The recent killing of Alton Sterling at the hands of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has sparked a lot of outrage in American over issues of race and police brutality.
Sterling, 37, was a black father of five who was selling CDs in front of a convenience store in Baton Rouge on July 5th. Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of the convenience store told police officers who came to the scene to arrest Sterling that he was not the person causing the disturbance, which prompted the police call that day.
Regardless of that fact, Sterling was fatally shot several times as the officers had him restrained on the ground. Muflahi was able to record the tragic incident using his cell phone. Naturally, emotional responses and cries for justice arise out of incidents like the Alton Sterling murder, which are happening far too often in America.
However, an actress, writer, and YouTube sensation did what few people will do when situations like this unfold; she took action. Issa Rae, 31 (pictured), used her star power on the internet to help the family of Alton Sterling as they are living with a great deal of pain.
After putting out a call on social media, Rae started a GoFundMe page to designate a college fund for Sterling’s five children. This remarkable act of charity was covered by various media outlets. Rae’s initial goal was to raise $40,000.
But the outpour of assistance has grown to be far more than that. Rae started the GoFundMe page on July 6th. According to TheRoot.com, the amount raised on Rae’s page ballooned to over $460,000 in less than 24 hours. As of today, that number has increased to well over $620,000. Over 21,000 people have made donations to this honorable cause.
“Thank you for helping us raise the goal!” Rae wrote in a statement on the evening of July 6th. “I just got off the phone with the Sterling family attorney who is aware of the GoFundMe and has asked me to call back tomorrow, as the family is (naturally) overwhelmed at this time. Will keep you all posted. In the meantime, keep spreading the word!” Rae continued.
Issa Rae’s marvelous act of charity represents what people should be doing when tragic police-involved incidents like the Alton Sterling murder unfold. Emotional responses and calls for activism may feel and sound good, but that alone does not take care those who are experiencing the worst loss; the families of these victims.
Hats off to Ms. Rae for her using her star power to make a difference in an amazing way. Click here if you want to donate to her GoFundMe page today.