Thursday, September 20, 2007

Case of the Jena six

I just recently had my attention drawn to the case of six students who are being held in Jena Lousiana

In this case several black students were arrested after beating a white student at their school and were charged intially with attempeted murder. How did it begin?

At that time, a black student had asked the school's principal whether he was permitted to sit under the shade of the school courtyard tree, where white students traditionally congregated. He was told he could sit where he liked.
The following morning, when the students arrived at school, they found three nooses dangling from the tree.
The school's head recommended the noose-hangers be expelled, but the governing board overruled him and the three white student perpetrators were briefly suspended.

Now I can't don't condone assaulting another person but in my opinion the people resopnsible forthe haging the nooses should have receiveda amuch stringer punishment than that. By placing the nooses on teh tree they were making a very strong statement. Throughout the US and particuarly within the South there is a long history of lynchings, primarily of Blacks (although not always). I stumbled across a website which outlined the disturbing history of lynchings in the US. There are two things that disturb me about some of the pictures in there. Firstly, is that in some of the pictures there it almost seems that he lynchings were family affairs. Secondly that some of those pictures were turned into postcards.

Now given the hisotry of lynchings in the US, hanging the act of hanging the nooses from the tree was not just a simple prank. It's a referene back to a time, not that long ago, when lynchings were common place. When people were strung up on trees by mobs.


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