Saturday, September 22, 2007
Jena 6: persecution, not prosecution http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12353776
So a bunch of black ruffians beat a white kid nearly to death? No, actually the victim had superficial injuries and went to a party later that evening.
The black students were unprovoked and this was out of the blue? No, actually it was the culmination of a year of racial tension that began when white students hung nooses on a tree to intimdate black students.
HUNG. NOOSES. FROM. TREES.
And loony lefty liberals are making a false analogy to the days of Jim Crow? No,
The first to go to court was Mychal Bell, the team's star running and defensive back. Bell's court-appointed lawyer refused to mount any defense at all, instead resting his case immediately after two days of government presentation. An all-white jury found Bell guilty.
A talented athlete, Bell had a real shot at a Division I football scholarship. He now faces up to 22 years in prison. The other five black students await trial on attempted murder charges.
Why is Jena important? Why make such a big deal out of it? The New York Times piece on Jena says it all:
"I think a lot of people recognize that the criminal justice system grinds down people of color every day," said J. Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the civil rights group based in Montgomery, Ala. "Oftentimes, it's nameless, it's faceless. We know the story in a generic way but not specifically. People see Jena as the tip of the iceberg and ask, 'What lies beneath?' "
I think in the case of Jena, it's pretty obvious. And anyone who says otherwise is either willfully underinformed, or simply in denial.
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Obama 2008 - I want my country back
Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.