On June 5, a week into the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd by police officers, Oakland A’s utilityman Tony Kemp posted a tweet offering to talk. If anyone wanted to have a conversation about race or learn more about systemic racism, his virtual door was open. Two weeks later, he’s started a movement.
Kemp has partnered with BreakingT to launch a T-shirt design promoting his +1 Effect. He hopes to be the change he wants to see in the world, by holding an honest and respectful dialogue with one individual at a time and starting a chain reaction that can change perspectives around the country.
“Change one perspective, hope they change another, and slowly we begin to see the type of systemic change that Kemp has been waiting for for a lifetime,” says a video posted by Infield Chatter.
After watching the events of the past few weeks, @tonykemp of the @Athletics decided it was time for Americans to start having a real conversation about race.— Infield Chatter (@InfieldChatter) June 15, 2020
So he started one himself. ✊ pic.twitter.com/M3OxGNb14k
The response to Kemp’s initial tweet was immediate, and led to dozens of conversations with strangers who had accepted the invitation to talk. In one example cited by the video, he engaged with an All Lives Matter proponent and changed their view on the concept of Black Lives Matter.
“The person actually changed. The person actually said, ‘you know what, you’re right, I’ve been looking at this the wrong way,’” said Kemp.
Race is not an easy topic to talk about, but Kemp stresses the importance of doing so, especially at this potential watershed moment in American history.
“I’m a person that usually tries to avoid conflict, but I feel like right now, what’s going in America, this is the time to speak up.”
See the T-shirt design below, and if you like it then click the button to order your own. Sales will benefit Campaign Zero’s effort to end police violence, just one part of BreakingT’s action program throughout June.
Here’s a larger image that includes the back of the shirt, with the words “Be The Change.”