Monday, September 10, 2007

Those who haven't learned from the past are doomed to repeat it

So I had the intentions of writing about Vogue's record-breaking ads in their latest issue having 727 pages ads out of 840 pages total. Then go off on my rant about why I don't really like Vogue and that this just ads to my dislike for the magazine, blah, blah, blah.

But after perusing the latest news updates on my homepage, I was reminded of the "Jena 6" trials that are going on right now. This got me curious to read up more about the events, trial and people involved since I had been hearing a lot about it lately. Of course it was difficult at first trying to find an unbiased website, but eventually I did and, while I am extremely upset about the blatant racism that led up and is surrounding this case, can I say I am surprised? No.

In a town where the demographic is 85% white and 12% black, where most of the black population lives in run-down, low-income housing, where a woman with a four year degree in business can't get a job as a bank teller simply because she is black (stats from, are we really surprised that the powers that be would call hanging nooses a "harmless prank"?

Nooses still have (and probably will for a long time) a huge impact on not only the black community. They even have an impact on me, middle-class white girl. I know what they signify, I know the symbolism, the connotation of nooses hanging on a tree that some black kids wanted to sit around. The fact that the rest of the town, the school board can't see and understand how this would be threatening, how this would lead to racial tension with the students is beyond comprehension.

And of course, along with all this you have everyone weighing on their opinion (myself included...obviously) and some of the blogs/articles are valid and the you have other ones like Anastasia Goodstein who thinks that a forum would have been a good idea and that if there had been a place for students to express their feelings about the nooses being hung then none of the other incidents would have occurred.

No shit, sherlock. But does she honestly think that in a town where at the high school there is a "white tree" to begin with that there are going to be people who are open to discussing race? Give me a break, shoot, those ideas don't even work at schools in the liberal Pacific Northwest, when "nigger" written in graffiti on a dorm hall and earlier in that year nooses hung as well (yep, that happened two years ago at SU). No one really talked about their feelings on race or even the issue of the graffiti, all the suggestions about having a more open conversation about race, etc. fell on deaf ears. What makes Anastasia Goodstein think that a town like Jena, Louisiana would be open to such an idea if us "liberal, non-racists" can't even do it?

There are a lot of problems surrounding this issue, and I think one of the most important ones is that no one seems to be writing about this besides the blog-o-sphere and the local papers. A search on the AP site reveals nothing, a quick Google News search comes up with the same thing. Where are we as journalist on such a major issue? Is it because I am in the PNW that we just don't seem to care? That we are "beyond" this? That it doesn't affect us?

I mean, come on, look what we did with the Duke lacrosse/rape case. This case has just as much surrounding it, yet you don't see it anywhere near the front page of the NYT do you?

Sometimes it can be so frustrating living in this world, and I know I have it easier than most

Make up your own mind:
Google News Search
Democracy Now!

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