At The New Stack, we’ve been discussing the death of George Floyd, the resulting protests, and the way the black community is speaking out against centuries of oppression. We agreed that it’s important for us all to raise our voice higher against the brutal treatment of the black community and to speak up, united against centuries of glaring racism.
It’s just not okay for us. The New Stack’s values are built on diversity and inclusion. Editorial and marketing director Libby Clark stated it well: “At The New Stack, we stand with the black community and with those protesting in the streets for justice and equality. Black lives matter.”
Events quickly unfolded last week in wake of Floyd’s death, prompting managing editor Joab Jackson to report in our newsletter on Friday about a system that is blatantly biased against black Americans.
“… but for many in the African American community, it was yet another example of two-tiered systematic racism at work, where all too often an arrested white male will be cuffed behind his back, but a black man will be thrown to the ground instead. It’s pretty clear to the U.S. black community that such ongoing collective injustice, one that leads all too often to death, can not be resisted by polite means alone.”
In the United States, we have a plantation owner belief system, as Touré writes about in The Guardian. The beliefs in an oppressive system are deeply set, like a gnarly vine that has twisted and tightened so much that the only way to kill it is by fighting it back. And that has to be done through laws that change the system. These protesters are fighting back centuries of oppression that has become so twisted that it has grown, spread, and fractured our communities and institutions. It is so deeply tied to our culture and systems that it can feel like the only answer is to burn it down. The plantation-based system was built on the belief that white people are superior, that they decide what matters and what does not. It’s an evil belief system that has made the United States a place that fewer people than ever can enjoy. We face a deep divide that can now be seen clearly in photos and videos of armed police and National Guard troops launching tear gas at unarmed and peaceful people.
The New Stack stands with the black community.
This plantation belief system is what The New Stack stands against. We are here to fight against all oppression. We stand with black Americans and all who believe that the division must end and equal rights must be provided to everyone, not just an elite few.
Colleen Coll, our new manager of digital media operations and marketing, pointed to the simple statement from companies like Tom Ford: “TOM FORD stands with the Black community and condemns all forms of racism, violence and hatred.”
For us, it’s a matter of just stating how we feel about the death of a man at the hands of police and coming to a sense of how we feel about the understandable rage that has followed within cities such as ours here in Portland and other communities across the U.S. Brooklyn, Denver, Los Angeles and smaller communities such as Raleigh, North Carolina are just a selection of the cities where people are standing up to protest.
So where do we go from here? For us it means getting to know people better, reaching out to people who don’t always have a voice, and continuing to hire women and underrepresented minorities.
Most of all, it’s our belief that the plantation system must someday be dismantled. It is unfortunate that this will give rise to more violence in the streets as people fight for their rights. It’s our job to stand up and say oppression is immoral and wrong. The vine must be chopped back, pruned to its roots and watched ever so closely. The New Stack stands with the black community. We are here to help fight back the insidious vine that has too long been able to thrive. The New Stack believes in non-violence as a means for change. Non-violence is what visionary leaders would point to as the only way. That means no more tear gas and violence on peaceful protesters.