LinkedIn CEO speaks on 'appalling' comments made anonymously at virtual town hall

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LinkedIn logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Offensive comments were made during a LinkedIn virtual town hall by anonymous people.
  • LinkedIn's CEO says the "offensive comments reinforced the very hard work we still have to do."
  • LinkedIn will not allow anonymous questions in similar meetings in the future.

During a virtual town hall by LinkedIn on racism, anonymous people shared rude and hurtful comments (via The Daily Beast). Ryan Roslansky, CEO, LinkedIn, spoke on the comments in a post (opens in new tab) this week and what LinkedIn will do to limit similar incidents in the future.

The racist comments were initially reported by The Daily Beast and later confirmed by The Verge. One employee wrote, "Blacks kill blacks at 50 times the rate that whites kill blacks." Another states, "Usually it is the result of gang violence in the inner city. Where is the outcry?" Another comment reads, "As a non-minority, all this talk makes me feel like I am supposed to feel guilty of my skin color. I feel like I should let someone less qualified fill my position. Is that ok? It appears that I am a prisoner of my birth. This is not what Martin Luther King Jr would have wanted for anyone."

Roslansky said in his post discussing the town hall, "Unfortunately, a small number of offensive comments reinforced the very hard work we still have to do." His post primarily consists of an email that he sent to all LinkedIn employees today. Roslansky states in the post:

Those of us in presenter mode weren't able to track the comments in real time - I am very sorry and that won't happen again. Also, we offered the ability to ask questions anonymously with the intention of creating a safe space for all. Unfortunately, that made it possible to add offensive comments without accountability. We require members on our platform to have real identities and we will not allow anonymous questions in all hands meetings in the future. I said it in the Company Group yesterday, and I will say it again, we are not and will not be a company or platform where racism or hateful speech is allowed.

He adds that in the future, the company will take regional differences into consideration for similar events, based on feedback they received. He also states that "Many of you shared the hardest part was realizing that this company we love and hold to such a high standard still has a lot of work to do to educate ourselves and our colleagues on how to create a culture that is truly anti-racist. We will do that work."

In response to the comments, one employee told The Verge, "It's no surprise that there are racist people at a company that's 48 percent white," adding, "But the point that was most troubling for me was that this was an event in response to the protests, co-sponsored by our black employee resource group. So for them to insert those comments here was so insensitive."

This week, Microsoft as a whole has made an effort to amplify black voices. LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft, made an effort to discuss racism through this town hall, which unfortunately had hateful comments from some people.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at (opens in new tab).

  • I assume the racist comment the LinkedIn CEO was referring to was, "It's no surprise that there are racist people at a company that's 48 percent white."
  • What are you talking about?
  • What he's saying will come to you, just give it a moment
  • It seems that what these leaders really wanted was for everybody to just agree with them, and were shocked that people have different opinions. They set this up so that people could speak their minds freely without fear, and that's what happened, yet they obviously didn't want that at all.
  • What I will say is that the leaders needed to have been ready to respond to different types of responses they would probably hear. But I don't think it makes sense to assume they just wanted everyone to blindly agree.
  • I would agree that those comments/questions are insensitive given the timing, but to call 2 comments on statistics and one expression of concern for the lack color blindness "appalling" seems the worse description. All Rolansky did with that comment was ignore concerns of part of his team in favor of another part of his team, fan flames of differences instead of trying to use those to start an explanation on WHY and HOW those questions were insensitive, and escalate tension. That's poor communications, bad for morale, and fuels racial tension. While those comments may have been inconsiderate, it should never be considered racist or unacceptable to cite facts or statistics (the beauty of statistics is that they are correct or incorrect, no need for opinion, so a purely factual discussion can follow, correcting or confirming them) or to suggest that we should ignore race to focus on people as individuals.
  • While I think statistics are helpful, they can definitely be biased depending on how you present them.
