When the struggle for racial equality adopted the phrase "Black Lives Matter," which subsequently became the mantra and namesake of a powerful movement, it garnered backlash for what some saw as the dismissal of other communities' lives. Despite many efforts at explaining what it means when people say "Black Lives Matter," there is still resistance to the phrase — even in the hallways of the largest social media company in the world. After several instances of employees replacing "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter" on Facebook's office wall, Mark Zuckerberg took to a closed Facebook page for employees to explain why the latter phrase was offensive.
"There are specific issues affecting the black community in the United States, coming from a history of oppression and racism," Zuckerberg wrote in his post, according to Gizmodo. "We've never had rules around what people can write on our walls... Facebook should be a service and community where everyone is treated with respect."
Zuckerberg also called the incidences "deeply hurtful and tiresome experience for the black community" and said that the company is investigating them. "'Black lives matter' doesn't mean that other lives don't — it's simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they deserve."
In a major global company that already suffers from woeful underrepresentation from the Black community — only 2 percent of Facebook's overall employees are Black, and in the tech department, a mere one percent — Zuckerberg's note displays an active awareness that not many in the white bro-centric tech world have done.
As Facebook continues on its efforts to improve on diversity, cultivating an inclusive, broad-minded workplace culture is the least that it can do to contribute to the larger discussion of race in America.
Cover image via David Ramos / Getty Images