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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another Important Blog Interruption.....

My personality is the epitome of duality....on the one hand I love the superficial; fashion, film, gossip. On the other hand, I have a very serious natural activist nature, one that I have learned to somewhat quell or I would be ready to put foot to ass every single day. They are of pretty equal measure, and one side sometimes gets disgusted with the other.

Supernegro asked me once why I started blogging...I told him that people have always told me I should write, but there wasn't anything I was particularly passionate enough to write about, except the injustices happening in our community. My blog touches on that in the most superficial way I could muster, but lately I am becoming deeply disturbed, angry, and increasingly in the mood to put foot to ass.

A little girl getting her wrist broken over dropping some cake? A noose hung on a professor's door at freaking Columbia University? What the f__k?

It is all too much for me to take in and write about, but my readers--please do me a favor and check out my diligent worldwatchers Yobachi at Black Perspective and Wayne Hicks, also known as Villager, at Electronic Village for some things I bet you had no idea whatsoever are happening.

Gossip is good, but awareness and action is infinitely better. And for those who think that the Jena Six case or the recent noose sightings are blown out of proportion (all five of you), check out the following from the Eddie Griffin (BASC) blog, and not the Eddie Griffin that would normally be on this blog. Some of you might want to stop right now and click on my gossip links if you think this post is too heavy....

Jena 6 Backlashers
Jonny Cochran of the Newport News writes: “I think the Jena 6 in Jena, La., greatly overreacted at the sight of nooses hanging from a tree next to their school… I don't know what those who put them up meant them to symbolize. But even if that was their way of expressing that they didn't want black students to hang out under that tree, they weren't justified in beating a classmate.” (“Jena 6 Overreacted”, October 8, 2007)

Now here is a pundit who admits not knowing what the noose-hangers meant “to symbolize”. Nevertheless, he proceeds to give his expert opinion on why he thinks “the Jena 6 in Jena, La., greatly overreacted at the sight of nooses hanging from a tree next to their school”.

On the other hand. “I do not want to diminish the impression that the hanging of the nooses has had on good people,” Jena Mayor Murphy R. McMillin wrote. “I do recognize that what happened is insulting and hurtful… To put the incident in Jena in the same league as those who were murdered in the 1960s cheapens their sacrifice and insults their memory.”

It is one thing to claim that all this stuff is a product of my imagination, but what about this counter-argument of an “overactive imagination” and an “over-reactive response”? Other than “insulting and hurtful”, we would be led to believe the whole Jena 6 case is blown out of proportion.

How can anyone “cheapen” the sacrifice and “insult” the memory of African-Americans who were lynched in the South? Every time I hear about nooses made for lynching black people, I remember the words of Mrs. Mamie Till Bradley: “Look at what they did to my boy”, she cried. Her son was Emmitt Till, a black boy lynched in Money, Mississippi in August 1955.

I was 10-years old and can remember, unto this day, the words of the grieving mother, insisting that the casket be opened at the funeral so she could show the world what race hatred looked like. I saw the horrible picture published in Jet Magazine and never forgot it. Emmitt Louis Till was only 14 years old when he was slain.

This was not just a lynching. Emmitt Till was the most tortured person in human history. Two white men came to the home of Till’s great-uncle in the middle of the night, wanting to talk to the boy about “wolf whistling at a white woman”, which was another ex-post facto Jim Crow Law. They dragged the young man away as he screamed and hollered for his helpless uncle to save him. In a barn, they tortured him all nights, according to the testimony of a passerby who heard Till’s un-muffled screams.They beat him, gouged out his eye, smashed his head in, draped him in barbwire, dangled him over the Tallahatchie River Bridge, and shot him in the head. When they found him dead with the weight of fan tied around his neck in the river, hamstrung and handcuffed with barbwire, the local newspapers initially reported it as a suicide.

That was the way I remembered it from 1955, although there have been many white revisions of history before and since. Nevertheless, it is still a story some people do no want school children to hear. They would rather they hear a whitewashed version of the Civil Right Movement. As a result, our children are totally ignorant of these happenings, although this is where the movement began to stir, when the white defendants were acquitted and later confessed to a Look Magazine writer.

This made us sick for a whole generation, which generation still lives today, not to mention how James Byrd was dragged behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas in 1998. The blood of the dismembered body parts is still soaked into the back roads of this small East Texas town.

I can still hear the screaming in my ear, at night, in my dreams, and whenever I hear men like Jena Mayor McMillin and District Attorney Reed Walters trying to minimize the terrorism black people feel at the sight of a lynch noose. The graves of lynch victims are screaming- screaming not to be forgotten- screaming for justice. For too long, their stories have been silenced.