  • Statistics need some context and their importance and validity of the study that created them can all be debated, but they are themselves data points and facts (doesn't mean they're right, someone can be wrong with their facts). They are not an opinion. Calling something "appalling" or "disgusting" as another poster did here, is pure opinion.
  • The two statistics you mention were intentional misrepresentations spready by white nationalist websites. They have been debunked and put in context by many, however people who like to quote stats without actually asking why they ever learned those stats in the first place are doing the job (intentionally or unintentionally) of white nationalists and that is why you are being disregarded. You are either intentionally spreading racism or you are a useful idiot. Neither is worth taking seriously.
  • David, what statistics did I cite that you believe are false? I don't believe I've done what you've accused me of doing. In fact, I said that a person's "facts" could be wrong, which is exactly what makes them ripe for discussion, and possibly correction. Point being that we should all be able to discuss facts and data points (whether right or wrong) dispassionately -- unlike opinions, which can be charged with emotion. We may very well still disagree on the proper course of action, even if we share the same facts. That's typically due to different priorities and opinions, and that's OK. Digging into the facts to help ensure we're speaking the same language is helpful and there's no reason anyone should ever feel threatened by a discussion of facts (again, saying "fact" doesn't mean it's correct, just that it's a data point that can be evaluated -- "The sky is red" is a factual statement, possibly wrong, but maybe depends on weather and time of day; "Red skies are dangerous" is an opinion, albeit it one commonly held by sailors in the morning, if the old rhyme is to be believed). In any case, I'm pretty sure I'm not anyone's "useful idiot" (though I would agree there are many of them out there, on both sides of the political isle). In order to avoid being pulled into "Group Think", I'm skeptical of just about everything and think intelligent debate, challenging assumptions, friendly (and polite) discussion, and always making sure to solicit and understand the minority opinions (don't mean that racially, just referring to people who disagree, but because they may be in the minority on an issue, they often feel shy about expressing their opinion) is the best way to help expand our knowledge, learn from each other in a considerate way, and achieve the best results. Exactly what Rolanksy did NOT do. Best quote from Men In Black: "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals." :-) Never engage in group think. If you find you agree with all your friends, especially on political issues, that probably means you've turned off your brain.
  • I'm not going to bother to take the time to debunk your misuse of statistics. You already straw-manned what I said, it's clear you do not discuss things honestly. If you don't want to be a racist, stop repeating stats that were contextualized on white nationalist websites and start listening to the people of color who have been educating you all along while you continue to try and debate them.
  • These are the types of articles that made me stop reading Android Central. The comments are not racist. The CEO calls them racist. But the fact is, qualification SHOULD be the only reason anyone gets a certain job. Not skin color, not gender. People are going to get angry when they are treated unfairly. And as a non white person, white people are being treated unfairly. This is racism.
  • Coming from another person of color, please educate yourself more about racism. Your comment about qualifications makes sense IF systemic racism didn't exist.
  • There are tons of industries where this isn't the case. Hell, people of color make it big in all fields without things being tipped in their favor. Look at sports or entertainment. Look at most other industries. Look at colleges where they give Asians a disadvantage because of their race. You should never be judged differently based on your skin color. I don't care the situation. Anything else is the definition of racism.
  • "Yes, look at all the minstrel shows and cotton pickers! People of color dominate in certain industries that either entertain us or provide labor we don't wish to perform. I don't see why we need to open the doors for them in, say, law or administration!" - Some guy in 1890, probably
  • "Some guy in 1890, probably" Hello, and welcome to 2020.
  • Very well said!
  • @real0395, from the data, I believe it is a fact that African Americans, at least per capita, are stopped by police more frequently than whites, and while whites are killed and shot by police more than African Americans, as a percentage of the population, African Americans are more likely to be on the receiving end of police violence, and I accept the anecdotal evidence that African Americans are disadvantaged in some other ways too.
