Michael Jordan watching a Charlotte Hornets game Nov. 1, 2015, in Charlotte, N.C.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Michael Jordan's surprise announcement Monday that he would give $2 million to organizations working to improve police-community relations was published first on ESPN's recently launched site The Undefeated because "he had read some of the articles on The Undefeated and liked what we were doing," editor-in-chief Kevin Merida said he was told.


"Jordan’s declaration has put him someplace he has never been," columnist Mary Mitchell wrote Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times. " . . . Maybe because Jordan, who is still much admired by the masses, has been quiet for so long his voice will help us to listen to one another. . . ."

"Michael Jordan, widely considered the greatest basketball player in NBA history and the lone African-American majority owner of a franchise, has decided to speak out on the country’s growing racial and social unrest," Mike Wise, Jerry Bembry and Martenzie Johnson wrote Monday for the Undefeated, the ESPN website on the intersection of sports, race and culture that launched May 17.

“ 'As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,' Jordan writes in a one-page letter released exclusively to The Undefeated. 'I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.'


Kevin Merida

"He used the letter to also announce grants of $1 million each to two organizations working to build trust between law enforcement and the communities in which they work: the Institute for Community-Police Relations, which was launched in May by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which was established in 1940 to work through the legal system to push for civil rights. It became a separate organization from the NAACP in 1957.

“ 'Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference,' Jordan wrote.


"Both groups were informed of the donations Sunday night. . . ."

The reporters also wrote, "Today’s statement is something of a public milestone for Jordan, who has been criticized over the years for his low profile in political and social advocacy. For instance, [Kareem] Abdul-Jabbar, in a 2015 NPR interview, said, 'He took commerce over conscious. That’s unfortunate for him, but he’s got to live with it.'

"Jordan has donated to the presidential and senatorial campaigns of Barack Obama, former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley’s 2000 presidential campaign and, yes, despite numerous stories to the contrary, Harvey Gantt’s unsuccessful campaign against Sen. Jesse Helms in North Carolina.


"For two decades, Jordan has been saddled with a quote attributed to him by an anonymous friend in former Chicago Tribune NBA writer Sam Smith’s 1995 book, The Second Coming, that he didn’t support Gantt because 'Republicans buy sneakers, too.' In a later book, Smith said it was a joke, not a political statement and that he felt badly about the backlash Jordan received. But a spokeswoman for Jordan said he denies ever using those words. And a 1996 Charlotte Observer story lists a $4,000 campaign donation made from Jordan to Gantt for his second Senate race. . . ."

Merida told Journal-isms by email on Tuesday how its widely reported exclusive was obtained.

"I recently met with a Jordan representative and had pitched various ideas for The Undefeated. It turns out, unbeknownst to me at the time, that Michael already had been thinking of making a statement about black men being killed by police and the targeting of police officers. Not only did he want to make a statement, but he was researching where he might put money behind his thoughts to have a tangible impact, I later learned.


"We are certainly glad he released the statement to us. I was told he had read some of the articles on The Undefeated and liked what we were doing."

Kevin Blackistone, ESPN: Blackistone on Jordan: Why not give BLM money? (video)

Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root: Michael Jordan: A Day Late and a Million Dollars Short


Domonique Foxworth, the Undefeated: Richard Sherman: As Human Beings, All Lives Matter

Andrew Joseph, USA Today: Charles Barkley defends stance on police: 'We'd be living in the Wild Wild West' without cops

Ellen McGirt, Fortune: Michael Jordan Just Spoke Out on Race. These WNBA Players Did Way More.


Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Better late than never, Michael

Josh Peter, USA Today: Carmelo Anthony: 'About time' Michael Jordan stepped up for social change

Deron Snyder, Washington Times: Michael Jordan comes in late, which is better than never


David Steele, Sporting News: Michael Jordan had a voice all along, and never used it

Clinton Yates, the Undefeated: Crying Jordan is the only one we acknowledge if you’re a newspaper in Malawi, apparently

Michelle Obama said in her speech Monday, "I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters — two beautiful, intelligent, black young women — playing with their dogs on the White House lawn."


Critiquing First Lady, O’Reilly Sugarcoats Slavery

"On Monday night in a widely praised speech here at the Democratic National Convention, first lady Michelle Obama made a poignant observation about her life and race in America: 'I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters — two beautiful, intelligent, black young women — playing with their dogs on the White House lawn, ” Erik Wemple wrote Wednesday for the Washington Post.

