Many companies have spoken out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests over the death of George Floyd but their actions are saying otherwise.
What We Know:
A few companies speaking out against racism include Facebook, Amazon and Google. Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive of Facebook says, “The pain of the last week reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity and peace. We stand with the black community — and all those working towards justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others whose names will not be forgotten.” Employees working for Zuckerberg were not happy with his decision to not remove Presdient Trump’s tweet when he called protestors “thugs” and “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Zuckerberg decided to arrange a conference calls including civil rights groups such as Color of Change, NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The point of the call was to “calm the water” in regard to him not removing President Trump’s tweet but no one who participated in the call was impressed. One of the participants said, “What was clear coming out of that meeting is Mark has no real understanding of the history or current impact of voter suppression, racism or discrimination. He lives in a bubble, and he defended every decision that he’s made.”
Below are a list of companies that say they support the BLM movement but the actions towards employees and company say otherwise.
- Mark Luckie, the former strategic partner manager for global influencers at Facebook published a post entailing the treatment of Black users on Facebook such as account suspensions and surveillance censorship, and also the discrimination of Black employees because they only make up 4 percent of the workforce. Zuckerberg declined to commment on this topic.
- Amazon says, “The inequitable and brutal treatment of black people in our country must stop. Together we stand in solidarity with the black community — our employees, customers, and partners — in the fight against systemic racism and injustice.” Amazon company, Ring partners with at least 200 police departments and it ecnourages citizens to download the companies neighborhood watch app. This app has had issues of racial profiling and after reading posts on the app, they saw that people who were deemed “suspicious” were people of color. Amazon declined to comment on this topic.
Amazon stands in solidarity with the Black community — we remain steadfast in our support for our employees, customers, partners, and the communities where they live and work. And we stand in support of organizations that are making a difference. https://t.co/r29sVMNosA pic.twitter.com/Jn9QIiS34g
— Amazon (@amazon) June 3, 2020
- Nextdoor says, “Black Lives Matter. You are not alone. Everyone should feel safe in their neighborhood. Reach out. Listen. Take action.” These users use the app to check and share information about their neighborhood. Most of the information on this app is about “suspicious” people of color and Black people on its “crime and safety” page. Nextdoor and Ring are vectors for a disinformation campaign which was traced back to a white nationalist group.
- Google’s Chief Executive, Sundar Pichai says, “Today on U.S. Google & YouTube homepages we share our support for racial equality in solidarity with the black community and in memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery & others who don’t have a voice. For those feeling grief, anger, sadness & fear, you are not alone.” In 2018, 20,000 employees walked out on Google over the companies treatment for sexual harrasment. One Black employee, Leslie Miley says “It’s not easy being Black at Google.” She recalled on a time she was stopped by a white male employee who refused to let her into her office unless she showed her I.D. badge although it was visible.
- Starbucks initially banned it’s employees from wearing anything related to the protests and Black Lives Matter. They said the dress code will remain in place because it’s improtant to “create a safe and welcoming environment.” Starbucks recieved backlash for this because people began to recall the 2018 incident when two Black men were arrested when they were waiting for a friend. After much backlash from the community and social media, Starbucks has reversed its statement and will now allow its employees to wear Black Lives Matter apparel. They have said they will make 250,000 Black Lives Matter shirts for baristas who wanted them and to “amplify divisiveness,” employees can wear the shirts and pins.
Two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philly for doing nothing but waiting for a friend.
& now Starbucks is banning employees from wearing anything in support of black lives?
THIS IS INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM #BoycottStarbucks pic.twitter.com/Ja1I3IdtCg
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) June 11, 2020
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) June 1, 2020
A hashtag, #BoycottStarbucks has surfaced over social media in regard to the statement they issued today. Neither of these companies have released comments on their allegations. Wide spread protests have surfaced in wake of the death of George Floyd. Many companies stand behind the BLM movement and military branches ahve gone as far as banning Conferedate flags from their bases because of the history behind them.