    However, the solution to that is NOT to institutionalize racism against other races. Aside from doing more harm to race relations than help as it creates exactly the kinds of attitudes as in those comments from the LinkedIn employees (on the other hand it does serve to help raise money for the race profiteers and peddlers, which is why there's a strong motivation by some to keep pressing these issues in such destructive ways), it's unethical. Remember the axiom we all learned as kids, "two wrongs don't make a right"? Never has that applied more.
    Another line adults need to be taught again is "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." We should all seek to be polite and considerate of our fellow people, and speak with empathy to how others may feel or perceive our words, but if someone takes offense at something another said, that's on that person getting offended more than the person who spoke the "offensive" words (we're all guilty of letting others get under our skin, but if I get angry at something you said, that's on me, not you).
  • When one is accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.
  • Systemic racism? Only in the Democrats' system. Historically, they're the party of slavery, Segregation, the KKK, Manifest Destiny, Indian Removal, the Trail of Tears, the Mexican-American War, resegregation, and American Internment. Now, they're the party of racial division, hatred, dependence, and exploitation. Last year, 20 unarmed whites were shot fatally by law enforcement versus 10 unarmed blacks. In 2016, the interracial murder rate was 2-to-1 black-white, thousands of blacks were slaughtered by other blacks, and 13% of the population committed half of all murders. And there's the genocide of abortion. No one talks about any of this, nor the fact that so many of these atrocities occur in Democrat-controlled areas. We need, in the words of Mr. Lincoln, a new birth of freedom, and that will come only with the truth.
  • Your handle literally means "headless" so, you are either a Bot, or more likely, just a Troll.
    Bye Bye.
  • I echo what Andrew G1 says in another comment. "Spouting white victimization during a townhall about blacks being murdered by the police? Yeah, that's not racist. WTF is wrong with the commenters here?" I qualify statements when they need qualification. When a company says their SSD is the "best ever" I use quotes, attribute comments to people, and use phrases like "according to XXX, the SSD is the best ever." Even when referencing our own articles that show an opinion that I agree with, I cite that it's from a a review. For example I'll say, "The XXX is a 'game changer' according to our executive editor Daniel Rubino who gave the device a 4.5/5 due to its..." In this particular instance, the comments were racist. I did quote the CEO when using the word appaling, as that specific word was his, but the comments are racist.
  • Exactly this. Thanks!
  • Absurd. Kneel, coward.
  • @Sean Endicott, I enjoy your articles on Windows Central and respect your work here, but I fear your position on this, as with Andrew G1's, may exacerbate the very problem you identify. Calling someone a racist is a pretty harsh comment. By definition, a racist is someone who views himself or others differently because of their race. Frankly, I don’t believe any of the comments here have been racist (on either side). Calling someone racist can cost that person their job, friends, ostracize that person from society. It shuts down discussion by denying any validity to the person’s comments – how can you and I talk about your beliefs and concerns if I’ve just thrown that insult at you? I urge everyone to be much more restrained in the use of that word. For some credibility on the subject and to provide context, when I was a kid, I was picked on and beaten up regularly for looking different and having a family with a different religion from everyone else at my school. I still have a black spot in my palm from one of the several times kids jammed a pencil into my hand and broke off the tip. The other bruises from boots and fists have long since faded, though I’m sure some psychological scars affect me to this day (maybe it’s part of why I’m writing this). When I got older, defensiveness resulting from my childhood and a determination to never be picked on again made me short-tempered. As much because of that attitude as because I looked different, I was in countless fights from high school through early adulthood. Broken nose multiple times. Joy at learning that a guy who punched me broke his hand on my head. Stitches and scars aplenty. I had a white friend who was beaten to death by the police, who then lied and covered it up (MTV tried to cover it, but got nowhere). I was arrested with a group of people, and saw a black die in custody jumping out of the van we were in (cops had not properly secured the back door), because you can’t jump out of a vehicle going 40mph while handcuffed, and then they charged the white guy who had been seated next to him with his murder (a complete lie). I was beaten by cops in another country, robbed, and dumped alone in the desert. And you know what, all-in-all, I’d say I had a pretty good and easy life – I was able to go to college, while I couldn’t afford more than potatoes and ramen noodles for a while, I never went hungry, never had to live on the street, was always able to get a job. Perspective helps. I gave that background to simply point out that there are good and bad people. There are good and bad cops, and bad cops don't even necessarily care about race -- they're just bad cops (though I am sure some are indeed racist). It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, what gender you are, what religion you have (unless you define your religion as instructing you to hurt others). You can be a self-centered, the-world-owes-me-because-I-had-it-tough jerk or work hard and be kind and considerate to everyone, even when they disagree with you by looking for the good in that person and common ground you no doubt share. Short of a small portion of the population that has mental illness, being kind and considerate to others is purely a choice and has nothing to do with skin color or even the things that happened to you in life. That’s a choice each of us makes and for which we should be judged accordingly. To the extent we can apply pressure (gently and politely, please) to others, let us encourage kindness, not bash each other over race, which only servers to foster racial resentment. Race is a minor factor in terms of how someone’s life will turn out, and suggesting otherwise only makes it harder for people of all races.
