Monday, September 24, 2007

Justice in Jena -- It is truly the tragedy of this land that the issues of race still assault our national consciousness. How can it be that some four hundred years after the first slave ship deposited its human cargo, after the dehumanization of slavery itself, after a civil war to end it which took over one half million lives, the malignancy of this issue still burns brightly?

Who said what to whom in Jena may never be known with absolute surety. What is known is that a black young man needed to ask permission to sit under a simple tree. White youths decided they thought it would be funny to throw some nooses around that tree just in case the young black men who sat under the understood whites only tree did not know what their place REALLY was.

Those nooses hanging around that tree and the white boys who put them there began it all. Those nooses meant something and those boys knew it. Now the jack boots of neo-Nazi and Klan sympathizers defile that land as the mayor thanks them for their support and the tree no longer lives. There must be metaphor in that. Those boys who hung those nooses deserved a much stiffer penalty but received very little. It is de ja vu all over again and justice in Jena and in this nation is still is looking for a home.