Jay Z tackles the injustices of the American prison system and the business it propagates in a new op-ed for Time.
In his essay, the rapper writes that since producing Time: The Kalief Browder Story, he has become "obsessed with the injustice of the profitable bail bond industry." “On any given day over 400,000 people, convicted of no crime, are held in jail because they cannot afford to buy their freedom,” he writes.
"When black and brown people are over-policed and arrested and accused of crimes at higher rates than others, and then forced to pay for their freedom before they ever see trial, big bail companies prosper." Inspired by the fundraising drives from Southerners on New Ground and Color of Change that bailed out mothers on Mother's Day, Jay Z wrote that he will be donating to those organizations to bail out fathers this Sunday on Father's Day.
"As a father with a growing family, it's the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether," Jay Z writes before concluding with, "We can't fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry." On Thursday night, Jay Z became the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In a video played at the ceremony, President Obama congratulated the rapper and acknowledged him as a kindred spirit, saying, "We know what it's like not to come from much and to know people who didn't get the same breaks that we did."