  • Worded better than I could ever dream of wording it myself. Thank you
  • The things the employees said were insensitive at worst and poor timing at best. There are large groups of white people out in America(mostly men) who feel that it's becoming harder and harder for them to get their preferred job. And I don't blame them. When you tell someone that their skin color is the reason someone was picked over them for a promotion, or that they didn't get a job because the company already hit their quota on white men, that is clear and distinct racism and sexism. There is no gray area on that. These policies will hurt colored people and white people as a whole in the long run. Until we agree that a job should go to the person most qualified, we will create only more racial tension. I personally still feel that it is possible I was accepted into my preferred college because of my skin color. It's always a possibility. It will forever hang over my head. No one should have to worry about such a thing.
  • You mean to tell me that the good ole boy system is failing? 🤣🤣🤣
  • Spouting white victimization during a townhall about blacks being murdered by the police? Yeah, that's not racist. WTF is wrong with the commenters here? "50 times" - these are the kind of stats, often bogus or totally out of date, that you find on white supremacist websites. "urban crime/where's the outcry?" - Where the hell were you when there was a crime wave on the South Side of Chicago, and black leaders were screaming at the top of their lungs about not getting enough national attention? "I feel bad for being white" - Blacks are murdered by the police, people protest, and you feel bad for being white? WTF? Since when is this about you, and not blacks being murdered by the police? Some really disgusting comments here.
  • Thank you. I don't know if you're a person of color, but I am and I appreciate your words.
  • Commentators here and elsewhere do a good job demonstrating why racism and systemic bias are such a large problem. They not only can't see the problem, they actively refuse to acknowledge it.
  • Honestly what is the most sad is the willful ignorance of the people that keep saying "what is so racist about that?". How about do a little self reflection? Maybe do some research? As a white person it is shameful how fragile all of these white guy egos are. For some reason they see lifting up minorities so they are not treated like animals by law enforcement will somehow drag their value down. I work with local law enforcement for my occupation. These commenters love to spout these bogus statistics to somehow justify racism. "Look how dangerous these people are."
    So here is a real statistic... 98% of the people in our sex offender registry are white males. So do I get to then say that all white males are pedophiles?
