Though The Social Network portrayed him as a rather ruthless and insensitive figure, Mark Zuckerberg’s recent campaigning for women’s rights has shown us a different side of the Facebook CEO. Many people thought that the fact that Mark has recently become a father gave him a soft-spot for females trying to succeed in life, but that wouldn’t explain the fact that a recent memo he sent out was geared towards racial equality.
Facebook’s office in Menlo Park, California, has a wall dedicated to the thoughts of its employees. This a tradition carried on from the company’s early days, and is intended to be a medium for the sharing of its employees feelings on any particular day.
Recently the board saw the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’ written across it. However, the ‘black’ from the slogan was mysteriously crossed out shortly after it appeared on the board, and the slogan was changed to ‘All Lives Matter’.
Mark Zuckerberg took exception to this, and asked that this behaviour stop at once. But, it didn’t. Shortly after Zuckerberg’s request, the slogan was again defaced and the ‘black’ replaced with ‘all’. This angered the Facebook CEO enough for him to send out a memo to all his employees.
What the Facebook Memo Said
Essentially, Mark described the incident and explained how, despite himself and other leaders requesting that this behaviour stop, it has continued. Mark explained that he first saw the incident as disrespectful but, following the blatant disregard of his request for the slogan to be left unchanged, he now sees the perpetrator (or perpetrators) as malicious.
But, instead of issuing a solid ban on anyone changing the slogan in future, Zuckerberg also attempted to explain his motivation in wanting the slogan to remain untouched. He mentioned how, historically, black Americans have not been seen, or treated, as equals. He went on to explain that the slogan doesn’t mean that other lives don’t matter, it simply means that it is time black Americans were finally able to rid themselves of the racism and oppression of the past.
Zuckerberg asked that, instead of having to impose rules on writing on the board, employees working at that particular office simply treat each other with respect. In order to help educate themselves regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, he also urged employees to participate in the local meetings.
Hopefully Mark is able to introduce a tolerance into the employees of Facebook that positively resonates throughout the entire country, and helps leave racial inequality in the past, where it belongs.
Image credit: http://soulreflectionz.com/category/black-lives-matter/