Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why Jena, Why Now?

Why did the black kids at Jena High School feel it necessary to ask permission to sit under a schoolyard shade tree that traditionally had been reserved and enjoyed by white students? Why couldn’t they just sit under the tree with any questions asked (since, here in 2007, all things are supposed to be fair and equal)? Did the black kids perceive a differential in treatment- that the white students had a privilege that black students could not enjoy?

Why did the white students drape three nooses over the tree? Considering the fact that these white kids were too young to remember how blacks were once lynched throughout the south, who reminded them this practice of dangling ropes with nooses before the eyes of black people? What was the intended affect?

Racism begins with the older generation and is passed down to the children, and to the children’s children, and so on. In the shadows of a shade tree, the black children in Jena, Louisiana must have grown up with a sense of insecurity, such that they felt the need to “ask permission” for a privilege that should have been taken for granted and enjoyed by all.

The nooses represented race hatred and open bigotry. Who would even challenge white supremacy in this little town of 3,000 where whites outnumbered blacks ten-to-one? Who would even care enough to pull back the covers of America and peer into her vile biles?

The privilege of supremacy is preserved and protected by the local police establishment. The Jena school administration turned a blind eye to the open display of bigotry but the minute black students protested the discrimination school officials call in the police. And here, the school system and the police force worked hand-in-hand to perpetuate the disparity in treatment.

Lackeys, like Jason Whitlock of, would dig up as much dirt as possible on one of the black youths in order to spread the blame among all the parents. However, it seems that the only way black parents could have prevented their children from falling into this trap and getting in trouble would have been to advise their children to acquiesce to white supremacy and to go along to get along, and not rock the boat in race relations. With no such warning (neither from parent nor from black leaders who know how racism works), these six young men had no guidance but instincts. Would Mr. Whitlock like to give black teenage boys a lesson in turning the other cheek after they had been insulted and assaulted? What did Mr. Whitlock say of the First Law of Nature? Don’t strike back? Or does the “irresponsible” parent miss something in this sports jock’s critique?

Racism is not racism unless it is back by authority, police powers, and the institution of justice. White supremacy means that blacks can legally be punished if they refuse to go along with the program. And, blacks can be assured of punishment from the courts (disguised under the cloak of the "criminal justice system")if they buck the tradition in race relations in Jena.

Clearly, all things are not fair and equal in race relations in Jena, and probably never have been. But the civilized world and the American public seems so appalled that such atrocities are still being carried out in the 21st century. Young African-Americans are baffled because, growing up in an integrate world and going through a desegregated public school system, they have been brainwashed into believing that racism was dead. Had not the spotlight been put on the Jena, they would probably still be going through life, living a fairytale in Cookie Land, dismissing the fact that they, as blacks, are always targets of suppression.

Just to mention of this fact of life will get a commentator branded as a “race hater”. So, what do we do, Mr. Whitlock? Keep silent and let it happen? Let the Jena authorities devour our kids like a ham samich?

Living under the shadow of racism for so long, some things seem to just come naturally. An inferiority complex is one. Adopting an alien white value system is another.

Black people point the finger at each other and find every fault that white society has pegged to them. They develop the Pogo Syndrome: “We have seen the enemy, and it is us.”

But what if it is not we? Suppose it is “the system”?

God forbid! That would mean our distorted euro-concept of civil rights, which disguises itself as measuring up to white supremacist standards, would all be in vain. Oh no! The system has got to be perfect. It’s got to be the people who do not measure up. It’s got to be the Negroes’ fault.

From the perspective of a pious nose from a court bench, the judge can only see young black men charged with a serious crime. Never mind what happened before the December 4th assault. It’s irrelevant to the case.

The prosecutor, on the other hand, only wants an all-white jury to see one thing: A young black thug punching and kicking an innocent young white boy. White speaking to whiteness, it could have been their son or daughter. Oh horrors! But black speaking to blackness, it could have been our son or daughter. And, it usually is.

1 comment:

  1. You hit the nail on the head:

    "...White speaking to whiteness, it could have been their son or daughter. Oh horrors! But black speaking to blackness, it could have been our son or daughter. And, it usually is."

    Great post.