So Ted Rall, who I quite like (he included me in an anthology he edits, and when I met him at Stumptown I thought he was smart and funny), drew a cartoon I really didn’t like (scroll down to the cartoon for September 27). The theme of the cartoon is, “why are people marching to support the Jena Six, when there are so many much more worthy victims of racism to march for?”
If you agree with Ted’s cartoon, let me recommend as a rebuttal this excellent post by Elle PhD:
Do you ever wonder why sit-in participants had to be so well-dressed, so calm, so “respectable?”
Well, of course you know. The people who would be the face of the Civil Rights Movement had to be virtually blameless. They couldn’t give white bigots fodder to dismiss them or the movement. They had to tread a line between being the human face of the movement while upholding super-human reputations and faithfully remaining non-violent.
It was a lot to expect, this demand for perfection, this unspoken implication that African Americans had to be more than human, had to prove themselves worthy of fair treatment, of justice. [...]
For people who didn’t know much about the Jena Six, suddenly you were awfully concerned about offenses for which Mychal Bell had been convicted.
And you focused on the MAJOR point of “was the slogan really effective/correct/what I would’ve chosen?” [...]
We’re still going to see and fight the injustice in the treatment of this child:
Whether you think he’s a hero or worthy of the effort or not.
And for the other five of our children that you’ve thrown under the bus–you know, the ones you’ve convicted even though at least two of them say they did not participate in the fight? The ones who you just know are guilty and that’s the other reason you “can’t get behind this?”
We’re going to press for justice for them, too. They deserve it. They are worth it.
There’s lots more, so please click through and read the whole thing.
And then go read “We Protest” at Afro-Netizen:
We protest because the boys of Jena 6 and their families need to know they are not alone.
We protest because the Jena travesty is not about a nooses that were hung on a now-felled tree, but the noose of injustice that remains around the neck of Black America.
We protest because few people know “state-sponsored terrorism” like Blackfolk.
We protest because Jena is not a rural Southern town, it is a state of mind — not from the 1950s, but of the here and now in every American town, suburb and city from South to North and sea to shining sea.
That’s just a teaser; the whole thing is worth reading.