This News Story Is Sickening

Not much has changed in the U.S., especially in the South, when it comes to racism.  I saw this story about Jena, Louisiana, on CNN this morning and decided to share it.  It makes me sick.

The racial demons of the Old South have resurfaced in a rural Louisiana town where black students who tried to sit on the white side of the school yard were met by three hangmen's nooses dangling from a tree.

The students and their parents were outraged by the stark reminder of the mob lynchings which had terrorized Southern US blacks until just a few decades ago.

Months of inter-racial violence followed the decision by a white school superintendent to over-rule the principal's recommendation to expel three white students found to have hung the nooses.

The community became even more divided after a white prosecutor imposed significantly harsher charges on the black youths caught up in the violence.

The head of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union described Jena, Louisiana, as a "racial powder keg" primed to ignite, but some white leaders disagree.

"Race is not a major local issue," said Mayor Murphy McMillan. "It's not a factor in the local people's lives."

Mark Potok, director of the intelligence project for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama which tracks hate groups, said these types of incidents are still far too common in southern American states where racism is ingrained in the social fabric.

"Race is just below the surface in almost every aspect of southern life," Potok told AFP.

"There are a lot of places in the Deep South where (almost) nothing has changed aside from the fact that segregation isn't legal."

Jena's troubles started in September when a few black students tried to challenge the accepted state of things by crossing an invisible color line in the school yard.

They arrived the next morning to see three nooses hanging from the tree they sat under. And the students who hung them were suspended for just three days.

"Adolescents play pranks," said superintendent Roy Breithaupt. "I don't think it was a threat against anybody."

Inter-racial fights broke out at the school and then spilled out into the small lumber and oil town of 3,000, which is 85 percent white and 12 percent black.

Someone set fire to the central wing of the high school in November. Then a black student was beaten for showing up at an all-white party. And a white youth pulled a shotgun on three black teens at a convenience store.

Finally, on December 4, a group of black students jumped a white student as he was coming out of the school gym.

Even though the teen wasn't seriously hurt, six black students were expelled and were charged with attempted second-degree murder and other offenses for which they face up to 100 years in jail.

The white teen who beat a black party crasher was charged with simple battery. The white youth who pulled a shotgun was not charged at all.

In the convenience store incident, the three black teens were arrested and accused of aggravated battery and theft after grabbing the shotgun -- in what they call self-defense.

"There's no doubt about it -- whites and blacks are treated differently here," said Melvin Worthington, the lone black member of the school board.

"The white kids should have gotten more punishment for hanging those nooses. If they had, all the stuff that followed could have been avoided."

Uneven delivery of punishment is common across the country, according to a recent report by the New York-based Urban League.

Black men are three times more likely than white men to face jail once they have been arrested: 24.4 percent of blacks arrested in the United States in 2005 ended up in jail compared with 8.3 percent of white men.

They also receive jail sentences that are on average 15 percent longer than whites convicted of the same crime.

The biggest disparity is among men convicted of aggravated assault: black men were sentenced to an average of 48 months in jail, which is 33 percent longer than the average sentence of 36 months received by white men, according to the Urban League's annual State of Black America report.

snobunny826 snobunny826
22-25, F
5 Responses Jun 26, 2007

I left Texas in 1973 , the jokes I thought was funny were raciest and I began to work on this right away and today I don't see the slightest humor in these jokes. I do love laughter in but not at the cost of other races. I cringe at name calling and don't allow it around me. I have a diversity of friends now and I am so much more maturity today.

ok folks, am from the north here, have hatreds' of my own to deal with, nobody should literally DIE, however its nothing that a 2x4 and a set of brass knuckles couldn't handle!

i ******* hate white people.<br />
<br />
and im white.

Racism needs to be wiped out. Its the most pointless waste of time ever. Why cant everyone get on?! I wish people saw things as clearly as I do.

The fact that racism still plays a large part in southern life I think is often forgotten further north. Thank you for the grim, and necessary, reminder.