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.
Joel Cheeseman (29s):
Get a little Texas spicy, a little heat coming at you folks.
This is, this is going to get hot people. This is going to get hot today, we have Madison Butler. Madison, do you care if I call you Maddie? I see that on your profile.
Madison Butler (-):
Joel Cheeseman (43s):
Cool. So Maddie's cool. So tell us a little bit about you and then we'll dive into a little bit deeper about what this podcast is about, and then we'll just roll with some discussion.
Madison Butler (51s):
For sure. So I think most people would know me as the Blue Haired Recruiter, which I have since kind of changed my branding to just the Blue Haired Unicorn Recovering Recruiter, as I am no longer a full time recruiter, but I do a lot of work on the consulting side with culture and BI and how to create environments that are really healthy and safer, you know, your employees and your organization, but something that is also, you can continue to build on and create rather than like a one time workshop that everyone that comes out and then you never talk about it again until the next year.
Chad (1m 23s):
Gotcha. So we've obviously experienced a lot, not just with COVID obviously within the last, you know, six plus months.
Chad (2m 1s):
The murder of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, I mean the list goes on and on and on. And it seems like the, the conversation, the discussion has been elevated, which is which I personally believe, I hate that it had to happen because of murders, but I'm glad that it did happen from the standpoint of, we get to have this conversation at an elevated level where it should have been happening for many years. And you have been incredibly vocal in calling people out around racist comments and, and saying, Hey, we need to stop hiring racists. So.
Joel Cheeseman (-):
Shine a light.
Chad (2m 24s):
How did you get into this? What made you do this? What made you get up on the stump and say, fuck, this, this shit can't happen anymore, I'm pointing at you and we're going to have the discussion, whether you like it or not?
Joel Cheeseman (2m 24s):
Madison Butler (2m 25s):
Well, so full transparency, I'm black, like navigating corporate America has been really interesting to me to see who has been able to be successful despite having like a really insufferable character. And I think a lot of times people are shrugged aside if they're really good at their job. Like if you are hitting your quota, you earn the business a lot of money no one cares.
Madison Butler (2m 59s):
And so we lived in this time for so long where it was scarier to call someone out for being a racist than it was to actually be a racist. And for me, that narrative is backwards, like you should be fearful enough to know that you can't say those things at work, or you can't say those things online because you should be held accountable for the things that you say that are hate towards other people. Instead we've made it so the victim of the abuse is the person who is now fearful. They're feel fearful for bringing up, you know, this person has harmed me, this person has traumatized me and instead they just keep it to themselves and like swallow that trauma because we've conditioned racist to feel comfortable in our workspace.
Joel Cheeseman (3m 33s):
Was there a moment where you sort of said, if not now, when, if not me, who and you made that decision to, to be sort of the light that shines on these folks? I mean, because it's dangerous for you as well, right? I mean, like you put yourself at whether it's verbal risk or I don't know physical, but like there's a risk in doing that. Was that ever a question for you?
Madison Butler (3m 55s):
So I've kind of always been like this I'm very much. My parents really raised me to like, say exactly what I'm feeling and to stand up for the things I really believe are right. And there's definitely, I've gotten lots of death threats, LinkedIn and on Twitter. And I think that's just, what's part of being...
Chad (4m 12s):
On LinkedIn people.
Joel Cheeseman (4m 14s):
And did you report it? What happened?
Madison Butler (4m 16s):
Yeah. And so I did report it. LinkedIn is pretty quick, usually about like violence and taking it down Twitter, not as great. Twitter is kind of a cesspool sometimes as we know. But I think for me, it wasn't a matter of like, if not who, then it was just like, I believe so deeply in this. And I see the trauma that's created in workspaces. And at the end of the day, like you may clock out at 5:00 PM, but like everything that happened to you all day goes, home with you.
Madison Butler (4m 49s):
And so I think we are really hindering the ability for marginalized communities to be successful because you can't be successful if you're spending your whole day trying to be someone else in order to fit in at your company.
Chad (4m 59s):
Yeah. Amen. So I was doing some homework before the show and noticed that your Twitter account was sort of private and Chad alerted me that it hasn't always been that way. Was there a moment where you went to a private account or were there, was it from threats or what, what's the story on that?
Madison Butler (5m 15s):
I went private basically because sometimes your mentions get really exhausting when it's just like people dropping me N-bomb repeatedly. And so I do it every once in a while where I'll go private for a couple of weeks to like save myself the sanity and I'll go back public when I feel like maybe those people have forgotten about me and moved on to their next adventure, which happens. I'm usually, you know, people really fixate on me for like a couple of weeks and then they go away.
Madison Butler (5m 45s):
And that's not new to me, so I'll just make it private for a little bit. And then come back when I feel like the world has died down a bit.
Joel Cheeseman (-):
Chad (5m 51s):
Administration that we've been in, unfortunately for the last almost four years, it seems like, you know, th the racists have been given the license to come out of their fucking holes. Is that just me as a white dude that I'm recognizing this more? Or is this something that you recognize as well?
Madison Butler (6m 10s):
Yeah, I mean, I guess I just feel like as of late, racists have felt really emboldened to believe that their views are normal.
Chad (6m 17s):
Madison Butler (6m 18s):
And that they're, and that it's a difference in political views, not a difference in morals and that's completely false because although I am not a Republican, I am very left leaning and liberal. I don't think, that like, racism and politics are correlated. Like, I don't think they're the same thing. Now, when we talk about this current political climate. Yes. I think there's a lot of those things that are tied, but for whatever reason, when you talk about racism, somehow people always end up on Trump and I'm like, why?
Madison Butler (6m 51s):
I didn't say anything about Trump. I didn't say anything about politics. Like, I didn't say like which way I went. And so for whatever reason, this political climate has allowed people to feel a little bit more involved in. I mean, my partner is a black woman and she would go into the gas station. We live in like a very conservative Lake town. And like, just like without question, like some dude in a truck called him the N-bomb, like, didn't even think twice about it. And that just like blows my mind. Like, cause I don't know what he stood to gain from that. And I don't know why he felt comfortable with saying that in a parking lot full of people, but that parking lot full of people didn't say anything.
Madison Butler (7m 25s):
So it's like, we've made it normal.