Yesterday’s demonstration in
First the successes. It brought the argument to the people who needed to hear it. I’m sure it convinced very few white people in Jena that hanging nooses is more than a prank or that the judicial system is weighted against African-Americans. From most of the quotes I’ve seen they are still in denial. But I’m equally sure that it made any administrator, legislator, judge or attorney there realize that much of the world does not share their standards. This message reverberates beyond
Second, it was huge and managed to galvanize a new generation of activists. One of the noteworthy aspects of this demonstration – in contrast to many – is that it appears to have been multi-generational. With nooses and jail time the issues it raised linked the old Jim Crow and new quite effectively.
Third, it revealed a new network of bloggers and radio hosts (similar to the immigrant rallies) that can kept this issue alive when others would have allowed it to die or could not keep it going.
Fourth, it was peaceful. Nothing would have been gained by violence in
Now the hard part. The Jena Six remain either in jail or awaiting trial. The demonstration did a great job of highlighting their plight. The judicial system knows the world is watching. Now it is down to the lawyers to get them a fair shake. That means a proportionate punishment for the alleged crime.
And last but by no means least the activists must leverage the attention that has been given to the