Racism is unacceptable.
The team at PhotoShelter has a set of foundational values – among them are “we operate with heart” and “our integrity drives everything.” It is with these values as our guide that we are compelled to comment on the state of social unrest in America today.
We are appalled and saddened by the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other lives cut short by systemic racism and an uneven application of justice. We have deep sympathy for members of our team, our broader community and beyond, who are grieving right now, and we join them in grieving for these avoidable losses and for a broken country where inequality is a rampant problem. These incidents are symbols, each unique but related, of a system that needs to change. As a company, we are committed to both listening and helping to facilitate an important dialogue to help promote equality and racial justice to all communities.
As the streets of America’s cities now see on-going violence between protesters and police, we want to also call attention to the brave journalists who are standing in harm’s way to capture the heart of conflict and unrest. Many of these photojournalists are PhotoShelter members. In the past several days we have seen journalists wrongfully arrested, shot with rubber bullets and pepper spray, and clubbed by authorities. This too is completely unacceptable, and cannot continue. Freedom of the press is a foundational value of the United States’ democracy, enshrined in the First Amendment along with the right to assemble peaceably. The press provides a bulwark against government tyranny, and the media must be allowed to tell the story with integrity and access.
As Martin Luther King said, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” We will not be silent, and hope we can help our community find healing and progress.
— Andrew Fingerman (CEO)
— Allen Murabayashi (Chairman, Co-Founder)