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (Revelation 6:9-10)


Tony said...

Thank you, IW, for taking time and effort to post this on your blog. We must not give up trying to keep our country informed that the social injustices and racial hatred still exist and cannot be ignored. The only ones who don't see them are the ignorant, the uninformed and those with their rose colored glasses on.

I don't condone the actions of the Jena 6 as violence only begets more violence and hatred. But I do think they have not been treated with equal and sensible justice for their behavior. I also know that other crimes have been committed that are yet unaccounted for in this case. The hanging of the nooses themselves should have been treated as a terroristic threat and hate crime and it is appalling that no one has been held accountable for that action.

Obviously, all my emotions and thoughts on this and other similar cases of racial discrimination and injustice cannot be clearly addressed in a simple post comments section. I am sure that some will find fault with what I've written here but so be it.

Urban Thought said...

Your voice deserves to be heard. I'm glad that you blog.

The world is going through a change (which isn't new at all). All though years have gone by it is clear that ignorance is still amongst us. Racism and all the other 'isms' are still abundant in society.

The more I read your blog the more I enjoy it. I'll be sure to add you to my blog roll.

FlyNerd said...

Great, thoughtful post, you perfectly captured the race-angst I've been feeling lately, too. It does seem like things are stacking up these days, and the shooting in Cleveland yesterday, although not racially motivated, just added to my edginess. But reading voices like yours and the other great bloggers you mention helps keep the williamses at bay.

Keep on keepin on IW!

KIKI said...

I'm glad you posted this. I am soooo sick of non-blacks trying to minimize the effect that things like "nooses in a tree" have on us. They try to ignore it or tell us to get over it, but when it repeatedly happens and we decide to take action, then they say we "over-react"...WTF!

This type of ish just pisses me off to no end! I'm wit ya IW...

MsMarvalus said...

Very well written post...the people of Jena, Louisiana and the rest of the country who believe that this incident has nothing to do with race are living in a time warp...I don't condone what the 6 boys did in beating up the student...but the laws need to apply to everyone FAIRLY and EQUALLY; no one should be punished more harshly because of the color of their skin...which is exactly what happened here...

I'm sure you already know this, but you are an incredible writer...which is not an easy thing to be!

Peace and blessings!

Invisible Woman said...

Thanks ever so much guys for the support...I don't want to be a downer, but sometimes I need to let it out....I appreciate all of your blogs very much as well.

MrsGrapevine said...

I have the same bi-polar problem. I enjoy politics and prose, but I also enjoy the not so fabulous lives of celebrity gossip. I think you can do both, and I think you have a nice eclectic mix here.

Invisible Woman said...

Thank you MGV!

Invisible Woman said...

Thank you MGV!

Anonymous said...

fried okra here, if the jena six were so intimidated by the nooses then why the hell were some of them playing and swinging from them along, with the white boys????
you do not know the full story, only what the parents of the jena six contribed to make their kids appear innocent and/or provoked. i am from jena, la.

Anonymous said...

The reason the Jena cases have been propelled into the world spotlight is two-fold: First, because local officials did not speak publicly early on about the true events of the past year, the media simply formed their stories based on one-side’s statements – the Jena 6. Second, the media were downright lazy in their efforts to find the truth. Often, they simply reported what they’d read on blogs, which expressed only one side of the issue.

The real story of Jena and the Jena 6 is quite different from what the national media presented. It’s time to set the record straight.

Myth 1: The Whites-Only Tree. There has never been a “whites-only” tree at Jena High School. Students of all races sat underneath this tree. When a student asked during an assembly at the start of school last year if anyone could sit under the tree, it evoked laughter from everyone present – blacks and whites. As reported by students in the assembly, the question was asked to make a joke and to drag out the assembly and avoid class.

Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. An investigation by school officials, police, and an FBI agent revealed the true motivation behind the placing of two nooses in the tree the day after the assembly. According to the expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at black students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team. (The students apparently got the idea from watching episodes of “Lonesome Dove.”) The committee further concluded that the three young teens had no knowledge that nooses symbolize the terrible legacy of the lynchings of countless blacks in American history. When informed of this history by school officials, they became visibly remorseful because they had many black friends. Another myth concerns their punishment, which was not a three-day suspension, but rather nine days at an alternative facility followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court, and evaluation by licensed mental-health professionals. The students who hung the nooses have not publicly come forward to give their version of events.