By AFRO Editorial Staff
Facebook is a social media network that encourages “members” to share family photos, engage in civil discourse and learn about new places. Just kidding. Unfortunately, it is often a cesspool of hate, misinformation and (alleged) Russian pollical propaganda that seeks to demonize African Americans in general and Black Lives Matters in particular.
Actually, it’s all of the above. And while the company is facing multiple lawsuits alleging racial and age discrimination, it is at the same time under scrutiny by numerous governments for being used as a conduit by nefarious actors to sway elections, including the one that brought us Donald Trump and his Cabinet of what some could describe as grasping White nationalists.
That’s why the work that civil rights organizations and individuals do to keep companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and AirBnB honest about their racial shortcomings is so important. Laura W. Murphy, who in addition to being an AFRO family member, is a long-time advocate for justice with the ACLU and has previously worked with AirBnB to develop its anti-discrimination policies and practices. She is currently working with Facebook on a similar project. Murphy is an excellent choice, given her background in civil rights, to make sure that all of these methods of advocacy are respected and elevated at Facebook.
These corporate behemoths, which employ thousands of people and lobby to shape government policy, have well-documented histories of severely under-hiring minorities and women and then acting surprised when people complain.
Here’s where it gets messy; not every civil rights organization is on the same page, just like not everyone at the cookout thinks Karen’s potato salad tastes better with raisins. Some organizations think that working directly with these companies to change their discriminatory ways is the best option. Others say that litigation and new laws are the only way these companies will ever permanently change.
These companies did not invent discrimination. The fight for equality in America is as wearying as it is necessary. The AFRO has highlighted both methods in recent days. No matter which way gets rid of the discrimination, all that matters is we get rid of the discrimination. Therefore, we are happy that Ms. Murphy has a seat at the table. As the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”