Legendary athlete Michael Jordan made a statement about the racial violence and tension with there law enforcement community.
“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement. And angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.”
He went on,
“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers—who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all—are respected and supported.”
Jordan went on to talk about and praise law enforcement and how they have helped and protected him and his family in the past. But, he also acknowledged the fact that many African Americans do not feel the same way and have had a tremendously different experience with police that is not necessarily positive. The most touching part of his statements was when he called for change and for everybody to work together to attain that outcome.
The star finished by saying,
“To support that efforts, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.”
People on Twitter and social media were quick to call him an Uncle Tom saying that his money was not needed and won’t make a difference. What he did though is highly profound. Not only did he acknowledge that yes, there is a problem in which African Americans are disproportionately discriminated against by police, he also acknowledged that most police officers are good people and deserve to be safe, healthy, and respected. He is able to come at it from both angles. And he put his money where his mouth is by donating a significant portion of money.
A man of talk and action. Which is what is missing. Everyone talks but no one takes action. He did just that. Unlike another person who shall remain unnamed.. cough cough (Colin Kaepernick).
He is able to see both sides and as an African American man who says that he will likley have a far greater impact than if a white man said it. It’s the voices of our friends we listen to most. Whether we want to admit it or not, black people don’t want to hear white people preaching about racism. But when a black man says something they are more apt to listen.