The Jena 6 is HOT!
Yeah I've marched for a cause concerning my people, but I ain't no Doctor King. Yeah, I've gotten into the fisticuffs for some dumb ass calling me a nigger, but I ain't no Malcolm X. And yeah, I'm about to write about an issue concerning race, but a Cornel West I am not.
I'm more like Shock G. I'm just a black man, caught up in the mix, trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents. Fortunately, the way I make my 15 cents is by giving you my two cents. So, allow me to begin.
I need not rehash the Jena 6 story for anybody. Unless you're one of those people who is not black and living on planet Earth, you have probably already heard about the situation involving 6 teenage boys in small-town Jena, Louisiana. To be real, a lot of you who are reading this probably know more than me about this situation. To be really real, a lot of you who are reading this probably know one of those boys or a cousin of one of those boys. I'm just sayingâ€¦
The incident in Jena, Louisiana, as tragic and horrifying as it is, is nothing new. Not in Jena, not in Anywhere USA. If you're black and living in America, you've heard about this story or experienced a story like this firsthand. It's good, old fashioned, racism, andÂ as American as apple pie, baseball, and Chevrolet. But, what is new is the way we support a situation like the Jena 6, which, by the way, sounds like something you would've named your crew if you lived in Jena, had six guys and were about to roll to a club in a neighboring town.
I see a lot of my people are treating the Jena 6 like it's one of those trucker hats everyone was rocking a couple of years ago. These trendy activists want a t-shirt, a wristband, and if they could've swung it, a seat on the bus to drive down to Jena, Louisiana. Because, you know, being on a bus on the way to Jena, Louisiana is, at least for now, like riding in a Bentley
Please understand, this gripe is not with the boys involved in the case or the case itself, this gripe is with those individuals who could honestly give a fuck about the state of their people for most of the year, and then choose to hop on a cause just because their friends are doing it. All you trendy activists know who you are. You absolutely despise interrupting your regularly scheduled program of not giving a fuck, but you will do it if it's what everyone else is doing. You do what the blogs tell you to do, and what your favorite rapper tells you to do. But you don't do the right thing unless it's in your DVD player.
The real tragedy is how people from around the country are choosing to concentrate on a case that is hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of miles away from their own doorstep. Granted, if it wasn't for the huge outcry of support, the situation in Jena probably would've stayed as bad as it was and would have never gotten better, and those who did lend their support should be applauded. But I sincerely hope all those individuals who chose to sign a petition in support of the six boys are also signing up for some sort of community service in their own backyard and getting involved with six boys that live down the street from them.
For me personally, I think globally and act locally. I did sign a petition but I also got on a bus to go to work, because that's what I do. Not to say I'm proud of it, but I'm not about to make apologies for it. I realize there are people alive who know how to make a noose and put it up in a tree, but I live in New York, they don't even have trees from which to hang people. And just the other day when I was leaving the African-American parade in Harlem, I heard four gunshots go off and saw people running in all directions. Someone got got, but in my search for details on local news, I didn't see anything about it. That's some strange fruit indeed.