As president and CEO of this little corner of the internet, we must acknowledge the world we share. The goal of Tech vs. Humans is to create and build and ideate and to do that in a world we would all want to live in. But we can’t do that unless we stop and face the ugliness woven into the fabric of our daily lives. Given the recent death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, we must acknowledge and take a stand against systemic racism.
What is Systemic Racism?
There is so much rich content in this fantastic post from Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream on this topic. But in short, systemic racism is racism built into the foundational elements of our society, and we are often so embedded in this “normal” that we don’t see it as racism. And when I see “we,” I mean the people benefitting from this system.
If you want to see systemic racism in action – watch any part of the Amy Cooper video – she is flaunting the system’s inequity. Many people still maintain that her actions were not racist. I can assure you that, though her actions were not littered with bad words and were not ‘KKK-racist.’ it was absolutely a racist act and a representation of people’s awareness of Systemic Racism. Racism has become extremely coded over the past few decades, and the Amy Cooper situation makes it clear how it has manifested over time.
Other examples of systemic racism are:
- Black drivers are 30% more likely to be pulled over by police
- Black unemployment is double that of Whites
- Job applicants with ‘white sounding’ names received 50% more callbacks than those with ‘black sounding’ names.
- Blacks are 13% of the US population but 40% of the prison population.
Why am I talking about this on Tech Vs. Humans?
I have a voice, as do you. I choose to voice that Black Lives Matter. I choose to march for those that have died to help protect the children that might be next if we don’t change. In the US, we have a completely absent leader who cannot unite people – it is simply not in his DNA. I choose not to support him or any leader that does not commit to the following:
Black Lives Matter.
Why ‘Black Lives Matter’ and NOT ‘All Lives Matter’?
All Lives do Matter. However, for all Lives to Matter, we need to start with Black Lives Matter. It is clear to me, and the data supports this, that ‘All Lives Matter’ is part of that systemic racism language used to silence the importance of what we need to work on as a society – that black people are getting killed. We need to stop it by emphasizing ‘Black Lives Matter.’
And don’t get me started on ‘Blue Lives Matter.’ Of course, they matter. Of course, the police matter. That’s a hard fucking job. But don’t use that when police are killing innocent black people. It’s not the time to showcase your support for the police. Not the time. It says that you care more about the police (and the system that keeps letting this happen) than you do about the death of a black person. Our police, like our greater society, suffer from systemic racism. Think of the officers that stood around as George Floyd died. Were they not empowered by a system that devalues human life? What if Goerge Floyd was white – would the surrounding officers behave the same way?
If you still don’t think we have work to do for whatever reason – Remember the names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. These people died too early because too many still don’t think we have work to do. Let’s address systemic racism so we can create a beautiful world together.