A customer asked Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to change a banner on the company’s site from “Black Lives Matter” to “All Lives Matter” — and he took the time to respond.
Bezos shared the full exchange, with a customer named Macy, via his Instagram account late Friday.
“It is quite disturbing to get on the Amazon website and see ‘Black Lives Matter,'” Macy wrote. “I am for everyone voicing their opinions and standing up for what you believe in, but for your company to blast this on your website is very offensive to me and I’m sure you’ll be hearing from others. All Lives Matter!”
In a response to Macy, Bezos explained that “‘Black Lives Matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t matter.”
“Black lives matter speaks to racism and the disproportionate risk that black people face in our law enforcement and justice system,” wrote the Amazon chief. “I have a 20-year-old son, and I simply don’t worry that he might be choked to death while being detained one day. It’s not something I worry about. Black parents can’t say the same.”
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In addition to posting a message of solidarity on its website, Amazon is donating $10 million to organizations committed to racial justice. The e-tailer, which selected nonprofits to support with the assistance of its Black Employee Network, is contributing to the NAACP, the ACLU Foundation, the Equal Justice Initiative, Black Lives Matter and the National Urban League, among others. Further, Amazon’s Black Employee Network will receive a grant to fund local education and racial equity initiatives in communities where employees live and work.
“Amazon’s leadership and BEN have worked hand-in-hand to identify organizations in the Black community that make a difference and will contribute to them in a meaningful way,” said Angelina Howard, president of BEN. “We will continue these conversations about how Amazon can support employees and the entire Black community beyond these tragic recent events.”
National unrest and mass protests have mounted following the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer. In response, brands and retailers across the footwear and fashion industries have issued statements condemning racism — including both those that have frequently spoken up on social issues as well as those that have typically remained silent. What’s more, companies such as Nike, Puma and H&M have announced financial contributions to organizations fighting racial injustice.