Elon Musk mocks shirts made to support Black Lives Matter and worn by Jack Dorsey
Elon Musk made a video mocking a pile of #staywoke t-shirts found at Twitter headquarters. Musk tweeted early morning, “Found in the closet at Twitter HQ fr,” along with the crying-while-laughing emoji. The shirts were created to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and were promoted by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey, who spoke in support of the BLM movement at a Recode event in 2016.
Dorsey stated that he took two weeks off in 2014 to work with the civil rights organization, creating a Twitter hashtag to promote the movement in the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown, a Black teen, by police in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was unarmed at the time, and the shooting sparked outrage over police shootings of African-Americans. The hashtag represents “being aware, staying aware [of] what you’re seeing on the TV screen [in Ferguson] versus what’s happening on the ground,” Dorsey said at the Recode event, where organizers, according to Recode, handed out the t-shirts.
Bloomberg reported that the billionaire appeared to reference the police shooting in a now-deleted tweet “‘Hands up, don’t shoot is a made-up phrase. Everything was a fabrication “and linked to a 2015 report on Brown’s death from the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Musk later reposted the DOJ link with no explanation. Musk and a Twitter spokesperson did not respond to an inquiry from Insider prior to publication. The Associated Press reported in the days following the shooting that two men said they saw 18-year-old Brown raise his hands before being shot by an officer, but the DOJ’s report into his death cites conflicting accounts. Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, claimed he was acting in self-defense. Wilson was reported to face no criminal charges as a result of the incident in 2020.
Another report released by the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division in 2015 found that the Ferguson Police Department routinely targeted Black people for “minor violations” such as traffic tickets or parking infractions.