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Jena 6: John Conyers and the Christian Science Monitor Weigh In

From the AP:
Lawmakers Seek Jena 6 Teen’s Release

By DEVLIN BARRETT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A lawmaker said Tuesday he will press the government for the release of a black teenager held in the “Jena 6” case that spurred one of the biggest civil-rights demonstrations in years. Other activists said they planned more protests if the teen is not immediately pardoned.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Son of Jim Crow in Jena

Today’s racism is more subtle than in the days of Selma and Jim Crow, as the case of the Jena 6 shows.

The tens of thousands who marched 12-across and a mile deep to protest racial injustice in Jena last week have gone home. So have the media. One of the biggest civil rights demonstrations in America in decades is over. Now what?

The story of racism in the United States is not over…

But today’s racism is not as uniformly blatant, brutal, or ubiquitous as before and during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s. Jena can’t be likened to Selma, as the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do. But Mr. Sharpton gets it right when he says: “Our fathers faced Jim Crow, we face James Crow Jr., Esquire. He’s a little more polished.”

And more subtle, which means that if there is to be a lasting movement out of last week, it must recognize this subtlety. This is true for both blacks and whites…

As for whites, the Jena violence and prosecution could very well have been avoided had school authorities dealt more substantively and sensitively with the tree-and-noose issue. Instead, the school superintendent dismissed it as a “prank,” a widely held view in the town, according to news reports.

Eddie Thompson, a white minister in Jena, says whites must listen to blacks and follow the golden rule. Listening and responding, that’s a good place to start with whatever comes next, in Jena and elsewhere.

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