Unpaid Labor Thanks MJ for his Contribution

(Photo Credit:  www.zimbio.com )

(Photo Credit: www.zimbio.com)

Many are speaking out on the issue of police shootings of black men in America. Many are speaking out on the issue of police being shot by criminals masquerading as protesters. Michael Jordan is speaking out on both. He’s putting his money where his mouth is.  The Undefeated reports that he’s giving $1,000,000 to each of two organizations. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund will use the money to work on the issue of police shooting black men. The International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations would use the money to work on the issue of police being shot. Both will deal with symptoms of a much larger problem because that’s what these shootings are. Even so our thanks goes out to Michael.

Many others are speaking out or having words placed into their mouths about these issues. The messages come in favor of and against. They come from all sides and from all parties. The issues are varied and deep. The agendas are too many to count. The messengers are many and varied. They include Olympians Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, and Carmelo Anthony. They include Colin Kaepernick. They include Sheriff David Clarke.

Unpaid Labor would not pretend to understand all of the motivations for speaking out from the political left and the political right. But what is clear is that there is a huge problem bubbling beneath the surface. It’s a problem that insists on being seen and heard. It’s a problem that has been hundreds of years in the making. The problem is that America has never come to grips with slavery and its aftermath. As a nation we decided to enslave people for profit. As a nation we decided to keep enslaving people for profit when we had the opportunity to end it hundreds of years ago. When the nation decided to keep enslaving people for hundreds of years we created the racial problems that exist in our country today.

No one can deny that we have made great progress in addressing many of the symptoms of the problems created by racial slavery and its aftermath. It was a long time coming but black people today have legal rights we could not have dreamed of having just a generation ago. But danger lurks ahead. Unless we acknowledge the fact that the decision to continue enslaving people for hundreds of years is at the core of the problem between black people and white people today we will continue to deal with the problem’s symptoms. Our thank you to Michael will still be genuine, but we will have wasted his money.

Click here to contribute to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  Click here to contribute to the Institute for Community-Police Relations