Elon Musk mocks “stay woke” initiative sparked by Ferguson protests

The new Twitter boss shared a T-shirt mock-up that read "#stay@work” instead

Elon Musk has mocked T-shirts at Twitter’s headquarters branded with the #StayWoke slogan that emerged after the Ferguson protests in 2014 and 2015.

“Found in a closet at Twitter HQ fr,” the new Twitter owner captioned a video of the T-shirts earlier this week, with two crying laughing emojis.

The shirts were reportedly made by Black Twitter employees following the Ferguson protests in Missouri, which began after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer.


The phrase #StayWoke became popularised by the Black Lives Matter movement to encourage awareness around injustices particularly relating to police brutality.

In a now-deleted tweet (via Bloomberg) the tech mogul also appeared to make a direct reference to Brown’s shooting, writing: “‘Hands up don’t shoot’ was made up. The whole thing was a fiction.” He also linked to the Department Of Justice’s report regarding the criminal investigation into Brown’s shooting.

He later reposted the same link without a caption.

Musk’s comments appear to be in response to reports that two men said they saw Brown, who was 18-years-old at the time, raise his hands before being shot by an officer, according to Associated Press.

The Department of Justice report citied varying accounts, however another report released in 2015 found “evidence of racial bias” in the Ferguson police and courts staff.


The officer, Darren Wilson, said he shot Brown in self defence, and in 2020 it was reported that he would face no charges.

Yesterday, Musk shared a digital photo of a T-shirt with the phrase “#stay@work” printed on it which appeared to both mock the original shirts, and reference his recent ultimatum that led to mass resignations.

Elsewhere, the stock price of Tesla has plummeted by 50 per cent since Elon Musk‘s controversial bid to buy Twitter was revealed.