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‘Facebook Has a Black People Problem,’ Former Employee Wrote in Internal Memo

November 27, 2018, 10:58 PM UTC

Shortly before leaving his job at Facebook, Mark Luckie circulated a memo to all 33,606 of his co-workers, based in the U.S. and abroad, that didn’t mince words.

“Facebook has a black people problem,” Luckie, who worked as a Strategic Partner Manager for Global Influencers focused on Underrepresented Voices before quitting, wrote as the first sentence of his 2,500 memo that he decided to post publicly Tuesday— published to Facebook, of course—three weeks after it was originally sent.

Luckie outlined he believes Facebook has failed both its black users (by allegedly removing content and suspending accounts) and its black employees (whom he claims have been labeled “hostile” or “aggressive” for expressing opinions).

“Too many black employees can recount stories of being aggressively accosted by campus security beyond what was necessary,” he writes about how they have allegedly been treated while on the Facebook campus. “On a personal note, at least two or three times a day, every day, a colleague at MPK [the company’s Menlo Park headquarters] will look directly at me and tap or hold their wallet or shove their hands down their pocket to clutch it tightly until I pass.”

Luckie also tweeted screenshots of messages from former coworkers that said his memo both “has me worked up for a bunch of reasons” as well as “landed on me as pretty self-serving and disingenuous.”

Facebook has not responded to Fortune‘s request for comment.

“The growth in representation of people from more diverse groups, working in many different functions across the company, is a key driver of our ability to succeed,” Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison told CNBC in a statement. “We want to fully support all employees when there are issues reported and when there may be micro-behaviors that add up. We are going to keep doing all we can to be a truly inclusive company.”

In response to Facebook’s comment, Luckie pointed out on Twitter, however, that “the tone is noticeably different from the only response I received from senior leadership after sharing the post internally.”

According to Facebook’s 2018 diversity report, black employees make up only 4% of the company’s total workforce, accounting for 1% of technical jobs and 2% of senior leadership. “This does not represent America,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), reprimanding Mark Zuckerberg when the Facebook CEO testified to Congress about the company’s data policy failings. Butterfield went on to ask Zuckerberg to publish the company’s retention numbers disaggregated by race this year.

The congressional complaint echoes what Luckie wrote. “In some buildings, there are more ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters than there are actual black people,” he wrote in his memo. “Facebook can’t claim that it is connecting communities if those communities aren’t represented proportionately in its staffing.”