The Jena Six story

I had a conversation with friends recently where I said I could never live in the south. A story like the following is exactly why I couldn’t. For anyone that thinks racism isn’t alive and well in America, please, please watch the following story. It’s sobering.

The Jena Six

Here’s the link to the online petition. Please write about it on your blogs. Send this post to your friends before the government takes away the lives of 6 young people.

The Jena Six Petition

More on this story:

Charges Reduced in ‘Jena Six’ attack
Nooses hanging in school tree raise spectre of old South

Democracy Now: The case of the Jena Six

  • A. Jones

    I’m glad, Spencer, that you posted the video story above. You’re right, it is sobering. I’m an African-American male who was raised in the South, and I know very well the kinds of attitudes which lead to situations like this. As I watched the story, it filled in details that one wouldn’t get in wire service reports. The nuances are fascinating, and sadddening. I was struck at how, as it always seems, one thing leads to another and how the tit-for-tat retaliation only escalates the tension and violence, until everyone is at fault. The students who hung the nooses were suspended, but the school superintendent rescinded it. Blame total = 2. Then the taunts and retaliation for the taunts begin. Blame total escalates. Now we have injured kids strewn about, and six youngsters about to be judged by some of the sternest attitudes in existence. Are they completely defensible? Is anyone?

    Yes, realizations like this are sobering, and continue to show that we as a country and a people have a long way to go.

  • Spencer

    Having grown up in the north I think the thing that’s surprising is how brazen the racism is in the south. That in the year 2006 that it would be generally accepted that the tree was a “whites” tree is kind of amazing to me – and I’m black and am not surprised by racism. I think one of the things is that I expect the racism to be under cover, especially in this politically correct country of ours. I think the other thing that’s surprising is how systemic the problem seems down there – that the nooses where hung is one thing, that the “leaders” called it a prank, and the district attorney has targeted these students just seems like something out of the 30′s. At least in the north when this stuff happens (and it does happen lest we think the north is some sort of bastion of equality) there is an outcry from most people – even if it’s being politically correct, but in most cases I think people are genuinely disgusted by racism.

    The south is just a different country. Case in point, I recently watched a story on HBOs Real Sports about dog fighting and the culture. This is mostly a rural south thing and listening to these hicks talk about taking a dog out back and putting a bullet in their head because they’re quitters just makes me realize how great the divide is.

    I don’t want to be among people that could possibly view me in the same way – and have government support.

    Yes we have a long way to go an going no where fast.