Our Job Is Never Done

There is always something each and every one of us can do to make things a little better.

By now, you surely recognize the name “George Floyd”, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis. In the past few days, protests over this sickening killing, and too many others like it, have spread across America. The moment feels portentous, and yet we’ve been here before. Five and a half years ago, following the lack of prosecution in Eric Garner’s tragic death, I penned a piece entitled “I Can’t Breathe Either”. Re-reading that post in 2020, when another black man in America has died at the hands of the police while croaking “I can’t breathe”, I can’t help but feel disheartened. Have we made no progress at all? Is there nothing we can do?

I don’t want to believe that. Like President Obama, I want to be hopeful about the future, even as I recognize and confront the problems of the present. So today, I’ve chosen to provide financial assistance to help fund our march toward a more just nation. In fact, I’m declaring it to be Giving Tuesday now, and I invite you to take part.

Below, I’ve highlighted five different organizations I’ve just supported personally.

Campaign Zero: Campaign Zero was built for this moment, and founded on the belief that America can be a country where police don’t kill people. Their collection of clear policy solutions aims to bring an end to police violence, and they’re pursuing important legislation throughout the country.

Color of Change: I wasn’t familiar with this organization before this week, but I’ve seen it mentioned repeatedly the past few days. Color of Change was formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and in just 15 years, they’ve grown to be the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. They’re amplofying minority voices and championing minority causes.

ACLU: In their own words, the ACLU “dares to create a more perfect union — beyond one person, party, or side. Our mission is to realize this promise of the United States Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees”. From fighting for racial justice to ensuring and expanding voting rights, the American Civil Liberties Union is quite simply one of the most crucial organizations in America.

Committee to Protect Journalists: A free press is a vital part of making protesting voices heard. CPJ does what their name implies, defending journalists as they report the news around the world. Now, stuck with a president who regularly attacks the press, their work within America’s borders is more vital than ever.

Amy McGrath for Senate: This one is a bit more abstract. Donald Trump is the most despicable individual on the planet, but Mitch McConnell is a close second. His disgusting willingness to subvert democracy to win at all costs has done grave damage to our country, and his legacy will be a foul one. McGrath is running a long-shot campaign to unseat McConnell in Kentucky, and help take back the Senate from Republican control.

I hope you’ll consider contributing both money and time to these worthy causes, and to others like them. It’s a start.