"Within minutes, PolitiFact confirmed the factual rigor of Obama’s claim. The New York Times also did a write-up: 'Yes, Slaves Did Help Build the White House.'


"On his Tuesday night program, however, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly felt he still had something to add to the conversation. 'Slaves did participate in the construction of the White House,' O’Reilly said, noting that 'free blacks, whites and immigrants also worked on the massive building.'

"Then: 'Slaves that worked there were well fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government,' the host said. Thanks, O’Reilly, for the context. For even more context, try Jesse J. Holland’s book 'The Invisibles: The Untold Story of African American Slaves in the White House,' which notes, 'With the invention of steam shovels still several years away, these slaves dug for the clay on site with hand shovels, working day and night to get the raw material to the skilled brick makers and at the same time, opening up ground on the site for the space that would become the White House’s foundation and cellar.'

". . . 'Digging up clay was unskilled, tedious and backbreaking work,' writes Holland. As to the 'decent' lodging, Holland notes that a 'barn' was built for the workers. Is that 'decent' lodging? 'It wouldn’t be a leap to say the living conditions in a barn were much less comfortable than in a house,' Holland said in an interview with the Erik Wemple Blog. . . ."


Reporter Barred, Patted Down at Pence Event

"Donald Trump’s campaign has denied press credentials to a number of disfavored media organizations, including The Washington Post, but on Wednesday, the campaign of his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, went even further," Paul Farhi reported early Thursday for the Washington Post.

Jose A. DelReal


"At Pence’s first public event since he was introduced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate two weeks ago, a Post reporter was barred from entering the venue after security staffers summoned local police to pat him down in a search for his cellphone.

"Pence’s campaign expressed embarrassment and regret about the episode, which an official blamed on overzealous campaign volunteers.

"Post reporter Jose A. DelReal sought to cover Pence’s rally at the Waukesha County Exposition Center outside Milwaukee, but he was turned down for a credential beforehand by volunteers at a press check-in table.


"DelReal then tried to enter via the general-admission line, as Post reporters have done without incident since Trump last month banned the newspaper from his events. He was stopped there by a private security official who told him he couldn’t enter the building with his laptop and cellphone. When DelReal asked whether others attending the rally could enter with their cellphones, he said the unidentified official replied, 'Not if they work for The Washington Post.' . . .”

Anthony Advincula, New America Media: Asian Americans, Growing in Numbers, Show Political Clout at the DNC

Leona Allen, Dallas Morning News: Michelle Obama's speech inspired hope, perseverance


Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Daily News: It'll be a sad day when First Lady Michelle Obama leaves the White House

Associated Press: Fox News Doesn't Air Mothers of Movement Speech During DNC

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: More Damned Emails

Shawn Boburg, Washington Post: Donald Trump’s long history of clashes with Native Americans


Michael Calderone, Huffington Post: Clinton’s Campaign Is Trying A Lot Harder With Hispanic Media Than Trump’s Is

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: When will ‘the Bernie or bust people … [stop] being ridiculous’?

Russell Contreras and Amy Taxin, Associated Press: Clinton campaign seeks to make most of Kaine's Spanish


Julie Hirschfeld Davis, New York Times: Yes, Slaves Did Help Build the White House

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Search for black Trump supporters brings a writer to Louisiana

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: A well-fed slave building the White House is still a slave building the White House


Ed Diokno, AsAmNews: DNC Notebook: AAPI Participants Passionately Involved in the Political Process

Jon C. Dowding, alldigitocracy.org: The complicated relationship between the news media and Hillary Clinton

Editorial, Washington Post: Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy


Tim Giago, indianz.com: Questioning the motto of GOP candidate Donald Trump

Leonard Greene, Daily News, New York: Donald Trump must lose and lose badly to abolish the hate brewing in the nation

Michael Harriot, The Root: An Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly From One of the Slaves Who Built the White House


Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press: Protest vote for Bernie Sanders? I get it. Time to suck it up

indianz.com: Indian Country shares spotlight at Democratic National Convention

Chelcee Johns, Ebony: 'Blaxit' May Be on the Minds of Some…But Michelle Brings Us Home


Mark Joyella, TVNewser: Protesters Shout at, Pour Water on Geraldo Rivera

Shaun King, Daily News, New York: Tim Kaine isn’t some conservative boogeyman, but he does show that progressives aren’t welcomed in the Democratic Party

