21 September 2007

i thought this was a no-brainer...

until i received a message on myspace from someone that i have never met. i went over to her page to try and figure out who she was and ended up reading a blog post that she'd written that matched the topic she'd messaged me about. how's that for a mouthful?

turns out, she didn't mean for me to get the message. but now i can't stop thinking about it. she wrote:

subject line: jena 6, sick, six
Shine some 'light' on the issue. Grow up and leave the past in the past. Tolerant One!

her blog post goes on to essentially attack the jena 6 - and calls out people, in general, for "living in the past." i'm still trying to get my brain around that one. 50 years ago wasn't all that long ago. and to steal a line from ani, "now that lynching is frowned upon, we've moved on to the electric chair."

jena, louisianna - in a nutshell.

dark skinned students ASK PERMISSION to sit under the shade of the "WHITE TREE" during some school function. wtf?!?!?!

they are told to sit where they want and do so. ok, good. apparently the bleachers, in the sun, are the designated are for dark-skinned kids to sit under, while the light skinned students sit under the tree. segregation? say it isn't so. isn't that ILLEGAL?

so the next day, three nooses appear hanging from the white tree. i'd call that a threat. not good.

the students responsible for the hanging of the nooses face expulsion. ok, good. instead, they received three days of in school suspension. not good. (i received three days of in school suspension once - for ditching after school detention for being late - not for attempting to threaten other students with a hanging death that was a very real and sick and disgusting phenomen just 50 years ago.) i call bullshit.

naturally, the racial violence intensifies, as it typically tends to do when an injustice to this extreme occurs. several situations take place over the following days. it all eventually results in 6 dark skinned students attacking a light skinned student. light skinned student is knocked unconscious and kicked. 6 dark skinned students are arrested.

here's where it gets really twisted. the 6 were facing second degree attempted murder convictions. for a fight, similar to a few of which i witnessed in my own high school days. tell me this had nothing to do race with a straight face. had those 6 been light skinned kids, the charges would have been assault, at best, if ever even reported - or had charges been pressed. guaranteed.

my light shedding says this: as long as anyone is treated in this back asswards fashion of being publicly threatened when they sit under a fucking tree based on skin tone, violence is going to be the outcome. and as long as we have an injustice system in place that condones people who make death threats, but goes completely overboard in their punishments for "some people"...

i find it interesting that anyone would hold the opinion that the hanging of those nooses was just a little funny prank. when i first read about this, i was appalled. WHO finds it clever to ever hang a noose???

there is NO WAY these kids got or can get a fair trial. the initial jury was comprised of light skinned people! you are entitled in this country to a jury of your peers.

in one of the cases, charges are dropped for now, as he was a minor at the time. in two others, they were reduced down to assault and conspiracy. from what i can gather, the final four will be tried as adults, and could face imprisonment until they are 50. years. old. it should also be noted that the kid that was beat up was well enough to be at a ring ceremony party the same night. for an attmepted murder, that's quite a speedy recovery, wouldn't you say?

that, my friends, is not justice. it is wrong. and to the girl that accidentally sent me a message, there's a lot of growing up to do - on many many many levels.

"If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by your own repression."
~toni morrison

and a song:


white people are so scared of black people
they bulldoze out to the country
and put up houses on little loop-dee-loop streets
and while america gets its heart cut right out of its chest
the berlin wall still runs down main street
separating east side from west
and nothing is stirring, not even a mouse
in the boarded-up stores and the broken-down houses
so they hang colorful banners off all the street lamps
just to prove they got no manners
no mercy and no sense

and i'm wondering what it will take
for my city to rise
first we admit our mistakes
then we open our eyes
the ghosts of old buildings are haunting parking lots
in the city of good neighbors that history forgot

i remember the first time i saw someone
lying on the cold street
i thought: i can't just walk past here
this can't just be true
but i learned by example
to just keep moving my feet
it's amazing the things that we all learn to do

so we're led by denial like lambs to the slaughter
serving empires of style and carbonated sugar water
and the old farm road's a four-lane that leads to the mall
and our dreams are all guillotines waiting to fall

i'm wondering what it will take
for my country to rise
first we admit our mistakes
and then we open our eyes
or nature succumbs to one last dumb decision
and america the beautiful
is just one big subdivision

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