FOR THE PAST week, cities across America have erupted in protests, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. It’s been a moment for collective grief and anger, as protesters demand both attention to systemic racism and action on racial justice. In Silicon Valley, where several cities have imposed nightly curfews, protesters have heard their messaging echoed by the giants in the tech industry.
Companies including Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter, Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb issued statements denouncing racism and expressing solidarity with protesters. “The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop,” Amazon wrote in a tweet. “Together we stand in solidarity with the Black community—our employees, customers, and partners—in the fight against systemic racism and injustice.” On Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg shared a post on the responsibility to fight racism and injustice, and #saidtheirnames: “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.” Twitter changed the bio in its corporate account to “#BlackLivesMatter,” and its profile picture from its cheery blue logo to a somber black and white one. The genre has become so rote that one Twitter user came up with a pitch-perfect satirization: “A statement from [Brand]®.”