  • Andrew, real0395, David, and Icthiodrak, I just posted about my own abuse due to being different in response to Sean above, so I won't rehash it here (but please take a look at that before deciding you know me and labeling me). But I did want to respond in the hope of lowering the temperature a bit. It is not "willfull ignorance" to believe that it is good to be color blind. I suspect all of you are good and decent people and probably have friends of multiple races. That's true for most of us. For the sake of soothing racial tensions, I urge you to recognize that it is not racist to want to ignore race. Some would fairly point out that's actually the opposite of the very definition of racism. You may disagree with ignoring race, and I respect your position that racial problems need to be corrected, but at the very least, allow for rational discussion without throwing insults at people who may believe there are other solutions that are less divisive. I'm not suggesting any of you support these, but as a couple of examples, racial quotas in hiring or college admissions and reparations for slavery create racial animosity by institutionalizing a racial component into law. Perhaps those policies would do more to help correct past sins than harm from their racial divisiveness. I don't believe they can, but that's just my opinion. Ultimately, that's a judgement call than can't be determined without the benefit of hindsight from history decades later. That means that all we can say for sure today is that you may be right or the people saying those programs are bad may be right -- perfect for a fair discussion without anger or name-calling. Because we tend to focus on the areas of disagreement (it's more fun to debate than to agree), we miss the most important point that should allow us to discuss these issues as friends: there's almost always more we have in common, than the few areas where we may disagree.
  • Being color blind is the end goal. Once people are treated equitably then yes we should stop seeing color. To do so now would be to pretend that all things are equal. They most certainly are not. I work with law enforcement daily. There are many instances where you see little things. For example when weighing the drugs found on a suspect and you hear them say, "let's just round that up", so that they can get a higher drug charge. I also hear them talk about how they would shoot someone if they climbed the fence to the impound lot. The death penalty is a bit extreme to protect a bunch of junk cars. They like to say it like they are joking but their actions don't say that it is a joke. The decent cops say nothing for fear of being ridiculed and harassed by their fellow officers. The problem is systemic and there is no easy fix for it. Hundreds of years of racism doesn't just disappear due to wishful thinking. I know what racism looks like because I have far too many relatives that are racist as all hell. They claim they are not because they don't see it. That is the way that they were raised. After decades of trying to discuss it with them I just gave up and stopped associating with them. They don't want to hear it. Those were the "good old days" and they would really love to get back to that time. They could say and do what they want and no one would say a word. That is what they mean by "Make America Great Again". YOU may not care what color someone is but I can guarantee you that there many others that do. I grew up in New Hampshire (one of the whitest states in the country). Your experiences sound very similar to mine. Once I moved away to more diverse areas of the country it became far more apparent.
  • Icthiodrak, I would agree that law enforcement has added problems when it's mishandled. Similarly to the importance to all of us of "Innocent until PROVEN guilty," law enforcement must use minimal force required and should not pre-judge someone as more likely to have committed a crime purely based on color or any other features associated with circumstances of birth. At the same time, the police do need to be allowed to trust their instincts (though I would agree if there is a racial bias there, improved training is important) and still protect their own lives and safety, which are under more threat than most of the rest of us. While you are right that I live in NH now (and was born here too), I have lived all over. I lived in a high-crime area in CA for a while, where nearly all (but not 100%) of theft and violent crimes were committed by people of one race (not black) and I confess that I did find myself assuming when I heard about a crime, that it was a member of that race. This is prejudice, and it was wrong for me to think that way, but it would be more serious if the police did and used that to arrest or hassle someone without evidence or at least some objective behavioral indicator. Regardless of all of this though, I don't believe that the solution can ever be to formalize a racial bias in favor of any race, just to offset problems of the past or even of the present. Don't seek to swing the pendulum. Policies that promote one race over another in addition to being racist by definition, also CAUSE RACISM on all sides, resentment, and questions of self worth (did I get/not get the job because of my qualifications or because of my skin color?). You can't fix racism by implementing a different set of racist policies. If racial bias is wrong (and I think we all agree that it is), it's wrong in any direction. If we can agree that the goal is color blindness at least in legal policies (I have no objection to an African American art museum that only displays art from African American artists or a Celtic art museum that would presumably only have art from Irish white artists), then let's encourage everyone to work toward that directly, without a detour through anti-white (or anti-Asian, which is popular now at universities) racism. It may feel good to members of one race or religion to beat down members of another (e.g., the Jews in Germany during WWII had it much, much worse as a group than anyone has in the US since slavery ended, and that was motivated initially by a perspective that the Jews had wealth that wasn't fairly theirs, which is similar to how many are now talking about whites in the US: first they were prohibited from speaking out, then their freedom was constrained, then they couldn't own property, and then finally they were rounded up by the government and systematically tortured, experimented upon, and killed or worked to death in labor camps) and the best way to protect all of us against that is to promote universal fairness and equality of opportunity, treatment, and ability to pursue happiness. Humans will make mistakes, so we'll probably never achieve perfection, but if the rules are fair and neutral and we all work toward neutrality, that's the best we can do.
