Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Jena Six

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

--Frederick Douglas, American abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman, reformer, and slave.

Do you think if maybe we got a bunch of rich white rock musicians together in Louisiana, people would pay attention to what happened to the Jena Six?

Racism Emerges Again
In a small still mostly segregated section of rural Louisiana, an all white jury heard a series of white witnesses called by a white prosecutor testify in a courtroom overseen by a white judge in a trial of a fight at the local high school where a white student who had been making racial taunts was hit by black students. The fight was the culmination of a series of racial incidents starting when whites responded to black students sitting under the “white tree” at their school by hanging three nooses from the tree. The white jury and white prosecutor and all white supporters of the white victim were all on one side of the courtroom. The black defendant, 17 year old Mychal Bell, and his supporters were on the other. The jury quickly convicted Mychal Bell of two felonies - aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery. Bell, who was a 16 year old sophomore football star at the time he was arrested, faces up to 22 years in prison. Five other black youths await similar trials on attempted second degree murder and conspiracy charges.

Remember the highly-publicized burial of the N-word recently?

It was premature.

I can hear a loud knocking coming from inside the coffin. It's like that horrifying scene at the end of Carrie when her hand surges upward from the grave. It's alive as long as the hatred that fuels it keeps burning strongly. It's alive as long as we give monsters permission to exist. It's a vampire we half-heartedly try to kill with a rubber stake.

This culture puts more effort into killing cockroaches than bigotry.

If these psychos were marginalized, ridiculed, and prosecuted like they should be, they wouldn't be a problem. It's the clueless, confused and cowardly white assholes who don't know (or, what's worse, pretend that they don't know) what's going on that give these racist criminals alibis, safety, and legitimacy. Traitorous African-Americans like Uncle Clarence Thomas help tighten the knots in the nooses. And the news cheerfully adds to the fog by inundating us with loud nonsense about Britney, Lindsay, and Paris.

And when you ignore the cancerous rot that's burrowing deeper into America's soul, bad shit happens to black people, and it doesn't stop. Amadou Diallo happens, Katrina happens, the Supreme Court disemboweling Brown happens.

The Jena Six happens.

Hear that knocking? It's getting louder.