CEOs Speak Out: What C-Suite Is Saying About Racial Inequality Protests

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As protests against systemic racism, police violence, and oppression intensify across the country, CEOs of major companies are speaking out. 

Here are some excerpts from their statements:

Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck

"What the African American community sees in that videotape is that this African American man, who could be me or any other African American man, is being treated as less than human.

Even though we don’t have laws that separate people on the basis of race anymore, we still have customs, we still have beliefs, we still have policies and practices that lead to inequities."

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple

"To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism. That painful past is still present today—not only in the form of violence, but in the everyday experience of deeply rooted discrimination."

Marvin Ellison, CEO of Lowes

"My wife & I feel tremendous sadness as our hearts & prayers are with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor & all communities ripped apart by violence. As the father of a young black male, I can only imagine their pain & emptiness."

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors

The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor astonishingly add to the important and unconscionable list of black Americans who have lost their lives based on the color of their skin. I am both impatient and disgusted by the fact that as a nation, we seem to be placated by the passive discussion of “why.” Why does this happen? Why can’t we get to a different place? Why is the response so visceral?

Let’s stop asking “why” and start asking “what.” What are we going to do?

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft

"I also know that the everyday racism, bias and hatred in the news today is not new, and it's far too often the experience and reality in daily lives, particularly for the Black and African American community.

This is not something that you can just leave behind when you log into work. The weight can be enormous, and so the question, of course, is what can we do, what should we do?"

Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap

"Economic inequality in America has reached levels unseen for nearly a century, people of color cannot visit a grocery store or go for a jog without fear of being murdered without consequence, and put simply, the American experiment is failing…"

Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor Company

“And while we would like to say that racism has no place in our society, we know that systemic racism still exists despite the progress that has been made. We cannot turn a blind eye to it or accept some sense of ‘order’ that’s based on oppression.”

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase

“We are watching, listening and want every single one of you to know we are committed to fighting against racism and discrimination wherever and however it exists."

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