Shaun King, Daily News, New York: To stop Donald Trump, I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton


Brian Lambert, MinnPost: Sharp-edged analyses cite multiple failures in media's coverage of Trump

Shirley Leung, Boston Globe: You don’t have to be with Hillary Clinton to appreciate this moment

Errol Louis, Daily News, New York: Hillary Clinton’s DNC juggling act: Knitting together a post-Obama coalition will take lots of skill


David A. Love, the Grio: Hillary’s all-white ticket out of step with diverse Democratic base

Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: Imagine if Obama had delivered as bleak an assessment of the United States as Trump

Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Cleveland can and must build on RNC hosting success


Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Cleveland's safety mirage is now officially over

Lonnae O'Neal, the Undefeated: Donna Brazile isn’t going to sit in the back

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: My old Dems are back, feudin' and fussin'

Pew Research Center: In Clinton’s March to Nomination, Many Democrats Changed Their Minds


Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Clinton or Trump: Who offers best hope for change?

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Troubled waters are calmed by the end of the first day of Democratic convention

Dru Sefton, current.org: Convention coverage decision irks viewers and listeners

Krissah Thompson, Washington Post: The legend of Donna Brazile: Why the DNC turned to an old pro in its time of need


Adrian Walker, Boston Globe: Why Elizabeth Warren staying put is a good thing

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Trumpite Jeffrey Lord continues making mockery of CNN programming

Matthew Yglesias, vox.com: Bill Clinton is still a star, but today’s Democrats are dramatically more liberal than his party


Jay Torres (Credit: Rebecca Aguilar)

Business Dispute Could Figure in Journalist’s Killing

"A murder warrant has been issued for a 23-year-old Garland man accused in the June killing of an area freelance journalist over issues in his real estate business, police said Tuesday," Domingo Ramirez Jr. reported Tuesday for the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas.


"Police identified the suspect as Anibal Edilfredo Chirino Mejia.

"He is accused of fatally shooting Jay Torres, 57, of Dallas, on June 10. Torres’ body was found the afternoon of June 13 in the back yard of a residence that was being sold.

"In addition to running a real estate business that involved renovating homes, Torres was a longtime freelance reporter and photographer for the Star-Telegram’s bilingual weekly, La Estrella. The news release does not indicate that his journalism work had anything to do with his death, but says that he may have been targeted because of a real estate matter.


"The investigation revealed that several lawsuits had been filed against Torres related to purchasing houses, and detectives discovered that Mejia had intended to file one against him. . . ."

Some journalists, such as those in the Committee to Protect journalists, expressed concern that Torres' reporting might have prompted his killing.

"We urge authorities to thoroughly investigate the murder of Jay Torres, including whether his journalistic work was the motive for his death," Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior program coordinator for the Americas, said last month.


Baltimore Sun: Dropping Charges Was Right Move

"State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s decision to pursue charges against the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest was the right one," the Baltimore Sun editorialized on Wednesday. "His treatment and the circumstances surrounding his fatal injury while in custody raised serious questions about the legal standards to which we hold police, and the evidence warranted the kind of open airing that can only happen in court.

"Her decision today to drop all charges against the three remaining officers was also the right one. Judge Barry Williams’ thorough and dispassionate explanations of his not-guilty judgments in the cases of Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., Lt. Brian Rice and Officer Edward Nero made clear that the evidence the state presented was insufficient to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


"The remaining officers’ cases presented no substantially new circumstances or legal issues. Dropping charges in cases Ms. Mosby could have had no expectation she would win was the responsible, ethical thing to do. . . ."

The editorial added, "Ms. Mosby’s decision has one other important effect. There is now no impediment to the Police Department’s internal review of the

actions. . . ."

Charles M. Blow, writing Wednesday for the New York Times, took a markedly different tack. "I deserve to be angry. I deserve to survey the system that thrusts so many officers and black and brown people into contact in the first place, and be disgusted. I deserve to examine the biases that are exposed in officer/citizen encounters, and be disgusted. I deserve to take account of an utterly racially biased criminal justice system, and be disgusted. . . ."


Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR: Why Some Police Shootings Get Media Attention While Others Don't

Mark Berman, Washington Post: America is safer than it was decades ago. But homicides are up again in Chicago and cities across the country

Charles F. Coleman Jr., The Root: How the Freddie Gray Case Fell Apart

Shaun King, Daily News, New York: To help fix police brutality, cops can no longer have less training than the average cosmetologist


Shaun King, Daily News, New York: Solutions for police brutality can begin with our overwhelmingly white male justice system

Jean Marbella, Baltimore Sun: From Freddie Gray neighborhood and beyond, bewilderment follows dismissal of charges

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Confronting 'the psychology of bias' without fear


Stacey Patton, Dame magazine: "Why Did You Shoot Me?"

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Police have the power to assault without penalty

Lilly Workneh, HuffPost BlackVoices: 24 Black Men Can No Longer Stand Up For Justice, So We Did


College-Educated Blacks More Vocal About Racism

"A majority of black Americans say that at some point in their lives they’ve experienced discrimination or were treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity, but blacks who have attended college are more likely than those without any college experience to say so, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey," Monica Anderson reported for the center on Wednesday.

"About eight-in-ten blacks with at least some college experience (81%) say they’ve faced discrimination or been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity, compared with 59% of blacks who have never attended college.


"These differences also extend to more specific incidents of racial discrimination. For example, blacks who have attended college are more likely than those who have not to say they have been met with suspicion or that someone has questioned their intelligence.

"Some 55% of blacks with at least some college education say that in the past 12 months someone has acted as if they were suspicious of them because of their race or ethnicity, while a similar share (52%) say people have treated them as if they weren’t smart. Among blacks with a high school diploma or less, those shares are lower, 38% and 37% respectively. . . ."

Lester Graham, Michigan Radio: White people find it hard to talk about race

April Simpson, current.org: Diversity at NPR: “Clearly, there’s a lot more work to do”


Fusion Retooled for Politics, Investigations, Opinion

"When news broke one morning in January that Univision, the largest Spanish-language TV network in the world, had acquired a majority stake in The Onion, many who glanced at the headline assumed it was just another of the popular website’s satirical essays," Rene Rodriguez reported Sunday for the Miami Herald.


"But anyone who had been paying attention to what Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) had been doing over the past two years knew the news was no joke. Since launching the English-language TV network and website Fusion in 2013 as a joint venture with Disney ABC, Univision has moved beyond its traditional Spanish-speaking core audience, aggressively courting millennials of all cultures and ethnicities.

"In April, Univision bought out Disney’s 50 percent stake in Fusion, taking over distribution and ad sales rights for the network. Univision, which owns 59 television stations, 67 radio stations, 11 cable brands and multiple websites in the U.S., is in the process of preparing an initial public offering.

"After experimenting with sports, talk shows and comedies, Fusion has been retooled to focus primarily on politics, investigative journalism and social commentary — the issues that are of primary importance to its target 18-34 demographic. The company more than doubled its revenues from 2014 to 2015, from $28.1 million to $63.5 million, while steadying its losses, $35 million in 2014 and $37.6 million in 2015.


"Fusion is also now the anchor of the Fusion Media Group, Univision’s ambitious multiplatform endeavor launched in April that includes The Onion, the African-American news site The Root, the pop-culture obsessive The AV Club, the music-oriented The Flama and other popular online destinations. The intent is to supplant Fusion’s current TV offerings with programming produced in conjunction with the portfolio’s other entities — all of which have established a broad reach with Fusion’s target demographic. . . ."

Short Takes

"The Turkish government ordered the closing of more than 100 media outlets on Wednesday, including newspapers, publishing companies and television channels, as part of a sweeping crackdown following a failed military coup this month," Ceylan Yeginsu reported Wednesday for the New York Times. "The Turkish authorities ordered the shutdown of 45 newspapers, three news agencies, 16 television channels, 15 magazines and 29 publishers in a decree that was published in the government’s official gazette on Wednesday. . . ."


"James Alan McPherson, who overcame segregation and the narrow prism of a legal education to become the first black writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, died on Wednesday in Iowa City," Sam Roberts reported Wednesday for the New York Times. "He was 72. . . ."

New York Times sports columnist William C. Rhoden, who announced Sunday that he was taking a buyout, "was one of the first writers who helped me understand that the true power in sports was the narrative taking place beyond the bright lights and white lines," Alejandro Danois wrote Monday for the Shadow League. Danois, the site's editor-in-chief, also wrote, "College students and young, aspiring journalists contact me often, eagerly expressing their desire to work in sports media. Sadly, plenty of them don't study or work on the craft, they simply watch folks screaming on ESPN. They think that is sports journalism. . . ."

