I can't write a newsletter today.
NBA players began a strike last night, refusing to play basketball and effectively saying that while we cannot control the laws or the courts or the actions of others, what we can control is ourselves. We control our bodies and our minds, and no matter what you take from us, you cannot take that.
Whenever someone stands up to fight for justice, one must always ask whether that stand is a moment or a movement. I hope that what the NBA started last night was a movement. I hope it was a movement for change, and a movement for justice and for equality.
I don’t have much to give to that movement, but I have my body and I have my mind and I have this little newsletter that you all read. Maybe I can make a difference somehow by showing that you don't have to be a superstar to take a stand.
Jacob Blake was shot in the back seven times while walking away. To my eyes, he walked away because he was sick and tired of being harassed by armed agents of the state whose occupation is supposed to be to protect him. I don’t know Jacob Blake but I know what it’s like to be tired of police harassment and to decide that enough is enough.
So did Eric Garner. So did Sandra Bland. So did so many others. This is must end.
I’ve been stopped and frisked. I’ve been assaulted. I’ve been thrown to the ground or on the hood of a car and handcuffed by these same armed agents of the state for the crime of looking suspicious or being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong skin.
And I know exactly what it’s like to have that pit well up in the back of my throat as I decided that I had taken enough. I was fortunate enough to not end up dead. Or paralyzed.
Many of you reading this are CEOs, presidents, founders, and asset managers who oversee billions of dollars. If I have the chance to speak to you and say one thing from my heart, it’s this: Understand that there is profound injustice happening in this country and it has been happening for as long as any of us can remember and it eats away at us every day.
Nothing changes until people decide it’s unconscionable for things to continue the way they are. It feels like we may have reached that point, and I stand with the people who are taking a stand for change. Even if all I have is a little newsletter.