Archive for May, 2007


May 24, 2007

Jesse Rae BeardJesse Rae Beard The photo is of Jesse Rae Beard, one of the accused youth in Jena.

Having grown up in the deep south, while wandering the rest of the country I soon became very weary of the charges of racism that were often leveled against me, solely on the basis of my southern accent.
It was a form of stereotyping that angered and frustrated me. Simply because I was white and from the southern part of the country, people often assumed I was a closet racist.

The only thing that angers me more is finding that the stereotype is sometimes accurate.

The Background
Kids in school sometimes fight, it’s simply a fact of life. I remember the time my step sister came home looking like a tractor had backed over her. She had been called on to present the National Honors Society speech for her school, so naturally she had a new dress for the occasion. Some boy thought it was a good idea to make fun of her, so after she put up with it for a while, she sat on him and pounded him into the dirt for a few minutes, until a teacher arrived to save his skinny ass from certain death. Nothing came of it, except perhaps that the boy learned to think twice before making fun of girls who wore glasses.

Well, in the tiny town of Jena, Louisiana, school yard scuffles are taken very seriously indeed, depending on who’s doing the fighting.

The Story Unfolds
At the local high school, a couple of students were tired of standing around in the sun and asked the Principal if they could sit under the Oak tree at the side of the school yard. The Principal naturally told them they could sit where ever they wished.

Bright and early the next morning, there were three nooses hanging from a limb of the tree, an unmistakable warning. You see, the kids were black, and the tree had always been reserved for whites only.

Everyone knew who had strung up the nooses, but they weren’t disciplined. Things got to be a little tense around the small town, and there were a couple of scuffles , but most people just hoped things would smooth over.

Then one day at school, several students confronted one of the boys who had hung the nooses and pushed him down to the ground. He bumped his head a little, but needed no medical attention. In fact, he still showed up at the church social that evening.

The local D.A. decided it was time to step in and has charged the students with attempted murder, for pushing a white boy down. They could face up to fifty years in prison.

The D.A., Reed Walters, is a regular “Boss Hawg”. He’s fond of saying things like, “I can make your lives disappear with a stroke of my pen,” which is exactly what he did say to a group of students protesting peacefully under the Oak tree.

Mr. Walters, AKA Boss Hawg, never found it necessary to threaten any of the white students who got into fights over the issue, but when the “niggrahs got uppity”, he was ready with a firm hand.

Some people call it shadow lynching, where poor people and minorities get different treatment under the law, receiving longer and harsher sentences compared to others.

It recalls that great movie from the ’60’s, In the Heat of the Night, with Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. I hope those lads down in Jena have a sharp, big city lawyer to save their bacon, because otherwise their bacon will rot in jail.

It isn’t just that racism is bad, it’s that some people are automatically winners, and can do whatever they want to the losers. It’s almost a fill in the blanks type of thing; They can be black, gay, arab, or even the wrong religion. In Mr. Walter’s world, there’s a long list of people who must be put in their place, and he uses a jail cell to do it.

Matthew Shepard died in a town like Jena.

In 2005 there were over 7,000 incidents of hate crime in this country, but President Bush still doesn’t think we need a hate crimes bill. I think he’s wrong.

You can find out more, or make a donation at
Friends of Justice.



May 12, 2007

Warning: The Following is a Rant.



Kate and Gerry McCann were vacationing at a swank hotel in Algarve, Portugal, with their 3 children. Dinner time rolled around, so Kate and Gerry left their children, all under the age of three, unattended in the hotel room while they went to eat. The hotel had a free child care service, but K and G didn’t want to bother with that. They spent a few carefree hours at a Tapas bar, checking on the kids every half hour or so. When they got back to their room, the oldest, the three year old Madeleine was gone.

Now we’re all supposed to get into an uproar over the fact that something happened. These people left three tiny children alone in hotel room while they went to a snack bar for dinner.

And the child’s disappearance is being hotly promoted as a news item.
Yes, it’s terrible when a child goes missing, but it really irks me that whenever a pretty white girl that’s missing, the newsmedia get’s all weepy for months on end. A man could be lying in a ditch with his head cut off, and it wouldn’t make the evening news.

And if a black child is missing, don’t even bother to call 911, because no one’s on the way.
When was the last time a missing black child got that much attention? I’ll tell you, never. It usually doesn’t even make the evening news.
In the year 2000, over 1,159 black kids went missing in the U.S. Not one made the national news.
In 2005, a Teen aged Dutch girl went missing in Aruba. Authorities are still conducting searches for her. Does anyone have the figures as to how many Aruban girls of color have gone missing since that time? No one has those figures, because no one cares enough to post that information.
But when a white child is missing, all the stops are pulled out in the search. It is now darkly assumed, on no evidence whatsoever, that pedophiles or Portugese grabbed her. After all, Portugese aren’t really white, just mostly white. One of the sources even goes so far as to say, “Blonde-haired and blue-eyed children are apparently desirable on the illegal child adoption market, and it will presumably be examined as a line of inquiry by police.” If this had taken place a century earlier, he would have said it more plainly, ” The darkies all hunger for our white women.”

The media is bending over backward to spare the feelings of parents who left three very small children in a hotel room unattended, so they could go out for dinner.

The parents should be booked for criminal child neglect.

And now, because the police have to arrest somebody quickly, they’re going to single out gays. Anyone who ever got picked up for getting a blow job in the park is fair game. If they were within a hundred miles of that hotel room, they’ll be picked up and given the third degree.

It’s SOP when the police can’t think of anything constructive to do,”Round up the usual suspects”. Find someone vulnerable and pin it on them.
We can do better than that.