I’m kind of amazed at myself for not having blogged about the Jena 6 yet, but better late than never, right? Today I read an article from the Guardian UK entitled Apart from the noose, this is an everyday story of modern America. It is a spot-on analysis of how, while the injustices being committed against these young Black men are particularly gross and getting more attention than usual, what’s happening in Jena is merely symptomatic of the racism that permeates American society – North and South, rural and urban. From the article:
According to the census, the top five segregated cities – Detroit, Milwaukee, New York, Chicago and Newark – are all in the north. According to the Sentencing project, a pressure group for penal reform, the 10 states with the highest discrepancy between black and white incarceration include Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York – which all consider themselves liberal – but there are none from the south. Jena’s problem is not that it has proved itself more racist than the rest of the country, but that it has manifested its racism with insufficient subtlety.
This Thursday, September 20 is a nationwide day of action to show support for the Jena 6 and outrage at the racist injustice with which they continue to contend. Organizers are estimating that more than 10,000 people are going to show up in Jena (a town of approximately 3,000) for the protest, but rallies and other demonstrations of support are being scheduled around the country, so try to find one near you. For Brooklynites, there’s a rally on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall scheduled from 9:30am to noon.