Sometimes, despite all of the progress we’ve made in terms of race relations in America, events come to pass that still make me despair for the truly colorblind spirit of brotherhood so essential for an enduring, unifying fellowship between all Americans of any ethnicity.
Such an event is present today in the circumstances surrounding what has been named ‘The Jena Six’ (no relation). It pains me to recognize that in this day and age—six years and ten days after 9/11, btw—the White powers that be in this small Southern community are interfering with the Constitutional rights of six African American boys—er, young men—to surround and beat and kick a single White boy curled up on the floor until he starts oozing everywhere, bleeding from the ears, etc. If they aren’t the breathing embodiment of Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle, then maybe I missed the point of his famous ‘I Must Be Dreaming' speech. But I don’t think so.
I am heartened by the efforts of those protesting on the young mens’ behalf. Theirs is a principled stand, and I know that if circumstances were reversed, and six White kids were facing consequences for kicking a single Black youth into the hospital in the spirit of civil liberties, every one of those protesters would still be out in force, and Reverend Sharpton would be just as likely to stand up for that young man’s right to be kicked senseless.
Look how bravely he championed the attackers in the Duke case!