MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Guest editorial by Earle Fisher with the Memphis Grassroots Organization Coalition:
Earlier this week, Grizzlies Coach David Fizdale gave a 2.5 minute, postgame interview after the Grizzlies game 2 loss to the Spurs. He meticulously laid out clear and concise statistics contextualizing the disparities in calls which gave an unfair advantage to one team over the other. All across the city we saluted this young African-American coach for his justifiable rage, passion, and courage to speak out irrespective of consequence.
I salute Coach Fizdale. He reminded me of why we advocate for social justice and black liberation all across the city. But, ironically, most of us are ridiculed for our righteous indignation.
To paraphrase local activist Tami Sawyer, our city values the grit and grind of black bodies on the hardwood, but not the grit and grind of black workers who work full-time jobs but don't make livable wages.
Grizz fans didn't allow a lackluster first half to compromise our ability to acknowledge injustice when we see it. One player for the Spurs shooting more free throws than the entire Grizz team is almost as bad as the top 20 percent of earners in Memphis bringing in more than half–50.7 percent–of the whole city's income. We've found millions of private dollars for police departments and bridge lights, the city council is even considering a dog park, but we've given zero dollars to public education.
Take that for data.
Maybe Coach Fizdale and the Grizz can teach us something about The Movement for Black Lives...we've got a right to raise our voices. Dr. King was right; injustice anywhere (even on the hardwood) reflects the threat to justice everywhere.
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