Cynical Synapse

Sat, 22 Sep 2007

About Jena—The Other Side of the Story

Filed under: Behavior, Civil liberties, People, Politics, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 8:27 pm

Jena, like elsewhere in America, has its share of racial concerns. There appears, however, to be “another side of the story.” It seems Jena has been made the poster child for racial inequality based largely on media hype. Apparently, the “Jena 6” are really just ordinary thugs who may now unfairly benefit from efforts to improve race relations.

I can understand why everyone’s jumping on the Jena 6 bandwagon. The concept of the blatant inequality that it represents is so heinous as to make anyone mad. It seems, however, the media has been like sharks in the water with chum on the Jena 6 recently. Even the US District Attorney for Jena, who happens to be Black, while appalled, determined the noose incident didn’t meet hate crime criteria.

I’m not retracting my previous post because I think the country needs to consider its race relations. It’s easy to say everyone is equal but that doesn’t necessarily make it so. There are no magic wands here. But, it seems there’s reasonable doubt as to whether the Jena 6 is really an appropriate place to play the Race Card.

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Sometimes the Race Card Is Justified

Filed under: Behavior, Civil liberties, People, Racism — cynicalsynapse @ 12:39 pm

“The tree had been a gathering spot for white students,” the Associated Press reports. “The nooses were found after a black student asked school officials if blacks could sit there too.”

That’s what started the Jena 6 controversy, although the problem must actually be deeply rooted, extending back all the way to slave days. Why would the Black students even feel a need to ask if they could sit under the tree? That’s just idiotic in the 21st century! Sadly, then, it’s no surprise that, in Jim Crow Jena, the aftermath of serious, apparently systemic, racial tensions is a slap on the wrist for some white students and excessive criminal charges for the Jena 6, who are Black.

Al Sharpton’s not my favorite guy, but on this one, I’m right there with him. As if we needed any other proof there are still racist extremists out there, look at these two nutcases arrested with nooses on their pickup truck in Alexandria, just down the road from Jena. Is this mentality more prevalent than we thought or hoped? Would Alexandria’s police and mayor have responded the same way without all the media attention? Have we really not made as much progress in race relations as we like to believe?

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Arrested At Circuit City: Conclusion

Filed under: Behavior, Civil liberties, Legal, Oppression — cynicalsynapse @ 10:50 am

Michael Righi announces charges have been dropped from when Brooklyn, Ohio, police arrested him after he refused to show his receipt at Circuit City on September first. Charges were dropped in exchange for agreeing not to sue the city, implying the city knew they had overstepped their authority.

Lest there be any doubt that his sole intention in this matter was to assert the right to not be treated like a criminal by retailers and that the law does not require citizens to “present their papers,” Mr. Righi also announced his decision to donate $5,197.23 in paypal donations for his defense to the ACLU of Ohio.

We should all be pleased with this outcome as it represents a check on the police state mentality that has been insinuating itself into a variety of aspects in our lives since 9-11. More importantly, this case has served to generate a lot of discussion, and I believe increase awareness, of the whole receipt checking issue. My hope is that a growing number of people will not put up with receipt checking. When enough people do, the retailers will feel it financially and realize the stupidity of this impotent effort in the name of loss prevention.

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