Racism is a widespread virus of a belief that a particular race is superior to another, that a person’s inborn biological characteristics predetermine a person’s social and moral traits. It has existed throughout history, but the only difference now is that it was recorded through social media. And in the past few weeks, big tech companies expressed their support in the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The incident showed in a video of the 46-year-old black man pleading to the police that he couldn’t breathe and crying out for his mother as a white officer used a knee to pin him to the ground by his neck. The video went viral, shocking millions of people worldwide, thus leading to widespread condemnation of police brutality toward members of the African American community.
Alongside this, Tech companies have long struggled with diversity and their limited opportunities for black men and women particularly. That’s led to many tech companies releasing regular diversity reports; however, the figures and lines still showed slow progress.
Here is what the tech industry is saying and doing about racial inequality:
Last June 4, the CEO of Apple Tim Cook released a statement regarding the incident. He wrote in a letter that while the US laws have changed; the reality is that their protections are still not universally applied. He then added, “We’ve seen progress since America I grew up in, but it is similarly true that communities of color continue to endure discrimination and trauma. To create change, we have to reexamine our views and actions in light of a deeply felt pain but too often ignored. Issues of human dignity will not abide by standing on the sidelines.”
He also used Twitter to express sympathy for their loss:
The number of Apple’s donations was not divulged.
Amazon said that they would donate $10 million to racial justice initiatives, including the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, the Equal Justice Initiative, and the United Negro College Fund. The company also posted a tweet saying that “the inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our community must stop.”
“Together, we stand in solidarity with the Black community — our employees, customers and partners — in the fight against systemic racism and injustice,” the company added.
But Amazon was lashed for well over a year for its various ties to police.
Google has said to be committed to a $12 million donation as a support for the movement. The tech giant would also hold 8 minutes and 46 second moment of silence. It’s the amount of time the officer restrained Floyd before his death. The company has also displayed a black ribbon on their homepage with a caption: “We stand in support of racial equality, and all those who search for it.”
A few months back, Google has also faced scrutiny for scaling back their diversity efforts by cutting and outsourcing employee training sessions, according to a report by NBC News. The initiative was called Sojourn, a comprehensive program focused on race and implicit bias and on navigating those kinds of conversations in the workplace. Google denied the allegations.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder of Facebook, pledged $10 million to groups working on racial justice. He then wrote, “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. It reminds us that the violence Black people in America live with today is part of a long history of racism and injustice. We all have the responsibility to create change.”
No matter how much a person or a business donates for advocacy. What really matters here is the racism that has been a long problem in any country. Equality may be hard to reach, but hearing and listening is the first step in obtaining it.