On Wednesday, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, joined Black Lives Matter activist and Baltimore mayoral candidate DeRay McKesson to speak to Peter Kafka about the importance of Twitter.
While the CEO and activist did speak about Ferguson and the way that Twitter played a major role in allowing protestors to combat that mainstream media's narrative of the protests that took place following Michael Brown's death, many noted Dorsey's apparent desire to steer clear of explicitly mentioning the racism and police brutality that caused the protests — especially given that he decided to wear a #StayWoke t-shirt, co-opting the phrase to apply it to Twitter.
People on — of course — Twitter couldn't help put point out the fact that the white CEO for a company that employs a incredibly low 3% Black/Latino workforce had no problem appropriating the slogan.
A Jezebel article slammed Dorsey for both claiming ownership of the term that is often used by BLM activists, while failing to call out what exactly those activists are fighting against. "He [Dorsey] seems quite proud of what non-white, non-male peoples whose (unspecified) interests he agrees with have accomplice with the significant aid of Twitter, but he also avoids naming those interests, or calling out the hate speech that progressive figures draw immediately," the article states.
While the young CEO celebrates himself as being woke, "he's so relentlessly vague and heat-seeking about the use of the word."
As Dorsey said, "To me, my interpretation of what it means, and it has evolved a little bit over time, is really being aware, and staying aware, and keep questioning. Being awake, and eyes wide open around what’s happening in the world."
He continued, "We saw that in Ferguson, and what I didn’t really consider before I got there, that I saw on the ground, is what you see on the television screen versus what’s actually happening behind the camera. It was just amazing for me to see, especially at night, the press running around West Florissant, and how they were telling the stories, and how protesters were having conversations with them about what stories they were telling, and where the focus was, and the focus inappropriately on the wrong things. And to me, that’s when I really first saw this phrase in action — was making sure that we’re telling our story, and we’re telling what’s on the ground, and we saw it live through Twitter."
Notice how he fails to mention any specifics as to what was being focused on inappropriately, and is equally vague about "what's happening in the world."
jack dorsey is wearing a "stay woke" t-shirt l o l— zeer (@zairejl) June 1, 2016
Jezebel calls out Dorsey for taking "the word past self-congratulation into studied corporate doublethink, making me wondering if it's ever occurred to Dorsey what the stance of 'neutrality' caves to, and really means."
If Dorsey wanted to truly live up to the phrase, he would have to abandon his apparent fear of offending anyone in the majority, and actually use his station, and platform to truly combat racism, police brutality, and general disenfranchisement from within, instead of taking credit for how the brave men and women within the movement use his platform for themselves.
(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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