It’s not easy fighting for civil rights and running organizations that stand up for the freedoms of the oppressed. If you’re good at what you do, your enemies will try anything to take you down. On top of that, many of the people you are fighting for, via self-hatred, may be skeptical of your efforts and willing to partner with oppressive forces to undermine your work. Even worse, your constituents may not have the means to help you face the massive financial responsibility that comes with serving your community. Freedom damn sure ain’t free, and most leaders have the receipts to prove it.
I don’t get as many calls for help as Rev. Al Sharpton, but I get my fair share. The most difficult thing about receiving these requests is that you want to help everyone, but are constantly struggling to find the resources to get the job done. If you ask for help to pay the cost of the trip, people think you’re somehow trying to swindle them or earn an unnecessary profit from the work you do. The truth is that everybody’s got bills to pay and the bigger your name, the more people think you’re made of money.