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Last Updated : May 31, 2020 03:16 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Citigroup CFO Mark Mason joins efforts to seek justice to George Floyd; here's the full text from his blog

The death of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis who died after being pinned by the neck under a white police officer's knee, has sparked riots across major the United States.


The latest voice to join the protest against those who silenced George Floyd is Citi's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mark Mason.

In a blog post titled "I can't breathe", Mason, a person of colour himself, recounted the systemic racism Black Americans have faced.

"Even though I'm the CFO of a global bank, the killings of George Floyd in Minnesota, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky are reminders of the dangers Black Americans like me face in living our daily lives. Despite the progress the United States has made, Black Americans are too often denied basic privileges that others take for granted," Mason wrote.

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He also announced donations to three organisations fighting "injustice and inequality" - NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Advancement Project, and Color of Change.

The death of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis who died after being pinned by the neck under a white police officer's knee, has sparked riots across major metropolis such as Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and Denver among others.

Tens of thousands of people were in the streets across the country, many of them not wearing masks or observing social distancing, raising concerns among health experts about the potential for spreading the novel coronavirus at a time when much of the country is in the process of reopening society and the economy.
Here is the full text from Mason's blog:

I can't breathe.I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

I can't breathe.

Those words were George Floyd's last. In a video recorded by a bystander, he can be heard saying them, pleading for his life, 10 times. Maybe more. While a police officer kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. While three other officers stood by and WATCHED.

Like many of you, I have watched that video of his death with a combination of horror, disgust and anger. And over subsequent nights, I have watched that anger spill out onto the streets of Minneapolis and many other American cities with devastating consequences. I have debated whether I should speak out. But after some emotional conversations with my family earlier this week, I realized I had to.

In fact, we all need to.

Even though I'm the CFO of a global bank, the killings of George Floyd in Minnesota, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky are reminders of the dangers Black Americans like me face in living our daily lives. Despite the progress the United States has made, Black Americans are too often denied basic privileges that others take for granted. I am not talking about the privileges of wealth, education or job opportunities. I'm talking about fundamental human and civil rights and the dignity and respect that comes with them. I'm talking about something as mundane as going for a jog.

Racism continues to be at the root of so much pain and ugliness in our society – from the streets of Minneapolis to the disparities inflicted by COVID-19. As long as that's true, America's twin ideals of freedom and equality will remain out of reach.

I'm proud to work at Citi, an organization that cherishes diversity and inclusion and is willing to stand up for those values when they are threatened, whether it's working to close the gender pay gap in our industry or calling out the violence of white supremacists in Charlottesville.

These systemic problems will not go away until we confront them head on. So we must continue to speak up and speak out whenever we witness hatred, racism or injustice. I know I will – and I hope you will too.

In addition to speaking out and in an effort to aid in the fight to address these issues, my wife and I have decided to make donations to three organizations fighting injustice and inequality -- NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Advancement Project, and Color of Change.

I hope you will join us. 

First Published on May 31, 2020 03:16 pm
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