  • @GraniteStateColin I'm sorry sir but "color blindness" is absolutely NOT an effective tool in combating systemic institutionalized racism. People like me don't have the luxury of being "color blind" as America makes it painfully and bluntly obvious on a daily basis. If our tax dollars are not being contributed to our own state sanctioned murders, then we're having the police called on us for normal regular activities like mmmmm I dunno say bird watching, selling water, sitting at a starbucks, or just having a cookout in the park to name a few. There should be NO debate that racism is abhorrent and there should be NO debate that chattel slavery is America's original sin and the effects from it are still persistent. My father is 75 years old, born and raised under Jim Crow Law which only ended 55 years ago. He had to give me "the talk" at the tender age of 14-15 to at least attempt to ensure that I made it home alive every single time I left the house. Well I'll be 44 next month so for now those lessons have helped me. I've stared down the barrel of a cops gun, in my grandmother's house, with my mother there (I have/had no priors) and I'm still here today because I was able to maintain a cool head and calm demeanor. I now have a family of my own and you have no idea the gut wrenching dread that comes over myself and my wife about our children's future. We have shed real tears recently and we have no personal attachments to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or Amad Aubrey. We're just so very very VERY tired of seeing events like these over and over again with no accountability. This is not fun for me or anyone who looks like me You want to "debate" because you don't have the capacity empathize, and really why or how could you. It wasn't just the protests led by King which in turn lead to the civil rights and voting rights acts. No sir it was also America having to look itself dead in the face, and confront the fact of just how UGLY it truly was, with police dogs, high pressure fire hoses, police batons and gun butts being unleashed on them while simultaneously being broadcast on network television. Modern day smart phones may just be the catalyst today, that TV was at that time. We shall see.
  • FLUDzilla, no one person or race has a monopoly on pain and hardship, or on the freedom to forge a better life. My relatives were burned alive for nothing other than the religion of their parents (not a choice they could make any more than one could choose to be black or white) and I've been beaten and have permanent scars for the same reason. In unrelated incidents, I've been beaten and left for dead by bad cops. I have seen firsthand cops let an African American already in custody die and then charge a white guy arrested at the same time with his murder (which was an absolute lie -- it was purely the cops' fault and they were just trying to point the blame elsewhere). I completely agree that there are horrible police out there (there are also a lot of really good police who go to work every day to try to reduce crime in African American areas and help kids have a save life -- you can't generalize or blame society for the bad actions of despicable individuals any more than society should blame all blacks for the crimes of a few). I would stand shoulder to shoulder with you to defend your life against anyone attacking you or any other American. However, one person's or race's hardships do NOT EVER JUSTIFY LAWS THAT DISCRIMINATE against another race. Color blindness may well be difficult for many, but it absolutely should be the goal, because it's the ONLY way to solve the problem without making life worse for everyone and without committing the very crimes you (and I with you) rightly hold against others.
  • I see you dismissed history history all together. You bypassed chattel slavery and Jim Crow Law. When's the last time white people had to organize and protest for equal treatment under the law? The Women's suffrage movement did not include Black women. Voting rights for Black men and women did not become federally protected until 1965 and to this day since it's not a constitutional amendment, the act has to be renewed. Any history of a white town or neighborhood getting completely obliterated off the map due to racism? And the police allowing it to happen and/or partaking? Have white people had a Black Wall Street Tulsa, OK or Rosewood, FL event? How about Seneca Village? How does advocating for equal treatment under the law PUT YOU AND THOSE WHO LOOK LIKE YOU SUDDENLY AT A DISADVANTAGE??
