Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jena Six Update

Here is a refresher on this travesty, thanks from Leftist Looney Lunchbox: Jena Six Update.

Well, the dates for the marches and protests are coming up fast, with Al Sharpton's being on the 20th. For those who cannot be there physically (like myself), it is asked that fellow supporters dress in black that day and try to get as many people in the know as possible.

Considering the staggering details of this case, it still mystifies me how no news shows are talking about it. It practically screams 'ratings stunt'. And yet, why is it the only places I hear about this is either on terrestrial radio stations or online? What the hell, man?

I want to address something else: there are quite a few people who seem to think that these protests are some sort of validation for some of the boys' actions. Indeed, they did assault a fellow student, and that is against the law. But a few scrapes and bruises resulting from alleged racist remarks towards a person who suffered a similar attack DOES NOT JUSTIFY A ATTEMPTED MURDER CHARGE. And that is what the outrage is about. Do not get it mixed up.

Last Minute Addition: A lot of folks seem to be really thrilled that OJ Simpson is in jail on burglary and assault charges. My opinion: who the fuck should care? Yes, he killed his wife and got away with it, but no assumed jail time is going to suddenly fix everything. Even if he is found guilty, it still won't be because of murder and he will still tout his innocence, so any pats on the back and high fives are moot. Here is something you may not know about all those black folks touting his innocence: they all knew he was guilty. They only rooted for him because they wanted to see if a black man could actually be rich enough to buy his innocence. The fact it was a white woman was a bonus. Don't act like it isn't true. They wanted to see some sort of fairness in the system, even if it was a perverted kind of fairness. And so it was proven that the only color that matters in this world is green (or to be more accurate, gold, because not all currency is green).

Why do I bring this up here? Because a catastrophe of law is going on in Jena, and nobody seems to care. But a washed-up ex-football player who will always be known as a slimebag murderer gets caught stealing from a hotel room, and suddenly justice is being served and all is well with the world. Wake up. There are much more important things going on, and instead of worrying about OJ (which he wants, because he craves the attention), folks need to fix the wrongdoings going on now. It is too late for Nicole to get the justice she deserved, but it isn't too late to help these guys.

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10 brain pickings:

  1. I couldn't have said it better myself, and you said a mouthful. Keep it up!

  2. Thanks for posting that summary vid (and thanks, Pajiba, for linky-linking me to it). I've been seeing headlines about "Jena 6" (mostly through Feministing) for some time, but had never read into it (had no idea what it entailed and was too busy following other headlines). So up until now I was a Jena 6 virgin.

    Upsetting. Mystifying (or then--maybe not).

    Oh and: A "white students" tree????????? W. T. F.

  3. comes the unpopular opinion.

    I have to work, so I can't be in Jena, although I have signed every online petition I knew about and forwarded emails detailing this story to everyone I knew. Some people I know will have the opportunity to travel to the city this week.

    That said, I really don't know why people are shocked, appalled even, that blatant racism is still alive and well. It was barely a generation ago that the damn Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. Frankly, that's just the law. That says nothing, NOTHING, about individuals' mindsets regarding how they feel about a black person's place in society. When emancipation was granted in 1865, that was just the law. White people, at least the ones who hadn't already changed their minds, by and large, didn't just up and say, "Oh, well the slaves are free and they are equal to me!" A different example: one day, I do believe that it will be legal, according to federal law, two people of the same sex to be married. That in no way guarantees that same sex couples will suddenly be safe or socially accepted in all towns across the U.S.

    I am not denying that the country has come a long way with regard to racial politics. I am also not denying that some blacks decry "racism!" too easily or when they don't get their way. But it's barely been forty years (a little over, truthfully). The systemic degradation of minorities, blacks in particular, of what, 200 + years, can't be wiped away in a generation. It's too deeply ingrained and complex, just like any other society currently dealing with their own issues (i.e. Middle East, certain countries in Africa, South America, etc). I know it's easier to say that racism shouldn't exist, but it's no secret it does. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to continue to bring the examples to light for those who would rather ignore it. I can't speak to the media coverage, given that I get most of my news online (I'm assuming when the media is referenced, it is the television media?).

    Vermillion, please don't hate me for my rant. I agree with you - it's just that I am a little over the "GASP!, racism in 2007?" reaction that I keep reading or seeing.

  4. Daphne, I have no problem with your comment. In fact, I completely agree. While on some levels there has been much progress, there is still a lot of work to be done. Which is why we need to hear about stuff like Jena. It is exactly like you said: too many people have gotten it in their heads that this is so out of the blue, when it is quite obvious that this is the culmination of years upon years of conflict.

    And I think that is why it isn't getting much coverage. Some folks think this is some aberration, some exception to the norm and that it will go away. That is the mindset that will continue to allow stuff like Jena to continue in relative obscurity.

  5. While I was running on my elliptical machine tonight, I caught a segment on the local news (Fox affiliate, interesting enough) about the Jena 6. Basically it was highlighting the rally to take place, and how a few busloads of locals are making the 18-hour trek down there in support. They are leaving here at 1 a.m., bless 'em.

    Just thought you'd like to know.

    Man hands down misery to man; it deepens like a coastal shelf.

    Philip Larkin said it, and I believe it. I'm a cynic for sure. As long as humans can be put into different ethnic or racial boxes, there's gonna be one group putting the hurt on another just because. It's been happening for centuries across the world.

    Sucks. And I have no idea how we can make it stop.

    Happy Wednesday!

  6. When our local paper (Seattle PI) published this story, I was appalled but not terribly surprised. While I always hope that bigotry is done and over, there are just too many instances to prove me wrong.
    Thank you for the update, we hadn't gotten much here since the article I mentioned.

    And yes, what in the hell is up with a "white student" tree?!

  7. Daphne: considering I constantly argue the same thing about women's rights being such a new (and fragile) thing, I'm thrilled you posted that.

    You made the distinction in your very post about Law vs. Mindset. What some of us are gasping over isn't the mindset of people on the street, but the fact that the law, in this case, seems to have been ineffectively and inconsisently used. Not that is doesn't happen a lot, but it does--still to this day--always shock me that people think they can get away with that kind of flagrancy. Esp. considering how litigious y'all are down there.

    (Flagrancy: a real word?)

  8. Vermillion--
    Not all national news outlets are ignoring this story. I first heard about it on NPR a least a month ago. It was horrifying the first time I heard it, and I continue to be unable to wrap my mind around such a blatant and grave injustice.

  9. Ranylt,
    Hee! We are indeed a litigious society. And I can understand the disbelief regarding how those who should uphold and enforce the law handled the whole incident. I'm not even close to being a lawyer (wait, I can be argumentative, does that count?), but the law, especially in small towns that no one cares or knows about except the residents, is only as good as those in the position and have the integrity to carry it out. I have no doubt that Jena's law enforcement didn't just fall down on the job this time, if you get my meaning. Somebody decided they weren't gonna let it slide this time, though.

  10. Well, I did think OJ was innocent


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