As the police continue to take kill and victimize  innocent black people, the time is ripe for a new type of campaign that I outline in my upcoming book, “Leave the Rat Race to the Rats – The Ghetto Goodwill Revolution”.  In it I state:

Wear our goodwillism on our sleeve

Often we buy T-shirts with a social message imprinted on it such as, “I can’t breathe”.  It then spends its life in a closet. Let us use our chests as billboards to spread the message. Wear it, don’t store it. To be even more effective, instead of just casual Fridays, let’s have social activism T-shirt Fridays. Wear one every  Friday or at least every first Friday of the month. Let our progressive organisations promote this idea. We don’t have millions like the right wing Koch brothers to spend on TV advertising. Why should we be dependent on  the media or expensive advertising to get our message across. With the proper organization and coordination, we could have millions of people, nationally and internationally, spreading the word on their chests and that would be more effective than expensive media advertising.

Of course this is not new. Little league and other sports teams have their commercial sponsors’ names plastered over their jerseys for advertisement purposes. Even the mighty Barcelona, current world champion soccer team, has ‘Qatar Airlines’ on their jerseys. Let’s advertise for justice on our t-shirts.


“Black Lives Matter” T-shirt Billboard Campaign

As the police continue to  kill and victimize  innocent black people, I am proposing this simple but effective “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt billboard protest. It requires only two steps:

  1. Buy a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt
  2. Wear it every Friday until police violence against black people stops.

For this to be effective, we need millions to participate. Every black organization and any organization that supports social justice, need to support and promote this. Let’s see who our real friends are. I myself am sending this to all my listservs, both inside and outside America.

The New York Police Department  demonstrated against NY Mayor DiBlasio and threatened a go-slow in defiance of their right to kill unarmed innocent Eric Garner.  The Friends of the Police (FOP) unions, all over America, are demanding that bad police who kill and brutalize innocent black people should go free. Prosecutors are afraid to charge these killers and time and time again, they do go free. We must put a stop to this outrage. Let’s “wear them out” with our t-shirt billboard campaign.

What about millionaires, especially the black millionaires? It is about time they stepped up to the plate.  It would be nice to see Oprah or Bill Gates in such a t-shirt. How about those black professional athletes who make millions and get such adulation from their many black fans,  especially in the ghetto? Let them join the t-shirt billboard “Black Lives Matter” campaign. Several players on both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets, including LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving and Deron Williams, wore black "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts during a pregame warm-ups. They were following in the footsteps of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose who wore the same shirt in a previous game to show support for the family of Eric Garner. They received criticism for it. Where were the other black athletes? NBA players should be especially prominent in this protest. For God’s sake the NYPD broke the leg of  NBA player Thabo Sefolosha  who plays guard for the Atlanta Hawks. The broken leg forced him to miss the play-offs for his team.

Remember Juan Carlos and Tommy Smith at the 1960 Olympics. The raised their clenched fist with a black glove as the received their Olympic medals. The endured criticism for that brave act of defiance and protest. How many more innocent black people must be killed before we all take a stand? It’s time for all, rich or poor, black or white,  to take a stand by joining this campaign.

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About the Author
Michael Irving Phillips has kept abreast of Jamaican and the rest of the Caribbean by his one-man production of Hot Calaloo, a newsletter about Caribbean news and views. From April 1992 to December 1999, it was published monthly and was transferred to the web at since then.

He was born in Jamaica and left home for Howard University in the US where he received MA (Education) and BS (Chemistry) degrees. Previous books includes :"A Jamaica Poor No More", "Boycott Money And Save Your Soul – Launching The Goodwill Revolution:, “Leave the Rat Race To The Rats” and “Poems for Husbands and Other Underdogs

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