Progress in Jena

I want to underscore that I think Jena, Louisiana is not the most racist place in the world. And, the attention brought to Jena was not because Jena was the worst town in the country, but more because the Jena story provided a chance for a “teaching moment” about the racism that exists in every town in America.

Still, Jena did not handle it well when the nooses were hung. And, they did not handle it well when the black students beat up a white student. And, they didn’t always handle the criticism they got very well.

But, I am so happy to see that now something is being done that should have been done a long time ago. The Mayor has initiated an interracial committee to study race issues. (See full  story here.) Now, Jena is on the right path. And, in fact, they may be jumping ahead of many other places who are still wallowing in denial.

So, congratulations to Jena. And, now, let’s see how many other villages, towns, and cities can create commissions to heal race relations.

Jena Mayor Calls Song Inflammatory

JENA, La. (AP) — A video in which rapper-actor Mos Def asked students around the country to walk out Oct. 1 to support the “Jena Six” escaped comment by this town’s mayor. But when John Mellencamp sang, “Jena, take your nooses down,” he took issue.

“The town of Jena has for months been mischaracterized in the media and portrayed as the epicenter of hatred, racism and a place where justice is denied,” Jena Mayor Murphy R. McMillin wrote in a statement on town letterhead faxed on Friday to The Associated Press.

He said he had previously stayed quiet, hoping that the town’s courtesy to people who have visited over the past year would speak for itself. “However, the Mellencamp video is so inflammatory, so defamatory, that a line has been crossed and enough is enough.”…

At McMillin’s request, the Jena Town Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to create an interracial committee to study racial relations and suggest solutions to any problems.

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  1. […] Vimple wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptProgress in Jena I want to underscore that I think Jena, Louisiana is not the most racist place … : Criminal Justice, Jena 6, justice, Mellencamp, music, R […]

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