Sunday, October 21, 2007

I have purposely held back my comment on the Jena six ( because first of all I was caught completely off guard, by the time I knew anything they were protesting thousands strong down there. Now I pride myself on being up on current events, news, and politics, but this travesty of justice completely caught me by surprise, I completely slipped it. The second. reasons why I haven't commented on this
story is because I wasn't comfortable that I had heard the entire story from beginning, in between to end. The mainstream media usually only emphasized a few events, the question about the tree, the three nooses hanging from the tree, and then the three young Black men assaulting the young Caucasian man. This kind of abbreviation of the news makes it difficult to form any kind of opinion on
a subject, I mean you shouldn't make a judgment on half the story. So, these
are the reasons why I have had no comment on the Jena 6 story.
What has changed is a report on what happened in Jena, LA by a commentator on the RadioNation ( podcast ( After hearing this more thorough telling of the Jena 6 (
travesty I felt in a better position to weigh in. I have embedded a piece of the
audio below, but here is my brief analysis on the subject. First, those who say that
the young black men should have been charged for the crime of assaulting their
fellow white student but that the injustice was the severity of their punishment,
completely miss the real problem in this story. Then there are those that are a little bit
better informed that say the racism is evident in the fact the young white men
who hung the nooses, or the ones who assaulted one of their Black classmates were not properly punished. While I agree that that was racist. To focus on the criminality perpetrated by the young white men and young black men and call for fairness lets the real criminals off the hook. In my mind, the real criminals in this case are the School Superintendent, the District Attorney and the white elite
of the town many who are no doubt parents of high school students in Jena. For the record this is a classic example of racism. I could have my terminology wrong but there is a distinction between racism and prejudice. I was listening to NPR's coverage of this affair and a Caucasian caller hazarded the question, can't Black people be racist? And my reply to that question is not hardly, we are prejudiced, everyone has and acts on their prejudgments, but racism is a higher order, it is several orders of magnitude larger in scale than prejudice. A Black man may find out his daughters is dating a Caucasian young man and he may do everything under his power to break them up simply because he doesn't want his daughter dating a "white boy." This is
prejudice, he has judged this young man without having ever met him. This same scenario could be applied to a young man of a different class; even though he may be the same race as the young lady in question; the father doesn't like him, because of what part of town he lives on. This is prejudice, and yes we are all guilty of prejudice. But it seems to me racism is a historical and political phenomenon. It is when one race of people systematize their prejudices and then by means of superior political/military might enforce this system of prejudice. It is racism when the power elite in a society prevent through lending practices and city ordinances the sell of houses to people of
another race in their particular neighborhoods. There are few places on this globe
where Black people have amassed that kind of power. Now, while it is conceivable,
and quite likely that you would have aBlack DA and a Black Superintendent of schools in
office in the same city, I argue that it is unlikely that they could conspire with Black
parents to pervert the justice system as the people in Jena have. It's not that I don't think Black people are capable of racism, we most certainly are, power corrupts, but I argue that we don't have the confluence of position and power like Caucasians all over the
globe have, and specifically in this country. I feel the need to add that racism in a society is also a means of exploitation, whereby the race in power is able to maintain and even enhance
their economic, social, and political lot at the expense of the oppressed race. I feel that we overlook the real problem, when we don't find the fault in the institutions and their
representatives, the DA's the Super's for such miscarriages of justice, read racism. I mean where is the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department when you need them?

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