UPDATE (7/28/09): Two years later, here is the results of the Jena Six trial. Mostly a victory.
Updated: New post on the Jena Six
We’ve talked about stories of racism and police abuse in the past, so this shouldn’t be a revelation for any of the regular readers around here. However, stories like this, when they are specific, need to be noted, brought up, spoken out against, and made aware to a larger community.
In Jena, Louisiana, a town of 3,000, 85% white, 12% black, the disgusting injustice of a still racially charged society is receiving some attention from the national and international community. Six black youth from Jena are facing attempted second-degree murder charges from a fight with a white student from their school who himself is being charged with possession of a firearm in a ‘firearm-free zone.’ In a city were racism clearly still exist, a school yard fight turned into murder charges seems like the troubling injustice many in this country have worked hard to overcome.
Megaphonic, who pointed out this story to me, writes:
someone is teaching these kids that this type of behaviour is acceptable. either directly or by their inaction, the adults in this community are giving them the go ahead to hang nooses in trees and beat the s*** out of kids because they are of a different race. the school board should have expelled the kids who hung the nooses… that’s a hate crime. federal offense. the principal was fully correct to call for their expulsion.
How does this continue to happen, and how can communities fight it? how can we, as nashvillians, keep this from happening? how can we as southerners (even nominal ones like me) fight the stereotypes that history has left us?
My suggestion was that churches need to be gathering together and discussing how to address the injustice of racism, and not pretend it disappeared along with MLK. My other thought, maybe a dumb one, was to start a facebook group. update: looks like someone already beat me to it, join this Facebook Group, Jena Six: The World is Now Watching. Any other ideas?
UPDATE: Just wanted to add some links from the blogosphere to help you stay on top of things that are happening with the Jena Six…