Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos addresses the audience during a keynote session at the Amazon Re:MARS conference on robotics and artificial intelligence at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas on June 6, 2019.
Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Friday expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement by posting an email exchange with an upset customer.
In an Instagram post, Bezos posted a screenshot of an email from a customer who said it was “disturbing” and “offensive” that Amazon posted a message on its website in solidarity with the movement. The customer, whose name was blurred, wrote “ALL LIVES MATTER!”
Critics of the Black Lives Matter movement often seek to counter the phrase by saying “all lives matter” or “blue lives matter,” referencing fallen police officers.
“I have to disagree with you,” Bezos replied.
“‘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.”
Unlike black parents, Bezos said, he will never have to worry that his son “might be choked to death while being detained one day.” He added that he supports the recent protests around police brutality.
“I want you to know I support this movement that we see happening all around us and my stance won’t change,” he added.
In recent days, protests have erupted nationwide over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. On Wednesday, three former Minneapolis police officers were charged with aiding and abetting murder in connection with the killing of Floyd. Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck before he died, was also charged with second-degree murder, after he was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Many companies have spoken out against Floyd’s killing and police brutality, including Amazon. On Wednesday, Amazon announced it would donate $10 million to social justice organizations. The company also tweeted that the “inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people” must stop.
At the same time, organizations have criticized the company for its ties with police and development of facial recognition technology. Over 1,000 police departments across the U.S. have partnerships with Ring, the smart doorbell security owned by Amazon. Additionally, human rights groups have called for the ban of Amazon’s facial recognition technology, Rekogntion, which they argue poses a threat to immigrants and religious minorities.