Lisa Bloom Interviewed By Eric Schiffer on Suspicion Nation
I am a big advocate of justice in all its many permutations. Too many times, the system we have adopted over the years fails us and to enact change the first step is shining a klieg light to reveal truth. One of the important underlying forces impacting justice around the world is racial discrimination. Despite the many advances made in this country since the ratification of civil rights, racial discrimination remains a serious problem that has far-reaching effects into the business world and our recovering economy. I recently sat down with Lisa Bloom, one of America’s top attorneys, TV personalities, and the author of the bestselling book, Suspicion Nation, to discuss the Trayvon Martin trial, racial bias in America, and how we as a nation must move forward.
1. Why is it important for our audience – entrepreneurs, CEO’s, entertainers, and people who want to improve their life to read this book?
We all grow when we stretch to learn the truth about something we only thought we knew. The outrageous injustice of the Trayvon Martin case is something we, in a democracy, are all ultimately responsible for. Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?
2. Without giving away the mystery behind the fascinating parts of the book, what do people not know about the trial that the book will help demystify?
The first pages of the book explain how several people on the jury both believed that George Zimmerman was guilty of murder and nevertheless voted not guilty. Readers will also learn the real story behind the testimony of Rachel Jeantel, Trayvon Martin’s teenaged friend who was the last person to speak to him. She was cruelly mocked and attacked on social media during the trial. To share just a few facts about her from the book, she had a speech impediment that caused her to communicate poorly at times – had the prosecution explained that, the jury would have understood that her dental condition had nothing to do with credibility. Rachel is now a straight-A student, a bright young woman who is about to head off to college.
3. Why is race still such a problem and what can companies do to improve the challenges race can cause within the workplace?
As the twelve steppers say, the first step is admitting we have a problem. I was shocked at how deep and broad the problem of racial bias remains in America, from schools to doctors offices to police departments to companies. In one study from the book, for example, employers were more likely to hire a white man with a felony record than a black man without – all other qualifications being equal. The good news is we can overcome this by consciousness raising and training.
4. Who are great leaders you look up to that are leading the nation to improve the way it views race?
The parents of Trayvon Martin have comported themselves with dignity and grace throughout an extraordinary ordeal. I wrote my book because of Sybrina Fulton’s words: “Please use my story, please use my tragedy, please use my broken heart to say to yourself, ‘We cannot let this happen to anyone else’s child.’”
– I finished Suspicion Nation earlier this week, and it felt like exclusive access to being behind the scenes at one of the most important trials in our Nation in the last few years. To me, it is a subject matter involving justice that few have the bravery to be real and speak the truth. Lisa’s insights, style and expert analysis made me want to act. My bet is it will do the same for you.
Suspicion Nation is available for purchase in bookstores nationwide.
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