  • FLUDzilla, I support equal protection under the law. That is exactly color blindness. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear from my posts. I am not ignoring history. On the contrary, history heavily counsels my opinion. Slavery is indeed just about the most horrible condition in which people can be placed. Jim Crow laws, as non-color blind laws, were absolutely wrong. I'm with you on all of that. History also includes lots of other information we should consider. For example, most people, whites included, are also descended from slaves in other countries. Even today, people in communist countries are almost slaves (not quite as bad, but their thoughts, words, properties, and labor are commanded by their governments, and if they speak out against their governments, they are tortured or executed, so very similar to slavery). European serfs were, for all intents and purposes, slaves of the nobility whose land they worked. As cities formed in medieval Europe, people escaped their slavery and fled to the cities for work as free men. Before the collapse of the Roman Empire, slavery was common there too, and generally not race-based. The Egyptian empire used Jews as slave labor. At the time of the slave trade in North and South America and for centuries before, a significant portion of the population of Africa were slaves to African slave owners before being sold to European and American slave traders. None of that in any way excuses what happened in the 15 states that allowed slavery or the 7 seven southern states that seceded from the country in large part to preserve slavery. I agree with you that was a crime against humanity. But in referencing that as a reason for non-color blind rules that punish other races, please put that in the larger historical context and also keep in mind that the other states, 20 free states plus 5 former slave states that abolished slavery before the Civil War, fought that war in large part to end slavery. They gave their lives to put an end to slavery. Most of those fighting and dying in that were white, but there were many free blacks and former slaves who also participated and gave their lives in that war too. There are other horrible events in our history in addition to slavery -- Japanese internment camps, breaking deals with the Native American tribes, and some of the nation-building we have done propping up murderous dictators (though the US thankfully has done much less of that that many other countries). We should all learn lessons from our history and be better people and a better country based on those lessons. Quashing history, as many seek to do, only reduces our ability to learn from our mistakes and accomplishments and how various decisions shaped the human experience. History is just data that should counsel us. None of us are responsible for the actions of our parents or grandparents, nor can we take credit for their accomplishments (but being proud and inspired by the accomplishments of your family or race or religion can be very good and helpful).
  • Every time you argue back you are dismissing his history. Even more offensive is your attempt to equate your pain with the 400 years of comprehensive enslavement, violence, dehumanization and murder represented in his family. You literally are not comparable in the slightest. You do not need to have anxiety when you go out. Your worst fear from getting pulled over is a fine, his is getting shot or beaten. Your statements are a lot of words in an attempt to prove you understand so you can then minimize. You do not. And no, whatever happened to your family, unless by chance you are a Native American, is remotely comparable.
