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Billionaire Jeff Bezos makes a stand against racism, donates S$14 million

The Amazon founder says he is ‘happy to lose’ customers over his support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos makes a stand against racism, donates S$14 million

FILE PHOTO: Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos speaks during an event about Blue Origin's space exploration plans in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Amid protests in the US over the death of George Floyd, billionaire and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is speaking out against racism, taking to social media to express his thoughts.

Bezos posted a screen shot on Instagram of an email sent to him by a self-proclaimed customer of Amazon, named Dave, expressing his anger over a Black Lives Matter banner put up on the company’s website.

Bezos referred to the email as “sickening but not surprising”. “This sort of hate shouldn’t be allowed to hide in the shadows. It’s important to make it visible. This is just one example of the problem. And, Dave, you’re the kind of customer I’m happy to lose,” he wrote.

The post comes after Bezos shared another email exchange with an angry customer. In that exchange, Bezos clarified his position on racial justice. "I have a 20-year-old son, and I simply don't worry that he might be choked to death while being detained one day. It's not something I worry about. Black parents can't say the same," he said, adding, "my stance won't change". 

Amazon has also pledged US$10 million (S$13.9 million) to organisations supporting justice and equity. “We stand in solidarity with our black employees, customers, and partners, and are committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity and free from fear,” the company said in a statement.

The funds will go to groups focused on combating systemic racism through the legal system as well as those dedicated to expanding educational and economic opportunities for black communities. In addition, Amazon is matching employee donations by 100 per cent, up to US$10,000 per employee until July 6.

Bezos has joined many other big tech executives vocalising their thoughts on racism and police brutality. Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey have also announced their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

READ> Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg donate millions to fight racism

Source: CNA/st(ds)