Monday, September 24, 2007

Say Something!

I haven't kept up the with situation in Jena, LA very well as this is my week on night shift schedule. From some things I have read, many people are confused over the actual problem in Jena.

And it isn't just Jena. It is everywhere, in every state.

Many think that the protesters want the "Jena 6" to be set free. Not so. They want a fair charge to be brought against them.

But all that happened in Jena didn't really surprise me. Sickened and saddened me, yes, but surprise? Sadly, no.

What did shock me was what happened in Alexandria. And what didn't happen shocked me even more.

Two young men tied a noose to the back of a pickup truck, loaded the truck with a shotgun and brass knuckles and went driving through the crowds gathering for the protest.

Before you shrug and dismiss these men as "ignorant" or "young" or "foolish", stop and think. What do you think a noose means to a black American?

Not some long ago vision of lynchings carried out way back when, in the old days.

Come with me. Picture yourself driving along a country road with a friend. You see a black man walking along the road. You stop, perhaps offering a ride. The man accepts.

You and your friend get out.

Put your hands on this man.

You ball your hand into a fist and beat him.

As he struggles you tie a noose around his ankles.

You get in your truck and drive.

Perhaps laughing at his screams.

Perhaps laughing at his vain struggles to lift his head from the pavement.

Did you laugh when his arm was ripped from his body?

Did you laugh when his head was ripped from his body?

Did it seem like fun? Good times?

Did it seem he deserved it? For being black?

Did you leave what was left of his body in front of a church because you thought God approved?

Can you feel the vile sickness of the mind that must be there to even think about this without revulsion?

Those two young men in Alexandria, LA are as sick as the men who drug James Byrd, Jr to his gruesome death in Jasper, Texas in the late 1990's. Not 1890. 1990.

That sickness is taught. Taught from a young age. People grow up listening to the diseased rantings of their parent, grandparents, relatives and friends. It becomes their normal.

Then two young men think it their right to invoke the image of a black man more than brutally murdered for the color of his skin. They think it is their sacred duty to scare people into silence.

And it works. With the white community. Do we stand up and speak out against this? Did the actions of these two very sick people move us to stand with the protesters? To admit that racism still exists in its ugly, vicious, murderous form? That racism isn't just a matter of not liking someone based on skin tone, but actually a rabid, frothing at the mouth hatred that kills people? And if it doesn't kill their physical body, it kills hopes and dreams and belief in their value as American citizens?

It is time for the silent majority to stand and say no.

Thor sez: That makes me mad!


jaz said...

Every time a hate crime occurs, we conveniently overlook the fact that you can find hate filled young men in any town in the USA.

Many go through life tacitly supported by friends and family so long as they don't "go too far."

How far is too far when it comes to racism? Or misogyny? Or homophobia?

Too many kids grow up surrounded by racist attitudes in their own homes. They grow up wanting to be big, bad, and mean just like dad.

And with all the warnings flashing like a 50-foot neon sign on the kid's head, the surrounding community says nothing because "it's a delicate subject" and they "would rather not get involved."

Until the kid does something terrible, of course, and then all the people who never before said a word about his obvious racism (or misogyny, or homophobia, or choose your own) are "shocked."

Saphyre Rose said...

Just remember these people are homegrown Christians, they BELIEVE that they are doing what is right!
It is taught to them by the same bible thumping people who think women belong at home and are subject to the man.
Sanctity of marriage is between and man and a woman.
SO right there you have bigotry, misogyny, homophobia.
Just like in child abuse, we cannot see things like this happen and just stand by and allow it to continue.