Saturday, September 22, 2007

strange fruit

I saw one of my former students be interviewed on CNN the other day. She had traveled from California to Jena, LA to be a part of the protests there against perceived racial bias in the judicial system.
When asked, the young woman said that racism and classism are present everywhere in the US, and has to be fought everywhere.

In Jena, six black teenagers were charged with attempted murder for beating a white classmate. One boy, fifteen at the time, was charged as an adult. (Which, actually, just brings us right back to Dave Chappelle, and his ideas about the differences in being 15 and black and 15 and white in America.)

Three months earlier, at the same Jena high school, black students had asked to sit under a tree that provided a shady gathering spot for the white students at the school. The next day, nooses hung from the tree. No charges were filed.

And, yeah, my former student is a white girl from southern California. The CNN reporter who interviewed her and a couple of others said that the white people he was able to find at the protest (there wasn't all that many of them), often were college students who had taken ethnic and gender studies courses.

I am just saying. Education is not a bad thing.

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