A solemn thank you to Thomas for sending me this article: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/10/1413220 about the Jena Six.
What a powerful and outrageous reminder that we still live in a world that is so divided. While I hope that nothing can come between me and my pacifist beliefs, this story reminds me that the world has not changed enough for us to relax.
One of the people quoted in this article, Caseptla Bailey, says about her letter-writing campaign "That's how I fight back, you know, by putting the pen to the paper." Well, here I am Ms. Bailey, fighting with you, putting fingers to keyboard to try to help.
It reminds me of so many stories - of David Duke's reign in Louisiana, of young children beaten on playgrounds, but especially of the untold stories from a generation ago that so many of us try not to think about. But this is not from a generation ago, this is from today. This month. This year.
I have been joking with friends about how to get out of jury duty... knowing that I've never been called because of my nomadic ways. But this makes me realize the solemnity attached to that "duty"... that all of us that want equality are necessary parts of this deeply flawed justice system. Our voices are important. The work is not over.
As sad and disheartening as this is, I know that tears are not helpful. As enraging and galling as this is, my anger must be channeled. I start with this action here: sharing this story with you. When other appropriate actions are clear, we will all need to act.
In the meantime, all I can do is remind everyone reading this of the answer that Rosa Parks gave a few years ago, when asked what should be done now. Her response was for all of us - to confront the more subtle forms of racism when we see it. To not let the comments and the inappropriate behavior go uncorrected. We cannot afford to let this be perpetuated in future generations.