(I have not been posting my recent work here because my new home is at Maat's Feather
, but realize that there are still some folks coming here to read me rather than the new site, so as enticement, I'm cross-posting this here!)
In another karmic twist, today's Inspiration from Edward Brooke -- who cautioned us all as Black folks that you do what you have to do -- is a good entry point into the purpose of this short diary reminder.
Today is the Jena Six National Day of Action, aka Blackout Day. A day of spiritual solidarity for those of us who could not answer Color of Change's call to travel to Jena today with the thousands who have taken busses, planes and cars -- in the old school way -- to make their way Down South to Jena, Louisiana and make their voices heard in person.
So today we are all are asked to take action and show our colors in solidarity with the Jena Six and the thousands of demonstrators -- students, grownups and folks of all stripes -- who have made their way down to Jena, Louisiana today to be march through the streets of town and be heard about racist injustice.
Today was to have been the continued criminal sentencing date of Mychal Bell, the first of the children convicted in the Jena Six case. Instead, Mychal Bell remains in jail despite the Third Circuit Court of Appeals of Louisiana and his original trial court throwing out his charges. No charges are pending against him now, mind you, but LaSalle Parish DA Reed Walters insists that Bell -- who cannot make bail and has been rotting in jail for over a year now, longer than he'd have likely been sentenced to had he been tried as a juvenile as he was supposed to have been -- remain there until the DA's appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court runs.
Yet that racist asshole still insists that his purposeful overcharging of the Jena Six had to do with race.
But today is not a day of complaint - today is a day of action. So take action in all of the following ways, in solidarity:
Wear Black!!: Not only is Black beautiful, Black is back, baby. Let them see a living example today of my tagline for this site: Black is the new Black.
Reach Out!!: I continue to be amazed how few people know this travesty of justice is occurring, even at my law firm where we are now helping (as many others have also now stepped up) to try and right this thing. So tell this story of modern day nooses, racist law enforcement and of Black children being railroaded simply for finally getting "sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Step Up!!: If you have not yet joined the nearly quarter million people who have signed the Color of Change petition demanding that all charges against the Jena Six be dismissed by DA Reed Walters, aka the Nouveaux Bull Connor, and that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco use all her office's power to intervene, do it!!. The link is here: Petition to Free the Jena Six
Be Heard!!: Call and e-mail and write letters to all the players in this travesty with the power to stop this thing: Louisiana Governor Blanco, Senators Mary Landrieu and Bobby Vitter, LaSalle Parish officials, including but not limited to the lamented Mr. Reed Walters himself. Make your voice heard.
Dig Deep!!: Mychal Bell remains in jail for one reason, and only one reason: poverty prevents him from posting the bond necessary to be free pending any new juvenile proceeding (if Reed Walters really has the balls to re-file). Mr. "End Your Lives with the Stroke of a Pen" Reed Walters set Bell's bail at $80,000, requiring a significant bond deposit to free him. The other families have begged and borrowed to free their children and provide them a defense - some have had to pay for private bar legal assistance despite out of state pro bono counsel being able to lend a hand to now reduce some costs -- and are hanging on by a thin thread. So even if you've got only $5 (and you know you do - did you stop at Starbucks this morning?) send it to the families, to let them know they are not alone.
(Hey, if even David Bowie -- one of my favorite rockers! -- can step up and dig deep to do his part, the rest of us have NO excuse)
Reach Out!!: To the boys themselves. Hillary Clinton rightfully called what is going on in Jena a "teaching moment." It is, for all of us. But it especially is for the six young men -- children -- who are caught up in the middle of this thing. Please ma'am, please sir, won't you take a moment to send a postcard, or note, to them (particularly Mychal Bell, who remains in jail) to let them know that you care?
Separate, we are powerful. Together, we are unstoppable.
And we are ALL tired of being sick and tired, where white supremacy exercised through racially disparate justice against Black folks are concerned.