SpaceX successfully launched U.S. astronauts into orbit and to the International Space Station for the first time on May 30,media reported. The company’s landmark launch comes as protests against racism and police brutality are being protested across the United States. Video has emerged showing Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, putting his knee around the neck of George Floyd, a black man, for nearly nine minutes. Floyd eventually died, and Officer Shavin was charged with murder.
Photo by WiKiMedia
On Wednesday, SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell congratulated employees on the company’s successful manned launch, in which she also spoke about the tragedy of racism and police brutality.
“When we talk about realizing a better vision for the future, we must also acknowledge the reality that the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmed Abery, Breonna Taylor and many others highlight the plight of communities of color,” she wrote in an email. “I want to make sure that SpaceX is able to face this dilemma and tolerate racial prejudice and discrimination. This week, I’ll meet with our African-American employees and have an in-depth conversation about the (prejudice and discrimination) experiences they experience at work, and discuss what can be done to improve. “
Her internal memo was released after a brief statement Monday by Elon Musk, SpaceX’s chief executive and founder. Musk’s statement said: “Your incredible work is now part of history! Words can’t express my pride in what you’ve achieved. “
Musk also briefly commented on Floyd’s killing on his Twitter account, which has about 35 million followers, calling for the arrest of police officers who stood by. “The other police officers on the side were found not guilty – that’s absolutely not right,” he said. What message does this send to police officers who are standing idly by in the face of law enforcement mistakes? “The officers were also charged late OnWednesday with aiding and abetting murder. But on June 1, Musk announced that he was leaving Twitter temporarily.
By contrast, Gwyneth Shortwell didn’t say anything on Twitter because she didn’t have an account on Twitter. She made her own internal account sedatives about police brutality and racism in the United States.