Fourth of July week started with celebrations fireworks, music and food galore to celebrate our nation‘s independence. By the end of the week, celebrations turned into protests and parties transitioned into funerals. In the wake of cultural tragedy and the worst racial division since the 1967 riots in Newark and Detroit, people flocked to social media and used technology driven devices to uncover a buried history lesson while trying to understand how two black men were killed in routine police encounters and five officers ended up fatally wounded in the line of duty.
Social injustice is not something new. It lives in schools, government, corporate America and anywhere that people from different races, classes and cultures have to deal with each other. As arguments protests and memorials continue, leaders from the nation’s top tech companies spoke out to stand up for social justice for all and condemn violence. One of the most moving statement’s released came from Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. It was the Facebook live video platform that was used to film an incident between a citizen (Philando Castile) and officers in Minnesota.
“The images we’ve seen this week are graphic and heartbreaking, and they shine a light on the fear that millions of members of our community live with every day,” Zuckerberg said in a statement he posted on his Facebook page. “While I hope we never have to see another video like Diamond’s, it reminds us why coming together to build a more open and connected world is so important — and how far we still have to go.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, encouraged users to contact state legislators to help bring about social change. He also retweeted positive messages about social justice and used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in posts.
Apple CEO Tim Cook choose to post a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on his Twitter Page, about learning to live together.
In a shocking twist T-Mobile CEO John Legere, one of the most vocal tech leaders on social media, had the least to say. He simply addressed our nation’s biggest problem in one tweet, which ended with “..We need to take care of each other.”
Messages from these top tech leaders were flooded with comments filled with sorrow and well wishes for all that were killed and their families. The kindness and outpouring of compassion on social media has led to online fundraising for families of the men who were killed and the officers. You can find some of them on Gofundme.com. Celebrities, activists and citizens have been passing links around to help people donate.
In the eyes of technology, we are all the same. Each person is a user with an email account, smartphone, social media page or some piece of emerging technology to make life better. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, rich, poor, republican or democrat – we are all the same. We all have a place in moving society and this country forward. In this bruised week in American history we found out how fragile we are and how much we need to use the emerging technology we’ve created to make the country a better place.
Cross-posted from New York City Wired.
Monica Link has interviewed CEOs, rising tech entrepreneurs and celebrities. She is a contributor for the New York Observer and freelance fashion and shopping editor for SnobbyDiva.com.
Monica's work is followed by readers in more than 10 countries across the globe. Among her notable interviews are the cast of the style network's #1 show Jerseylicious, Food Network star Chef couple Pat and Gina Neely, celebrity trainer Gunner Peterson and New York Times Bestseller and financial planner David Bach.
As a passionate lover of the arts, Monica has written and produced inspirational live stage plays, and performed as a singer. She has also participated in other arts and cultural activities.