A rage is being unleashed across America. Long held resentments and anger over centuries of injustice and systemic racism are breaking out. Communities that were already disproportionally devastated by COVID-19 are now upended further by another example of police brutality against an unarmed Black man. George Floyd’s name has been added to a terrible list that shouldn’t exist, and yet it does.
We at Redbubble stand with those who have long been marginalized and oppressed. If a better and more just society is to emerge out of this rage and anguish, then the underlying causes that led America here must be addressed. A critical first step is the acknowledgement of the profound injustice and institutionalized racism that is still destroying communities to this day. Another step is to listen to the people who have gone unheard, and support them in creating real change. We are listening to you. We see you. We are with you. We will act with you.
As these events unfold, thousands of artworks reflecting on them have been uploaded to the Redbubble marketplace. Art, commenting on the reality of life, helps us crystalize our deepest values and feelings and to find a path forward. Art has the power to educate and inspire; it spreads awareness, magnifies voices, illuminates injustice. Redbubble has always been committed to and defended the right of marginalized communities to make strong political statements, and we are unwavering in that.
We are also unwavering in our belief that symbols of racism, no matter how cleverly manipulated, have no place on the site. We don’t always get it right in our effort to balance freedom of expression with our commitment to maintaining an inclusive marketplace, but we aim to learn from our mistakes. Content that is designed to push the boundaries is being uploaded, rapidly testing our position on these and related issues, but we are working to ensure that Redbubble plays a positive role in the conversation.
Redbubble is committed to answering the calls for justice, in America and globally, in ways that will make a real difference. This needs to be more than reactive, and needs to involve our roles as an employer, an art community, and as a company with a worldwide presence. To that end, we are currently exploring what that looks like for us, and identifying organisations to partner with as we work to help create meaningful, lasting change. I look forward to sharing more about this in the future.
For your part, the artists on Redbubble, we welcome your creative contributions as you continue to shine a light into the darkness. A better America must emerge from these times, and the art you create is part of the solution and the healing.
Martin Hosking, Redbubble Co-founder and CEO