When I was young, a boy I really looked up to had his family beaten by police. He tried to take the officers to court, which was hard with limited money, and increased the harassment he experienced day-to-day. I attended protests around this, and I never forgot the people who spoke at city hall, saying this was a daily reality for many. The feeling that someone so amazing could have such injustice and such racism haunting his life stuck with me. It felt so irrational. So saddening.
The events around Black Lives Matter recently are another dark reminder that ten years have passed and this issue is as problematic as ever. I'm fortunate these events do not happen to me. I'm depressed and saddened that so many have to go through this discrimination and harassment and abuse and violence and murder.
Once we're through a door, hold it open for someone else. It's crucial that as people in positions of privilege or power, we do whatever we can for those without it. I own a tech company in Seattle now, and want to be sure I help lessen discrimination, racial injustice, and socioeconomic issues however I can.
I suppose I'm writing this to urge other people in technology especially, other entrepreneurs especially, to think about how to help too. How do you hire people? What do you do to better the community? What causes do you donate to? Where do you put your volunteering time? Your mentoring time?
And if you ever want to share ideas for how to help our community (especially here in Seattle) be better through the power we do have, e-mail me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org .