Jay Z with the family of slain Baltimore man Freddie Gray
Jay Z is a charitable dude. For some reason, though, it's never enough for people who insist that if they were him they'd do so much more.
In a previous article I wrote titled "Just because you don't know about it doesn't mean Jay Z isn't ultra conscious and charitable," I took time to lay out his deep history of lending his time, influence, and money to causes he believed in.
For the record, I don't know Jay Z, but I am friends with two people who know him well. I have to say that, because any time I take up for the man, folks act like I'm only doing it because he's paying me or I know him. Neither are the case.
However, I see a man, during a difficult time in our country, who knows his place in the world.
It was just revealed that Jay Z and Beyonce have been bailing out protestors in Baltimore, Ferguson, New York, and elsewhere.
On May 11, Mother's Day, Jay Z and Beyonce paid for and invited families across the country who have been victimized by police violence, to attend the Prince concert in Baltimore.
In virtually every major protest, Jay Z sent funds directly to organizations and leaders to help them continue to do great work. As a part of that agreement, he always insists it be kept private because he doesn't want any credit. So blown away by it, it is always the organizations and leaders who can't help but leak the good news.
I actually attended a rally in New York City for Trayvon Martin. It was huge. Tens of thousands of people were there. The moment Jay Z and Beyonce showed up, it sucked the wind out of the entire rally. People went into a trance, stopped listening to the speakers, and just stared at them and took hundreds of photos. It was one of the strangest things I've ever seen.
After making their appearance, they left early. Finally, people started to pay attention again.
When Jay Z shows up, through no fault of his own, the event, the moment, becomes all about him. Ironically, even though he is chronically shy, hates interviews and cameras, anytime he does show up to do good, people say he is showing off for the cameras.
When he attempts to do work that people cannot see or hear about, people then claim that he is squandering his influence and should be doing so much more. Basically, he's damned if he does or doesn't go public with his good works, but he keeps pushing through anyway.
He's content, as he should be, to fund great leaders and organizations, help people out in their critical times of need, love on families behind the scenes every chance he gets, use his leverage with politicians where he sees fit, and continue running the businesses and operations he is in charge of.
Ultimately, Jay knows his role in the modern movement against police brutality. Maybe, just maybe, if those who spent so much time thinking they could do better than he could, spent more time understanding their own role instead of blasting his, they could actually impact the world.