Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Jena Six

Last year, in Jena, Louisiana at the local high school schoolyard, a black student went and sat under a tree that was the traditional gathering spot for white students. The next day, three nooses were found swinging from the tree. Two students were suspended for doing it, but the school board rescinded the suspensions so they were never disciplined.

Welcome to the 21st Century Louisiana style.

How pissed off would you be if you were a black student at the Jena, LA high school? What if you knew who perpetrated the act? If you are anything like the typical American male, you know exactly what would happen in a case such as this. . . somebody is going to get an ass whopping, and that’s exactly what happened. An 18 year old white kid by the name of Justin Baker ended up with bruises, abrasions and a slight concussion. He was treated in the local emergency room and then later that same day he attended a school activity. End of story, right? Not so fast . . . prosecutors got hold of the case and soon indicted six black students with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges.


Now, I don’t know how they do it in LA, but here in rural Appalachia, if six guys get together and attempt to murder someone, that someone is at least going to come close to dying. They sure as hell are going to do more than spend a couple hours in the ER and they sure as hell aint gonna show up that same day for some school activity.
But ya know, the other thing is, even here in rural Appalachia, if some one or group of students hung a noose in a tree on school property with the intent of intimidating another student of African- American race, they sure as hell wouldn’t have their suspension rescinded by the BOE. In fact, I suspect they would be expelled from the school and sent to some alternative learning center. In our school systems around here, “bullying” has been righteously noted as an unacceptable and intolerable form of behavior. I aint saying we all skip through the tulips together in one big happy melting pot of cultural bliss, but we at least make an effort and we sure as hell don’t tolerate blatant racism and bullying.

Wouldn’t it have been SOOOO much better for Jena, LA if the principle in charge had taken this whole thing a bit more seriously and the BOE had backed him. Maybe take the event as an opportunity to show some of the white kids involved the real face of nooses hanging from trees with real people hanging from the ends of those nooses. It’s a horrid ugly sight and there are many photographic records of the lynchings that went on in the earlier part of the 20th Century. It wasn’t so long ago. In fact, it could have been those kids’ grandfathers or even fathers who did the lynching or were on the receiving end of the lynchings. Yea, we’re all THAT close to those events. So ya know, when some bunch of white kids start playing games with nooses, receive slaps on the hand or less, get their ass roughed up by a group of black kids and then the black kids get indicted for attempted murder and threatened with 80 year prison sentences, I gotta believe that not much has changed from the days when a black man could be lynched for having been seduced by a white woman.

I wonder, how many people really understand the horror, the terrorism, the real effects of things like lynching and the legacy that remains from those events? Where is the humanity?

So when are people going to stop their racist bullshit, think about how their actions affect others and do the next right thing? I fear we won’t last much longer in this country if it doesn’t start happening soon.

Thank you ABB for bringing this to my attention. . . which begs the question: WHERE'S THE MEDIA!!!!


Judith Blakley said...

My 16 yr old daughter told me about this the other day. Unbelievable that stuff like this is still happening in this country.

BTW.. I ran across your profile and truly enjoy your sense of humor!

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Thank you Ms. Blakley. Glad you read this and believe. We really need to bring this case up in conversation and any forum available.
Our country has been on a collision course with the 19th Century since 2001 and this is another symptom of our regressive society.

Instigatrix said...

I have to tell you, O Sagacious One:

I discovered your blog after seeing your comments to ABB. That woman is truly incredible. She makes me holla and she gives me hope. And so do you. The flavor may be slightly different, but the nourishment is there. (That's about as high a compliment as I've offered in a long ol' time.) I've been wanting to nip in and mention this, and this post finally set me over the line. Anyone who can inspire me to grin for a moment while reading about such a bolus of horrid injustice as this has done something pretty damn epic.

I deeply appreciate your humor, your smarts, and your wisdom, and I thank you for sharing. Such brightness gets more and more rare as the sludge gets thicker and deeper. Molto grazie.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I'm humbled by your compliments Mr. instigatrix.

Yes, Ms. BlackLady is incredible. I want to marry her but my wife won't let me.

Instigatrix said...

Well, rest assured that you flat-out earn this one; I'm not easily impressed, and I don't distribute my compliments willy-nilly. I do need to correct one point, though--it's Ms. Instigatrix. That pesky suffix and all.

Of course your wife won't let you. She's got dibs, right? Plus, ABB's proposed matrimonial line has gotta be a good half-mile long as it is. At least. (Not that I mean to imply that she wouldn't let you skip ahead some, of course.)

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Do you have a blog somewhere Ms. instigatrix. . . so embarrased by my faux pas. . . of course a "trix" is a Ms.

Instigatrix said...

Aw, now. I'd tell you not to be embarrassed, but you're kinda cute when you blush. ; )

Now that you mention it, I don't have a blog anywhere at the moment. Too busy reading the few out there that I find worthwhile, I suppose. If I ever do get to the point where I think I can leaven the shoe-throwing and spittle-emitting with appropriate amounts of snark and humor on the regular, though . . .