Allen Johnson, editorial page editor at the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., urged Tuesday that Aycock Middle School, named for former Gov. Charles B. Aycock, "an avid white supremacist and segregationist who advocated the systematic disenfranchisement of black North Carolinians," be renamed for "Greensboro's Josephine Boyd Bradley, who is believed to be the first black student to graduate from a majority-white high school in the state. . . ."


Detroit Free Press apprentices (Credit: Ryan Garza/ Detroit Free Press)

"For 10 students, their summer job was a lot different than taking orders at a fast food restaurant or selling clothes at the mall," Landon Hudson wrote Tuesday for the Detroit Free Press, reporting on its 2016 apprentices. Hudson also wrote, "A combination of rising high school seniors and incoming college freshmen were selected from an application process to work — and learn — alongside reporters at the Free Press. . . ." They were paid.

Twenty students from Temple University are covering the Democratic National Convention for 14 McClatchy newspapers, four television stations, American Urban Radio Networks, AllDigitocracy.org, VermontDigger.com and WILK-FM in Scranton, Pa.


BET News plans a one-hour special recapping the Democratic National Convention on Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT. Correspondents Melissa Harris Perry and Marc Lamont Hill host. A similar recap of the Republican National Convention took place last Sunday. Jason Samuels is lead producer.

"Combine Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe’s creativity with John Thompson’s integrity, Larry Brown’s durability and Frank Robinson’s all-around ability, and you would have the unbeatable superstar athlete/coach," the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists announced on Wednesday. ". . . those four stellar sports figures will be among seven honorees on August 5th at the annual Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards during the NABJ/NAHJ Convention. The other honorees are National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts, longtime D.C. sportscaster Glenn Harris and Lincoln Phillips, who coached two Howard University soccer teams to NCAA Division I championships.

American History TV on C-SPAN3 takes viewers on a "hard hat" tour of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (video) on Sunday at 6pm and 10pm ET, C-SPAN announced on Thursday. The tour, facilitated by Director Lonnie Bunch, provides an early look at the museum, which opens to the public in September.


In Christiansburg, Va., "Former WDBJ (Channel 7) reporter Orlando Salinas has been charged with forcible sodomy and rape, according to Montgomery County jail records," Jacob Demmitt and Robby Korth reported Wednesday for the Roanoke Times. "The charges against Salinas involved a woman who is not his spouse, according to the indictments filed in the Montgomery County clerk's office. . . ." Salinas left WDBJ after three years in 2015 and has been working as a real estate agent.

David Mwangosi (Credit: Daily News, Tanzania)

In Tanzania, "Pacificius Cleophace Simon (27), the policeman accused of killing a Channel Ten Television correspondent, David Mwangosi, was yesterday sentenced to 15 years imprisonment at the High Court here on conviction for manslaughter," Frank Leonard reported Thursday for the Daily News. The newspaper reported on Tuesday, "Mwangosi was killed during a confrontation pitting police officers and supporters of [the] Chadema [party] during a rally at the village where the opposition political party was opening a branch. . . . The defence counsel prayed that the court should have mercy on the policeman since he committed the crime unintentionally; stating further that at 27 years of age, the offender was part of the productive workforce still needed by the country. . . ."


"Juan Zarate will join NBC News and MSNBC as a senior national security analyst starting next week," A.J. Katz reported Monday for TVNewser. "Zarate, who was deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism from 2005 to 2009, will provide insight on the issues of counterterrorism and national security for Today, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, Meet the Press, MSNBC and NBC News’ digital platforms. . . ."

"It’s been 20 years since the publication of Carl T. Rowan’s book, 'The Coming Race War in America: A Wake Up Call,'Courtland Milloy wrote Tuesday in the Washington Post. "It was in 1996 Rowan wrote that 'we were immersed in a presidential campaign in which passions over race were at the forefront — and in unique and curious ways. '(Republican presidential contender) Pat Buchanan proposed saying, "No way Jose," and building a wall to keep Mexicans out,' Rowan wrote. . . ." Milloy also wrote, "Now here we are — with race relations in the United States widely regarded as being the worst in recent memory. . . ."

"BuzzFeed translates around 75 pieces of content a month," Erin Griffith reported Tuesday for Fortune. "The company adapted 685 English-language videos into other languages, which has led added 3 billion video views from international markets. . . ."


Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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