Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, shared his thinking on social injustice and current events in what is more essay than email.
This is what happens when a CEO says the hell with the corporate filters and legal reviews, I’m going to say what’s on my mind.
The writing flows like that of a seasoned novelist, but that’s not where the power comes from. The source of the power lies in Evan’s courage to open up and share his honest views.
These passages in particular resonated with me.
“It is no secret that our country has put businesses first. We at Snap have been tremendous beneficiaries of these policies, but I believe now it is time to put the American people first. I believe the first and most important step is to reaffirm our commitment to our founding values as a nation: freedom, equality, justice, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We must work together to create a shared vision for future success and define what we want America to look like for our children’s children. This must be a process that involves all Americans and is ‘by the people, for the people.’ If we can define the nation we wish to become, we can begin to take action and apply our values to the vital decisions that must be made in order to make our shared vision a reality.”
“We should establish a diverse, non-partisan Commission on Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations. We must begin a process to ensure that America’s black community is heard throughout the country, investigate the criminal justice system for bias and prejudice, strengthen the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and take action on recommendations for reconciliation and reparations made by the Commission. There is plenty to learn from those who have had the courage to undertake a similar process following atrocities around the world, and we should create a process that reflects American values and helps our nation to make the necessary change and heal.”
“Investing in the future of our country to benefit our children’s children will be expensive. We will need to institute a more progressive income tax system and a substantially higher estate tax, and we will need corporations to pay a higher tax rate. While we are investing in the future, we will also have to reduce the federal deficit so that we are better prepared to meet any external shocks that may come in the future in our rapidly changing world. In short, people like me will pay a lot more in taxes – and I believe it will be worth it to create a society that benefits all of us.”
“Many of these changes could be bad for business in the short term, but because they represent long term investments in the people of our nation, I believe that we will collectively reap tremendous long-term benefits.”
“Why hasn’t this change happened yet? I’d argue it’s simply because the Boomer supermajority across all branches of our government has demonstrated little interest in creating a better future for their children. For decades our government has committed to a strategy of debt-financed tax cuts and entitlement spending to enrich their most important constituents: the Boomers. Indeed, Boomers hold nearly 60% of all household wealth in America. To put it in context, billionaires hold about 3%. With Social Security, for example, we finance a program that pays out benefits across the wealthiest generation in American history without any form of means-testing.”
The essay goes on to explain that Snap will stop promoting Trump’s account in its Discover section. This is a big deal as Snap serves one of the most influential gateways to young voters.
Where does this take us?
I'm not sure, but it feels like one of the pieces that could be a starting point for social justice.