If you have an Uber account, this showed up in your e-mail inbox last night…
Let me start by saying I wish I never had to send this email.
I wish that the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others weren’t so violently cut short. I wish that institutional racism, and the police violence it gives rise to, didn’t cause their deaths. I wish that all members of our Black community felt safe enough to move around their cities without fear. I wish that I didn’t have to try to find the words to explain all of this to my two young sons.
But I’ve been given hope this week by hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors demanding change. I am committed to being part of that change.
As a company, we believe that everyone has the right to move freely, no matter where they live or the color of their skin. We’re proud of how Uber has helped improve transportation equity over the last decade. But the reality remains that Black Americans often don’t feel safe to move freely in many places around our country. And they still face enormous barriers that others do not.
This is a reality we should not perpetuate or accept. We must do better.
We know there is no easy solution to the problems we have faced for centuries. We also know that we need to devote our time, energy and resources toward making a difference. That’s why we’re making a number of commitments that we will uphold not just this week, but for years to come:
- We are committed to driving lasting change through criminal justice reform. On Sunday, we announced a $1 million donation to the Equal Justice Initiative and Center for Policing Equity to support their important work in making racial justice in America more than just a promise.
- We are committed to creating a community that treats everyone equally and with dignity. We do not tolerate discrimination, harrassment or racism on our platform, as outlined in our Community Guidelines. We will hold everyone who uses Uber accountable to these standards of basic respect and human decency. I respectfully ask anyone not willing to abide by these rules to delete Uber.
- We are committed to supporting the Black community. As a starting point, we will use Uber Eats to promote Black-owned restaurants while making it easier for you to support them, with no delivery fees for the remainder of the year. And in the coming weeks, we will offer discounted rides to Black-owned small businesses, who have been hit hard by COVID-19, to help in their recovery.
- We are committed to making Uber a diverse and inclusive place for people of color to work and thrive. While we have more work to do, we have tied our senior executives’ pay to measurable progress on our diversity goals, and will continue to publish data on our workforce so the public can hold us accountable. We’re also committed to expanding opportunities for drivers and delivery people, including through education opportunities and skills training.
We know this isn’t enough. It won’t be enough until we see true racial justice. But we plan to work day in and day out to improve, learn, and grow as a company.
Lastly, let me speak clearly and unequivocally: Black Lives Matter.
Uber isn’t the only company going overboard with the leftist pandering right now, but since so many Uber drivers are “people of color” perhaps this foray into the realm of the strange – are they really going to price services differently according to race? – is an effort to promote peace among their contractors.
Either way, it’s a pretty amazing statement, and one we would imagine the market will respond to, for good or ill. This morning Uber’s stock price shot up more than two dollars on news of the Uber Eats free delivery from black-owned restaurants initiative, but it’s coming back down pretty rapidly.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this new corporate wokeness thing, which is everywhere all of a sudden, plays out. The rule has been “get woke, go broke” for a while, but that for some reason hasn’t stopped the corporate world from continuing to do it.
We’re not telling anybody not to use Uber. But we imagine there will be lots of folks who make that call on their own in the next few days.