According to a report from Bloomberg, Black civil rights leaders who participated in a conference call with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg walked away afterward “disappointed and stunned” at the tech billionaire’s seeming inability to understand issues that impact African-Americans.
The report notes that part of the discussion involved Zuckerberg’s decision to ignore and dismiss comments made by Donald Trump about police brutality protesters — with one Black leader calling the exec’s explanation “incomprehensible.”
According to Bloomberg’s Jeff Green, “Mark Zuckerberg hosted a nearly hour-long video call with U.S. civil rights leaders to discuss ongoing issues around his company’s policies as they relate to race, elections and other topics,” before adding it didn’t go well based on comments from Color of Change President Rashad Robinson.
In an interview, Robinson lamented, “… the problem with my ongoing conversations with Mark, is that I feel like I spent a lot of time, and my colleagues spent a lot of time, explaining to him why these things are a problem, and I think he just very much lacks the ability to understand it.”
Pointing out that Zuckerberg’s hands-off approach when it comes to Trump is baffling in light of the president’s threat that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” with regard to George Floyd protesters, Robinson noted that the Facebook executive is bucking his own employees who are furious with him.
“His employees are outraged,” explained Robinson. “I’ve got outreach from some of them. Saying Black Lives Matter, saying I’m going to give money, but having your policies actually hurt black people, people will know the difference.”
While a spokesperson for Facebook praised the get-together by issuing a statement saying the tech giant is “… grateful that leaders in the civil rights community took the time to share candid, honest feedback,” Robinson differed with their appraisal of how it went with the company’s founder.
“He continues to do things and make decisions that hurt communities and put people in harm’s way and is not accountable for it,” explained Robinson.
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