In the News: Black Lives Matter
In recent weeks, there has been extensive media coverage surrounding tech companies and their responses to anti-racism. We have seen huge media campaigns from large tech companies making promises and standing in solidarity with the black community in their fight against police brutality and racial injustices. However, many people have been criticizing these large tech companies in their practices and beliefs on diversity and inclusion within their organizations. Ultimately, people are not happy with the lack of diversity within large tech companies such as Amazon and Apple to name a few. Demonstrable action following a statement is what’s needed right now.
On, Monday, June 1, 2020, a group of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout protesting CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to not take action on a series of controversial posts made by President Donald Trump. Facebook’s managers were instructed by Human Resources to not retaliate against staff who are planning to protest or to make them use paid time off. This news came right after Twitter made a commitment that they will have a fact check label on many of Donald Trump’s tweets. Mark Zuckerberg made a post on Facebook on Friday saying “I’m responsible for reacting not just in my personal capacity but as the leader of an institution committed to free expression”. Zuckerberg believes in freedom of speech and will therefore not be removing any controversial tweets made by President Donald Trump.
As the world mourns and takes action over George Floyd’s death, many tech companies have made official statements in their support of solidarity to the Black Lives Matter Movement. Google, Amazon, Facebook, DoorDash, Uber, and many more have made statements of solidarity for those protesters who are fighting against police brutality and racial injustices in America. However, there are many folks who are urging these large tech companies to do more than make official statements. A lot of leaders within the tech space are advocating for specific actionable commitments such as policy reform, elected official hiring, and supporting more black talent.
We can all do better. That’s not enough, however. We all need to do better. It’s the time to take action in any way you feel comfortable doing. Young people are standing in solidarity, police are kneeling with them and peaceful protests are resulting in donations and awareness. Companies can take it upon themselves to look within, ensure that they are actively seeking diversity in their hiring practices, creating safe spaces for those hurting to communicate with their team, and ensure that their target market is not skewed to serve one race more than another.
We have to do better.