  • David Fleetwood, I agree with parts of what you wrote and disagree with others. I do agree that I do not now worry when I go out. I also would stand with anyone to stop oppression or racial preferences (for any race). My concern is the massive ignorance on the part of so many who believe that any good can come from swinging the pendulum in the other direction, because blacks have suffered (a crime we all agree was real and horrible), to now legislate racism or racist business policies against other races. This neglects history and repeats the same racist problems we all agree are wrong when blacks are oppressed. These policies CREATE RACISM in the form of anger or loss of self-worth ("did I get the job because of my skin color or because I'm good?"), by favoring one race over others, by treating one race differently. All races lose by policies that foster a racial component to anything. People should be treated as individuals. Race must be irrelevant in the law and in business policies. When cops prejudge based on race, I absolutely agree that is wrong. It doesn't matter what that race is -- whether it's assuming guilt because the person is black, assuming innocence because the person is white, or vice versa it's all equally wrong. You may have led a sheltered and privileged life, which is fine and good for you (good parents will do what they can to provide their kids a good life), or maybe you didn't. By your comment, it sounds like you have, but regardless, I am confident that I have been beaten more and had personal friends suffer at the hands of police far more than the average person, including most (not all) African Americans. I have been soaked in my own blood at the hands of police (but not the US police). I have a big scar on my head from that incident. I had a friend that I would describe as murdered (certainly beaten to death) by the Los Angeles police. I have been in a group that was rounded up by cops in New Orleans where a black in our group died in custody due to the cops being careless (it was an accident) and the cops charged a white guy from the same group with murdering him to avoid admitting they were careless (no racism in that particular incident -- just horribly corrupt policing there). I state these facts only to seek everyone (you included) to recognize that NO ONE has a monopoly on pain, and certainly no group's experiences matter to the life of an individual. Further, in your reference to "400 years" as if that matters, Jews, just to pick one other group (not suggesting there should be any special legislation or business policies for that group either), have been enslaved and abused for 5 thousand years, including worse suffering recently during the Holocaust than anything that has ever happened to anyone in the US. I was regularly pushed, punched, kicked, and even stabbed (just in the hand, so nothing life threatening) as a kid in elementary school for being Jewish. Again, I'm NOT claiming that my life is difficult today, as an adult. I know that I have it pretty good now. What I am claiming is that the solution to these problems is for us to all recognize that the ignorance leading to thinking people are different because of skin color or religion is the problem and it's not limited to any one race or group. Skin color (along with gender, sexual orientation, and religion) should not factor into how anyone is treated. , My life story is evidence that we should all be able to relate to that problem and provide reason to work together as one people to stop the ignorance. Where the goal is complete equality of opportunity for people of all races, I'm in absolute agreement and support. If the goal is to punish or grant special benefits to one race over others, I oppose that as racist and as policies that create racism even among people who might otherwise have been fair minded.
  • I grew up dirt poor walking to the food bank with my mom each week to help with my three younger siblings. Despite that upbringing I cannot possibly understand or comprehend what it would be like to be black in this country. My upbringing made me both aware of poverty and aware of how much worse it was for some. Write as many paragraphs as you want. You still don't get it. And you don't want to or you'd just listen to the kind soul who took the time to give you an education for free.
  • The third point in the "Things you need to know" section doesn't match up with the comment from LinkedIn in the article itself.
  • It’s a typo. Should say “not”.
  • I didn't find anything offensive with those comment, although they should have backed up with sources.
    Funny how the BLM people aren't there when it's b on b gang violence.
    It's a hyper sensitive world, where everything and everyone is racist.
  • The racist comments were initially reported by The Daily Beast and later confirmed by The Verge. One employee wrote, "Blacks kill blacks at 50 times the rate that whites kill blacks." Another states, "Usually it is the result of gang violence in the inner city. Where is the outcry?" Another comment reads, "As a non-minority, all this talk makes me feel like I am supposed to feel guilty of my skin color. I feel like I should let someone less qualified fill my position. Is that ok? It appears that I am a prisoner of my birth. This is not what Martin Luther King Jr would have wanted for anyone." What exactly is racist there?
  • I see statistics (without sources. They need sources to make sure they're accurate). Not racism really, at least not intended racism. Does that make me a racist? I better call my mother and tell her she raised a bad person.
  • It's a town hall. They were fair questions.
  • They were fair questions and even expressions of concern -- exactly what any decent leader should be able to calmly and soothingly answer. Calling them "appalling" will only exacerbate the issue. Having said that, to be fair to others, while not racist, they are insensitive given the timing. I suspect they would not have posted those if they had not been anonymous. But clearly, if it's OK to say, "I feel oppressed or undervalued because of my race," then it can be said by someone of any race. Feelings are feelings. They are neither right nor wrong. It's the actions we take that can be right or wrong.
  • You can't imagine how strange this story is in the eyes of a man from Eastern Europe. Even more so. The question is: "Is everyone going crazy in the US?"