Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield eviscerated The Wall Street Journal over an editorial about the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.
The Journal published an opinion piece on June 18, the day after the shooting, that described the motivation of suspected gunman Dylann Roof, who is charged with murdering nine people in a historic black church, as “a problem that defies explanation.” The article also claimed that the “system and philosophy of institutionalized racism identified by Dr. King no longer exists.”
Butterfield responded to the article, unleashing a series of tweets Sunday night:
:clock1230: I get that it's a business & this is something like professional wrestling or reality TV. WSJ editorials are meant to be spectacle.
🕐 No reasonable person, post News Corp, expects anything other than Rush Limbaugh-style deliberately titillating outrageousness.
🕜 But there's a difference between their normal obnoxious horseshit & this one. Why the need to immediately exclaim "not race!"?
🕑 Or saying "… the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the [Birmingham] murderers" plainly still exists.
🕝 Who is served by pretending it doesn't? Where is the benefit here? Just avoiding awkward conversations or uncomfortable introspection?
Butterfield also praised Jon Stewart’s moving monologue on the June 19 episode of “The Daily Show” in which the comedian refused to make jokes about the mass shooting in Charleston.
🕞 Compare: "Today the system and philosophy of institutionalized racism identified by Dr. King no longer exists."
🕓 With: "peering into the abyss of the depraved violence" & "a gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn't exist."
🕟 Pretending it doesn't exist is, cognitively, really hard work. And it is dishonest and unfair and cruel work too. It's its own violence.
🕔 Acknowledging that we still have a very, very long way to go is literally the least anyone could do.
🕠 The magnitude of the "acceptable injustices" is today much smaller than it was. But the sum of all of them is something I cannot imagine.
🕕 It's never once even occurred to me that I might die, or even be in danger, after getting pulled over by a cop.
🕡 I've never had anyone not want me to swim in their pool, use their bathroom, sit next to them on the bus, or be friends with their kids.
🕖 I've never left a job interview or an investor pitch or a blind date wondering whether I was being judged for myself/my merits.
🕢 I've always been the default. I had unlimited role models, and the path to any of them was always an obvious straight line.
🕗 In every respect in which my life could have been easy, it was made to be easy. (Note: as a human, I still find ways to make it hard.)
🕣 It is obvious that this privilege is not equally distributed. The thousand little obstacles are constant & very real for many.
🕘 And so is a racist sociopath with a gun. That's real. And the differential in where the cops' bullets land.
🕤 It matters how we talk about it after & it matters that we at least try to make some progress. So, WSJ editorial board: fuck you!
H/T The Verge