Dear Editor,

Black lives matter. It is a travesty that this still apparently needs to be said over and over. There are still too many tragic premature deaths that can be directly traced to the shameful legacy of racism in American history. Violent unrest is sometimes necessary for achieving justice. However, history shows that when it lacks a focus, such unrest makes the situation worse. By contrast, when it has a clear focus, it can achieve great things.

#DefundThePolice seems to me likely to only lead to the destruction of public police forces and their replacement by private, non-unionized security forces (for those who can afford them) or protection payments to predatory gangsters (for those unable to afford private security). Is this the most desirable outcome for our urban population? I submit to you it is not. But it IS desirable to union-busting corporations.

Allow me to humbly propose an alternative hashtag or two: #IvyMoneyIsBlackMoney and #OneThirdForBlackLives. I am talking about REPARATIONS. But not from the taxpayers, many of whom are people of color, recent immigrants or working people. I am talking about reparations from the greatest beneficiaries of the heinous institution of slavery: Ivy League schools and large corporations.

Marchers and occupiers should descend on the campuses of Ivy League schools and the corporate offices demanding that: (1) Ivy endowments are turned over in their entirety to a reparations fund, and (2) ONE-THIRD of all corporate stock is reallocated to such a fund. Don't be bought off by their virtue signaling and pittance donations. DEMAND BIG-TIME ASSETS. If we can raise $7 trillion from this, that will provide the wealth to make a real change in the lives of the approximately 14 million African American households in the U.S.

If there is ever a moment for this, it is now. Make the token-granting virtue-signalers put up or shut up. Don't let them divide us along racial lines in order to conquer us.

Brent Kalar

UNM Faculty