It's about our community and our spirituality!

Jena Protest a Huge Success

Truck Nooses

By any measure important to the wellbeing of the African American community the organized protest in Jena, Louisiana has been an unequivocal success. Tens of thousands of people, most of them obviously black, descended upon the tiny Louisiana town of less then three thousand to express support for the black young men who many judge to be unfairly targeted by law enforcement in Jena. Without exception the protest was peaceful and without any negativity. As far as I can tell there wasn’t so much as a jay walking violation by the time the event was done. The protestors were respectful of the locals, their laws, and their property. People expecting the worse were pleasantly surprised. People hoping for something negative in the form of some disruption of the peace were disappointed. But it didn’t keep them from trying.

There were so many visitors to Jena not everyone could stay in the tiny town. Some visitors used the tiny neighboring town of Alexandria, Louisiana as their staging point. As about two hundred of these visitors from Nashville, Tennessee waited for their bus to return to their homes, a pickup truck was spotted driving up and down the street with a pair of nooses hanging off its bed in the back. The nooses were made from brightly colored yellow rope and contrasted sharply against the truck’s burgundy red paint making the nooses visible for miles. The driver wanted to get the attention of the remaining protesters. The driver wanted to convey a message that nothing has changed and that the racist philosophy that the protestors were demonstrating against isn’t about to go away soon. The nooses were a symbol of defiance and antagonism from white racist.

City officials were contacted about the pickup truck. The sheriff was called and responded. The truck was pulled over. There were two occupants and one of them was a minor. There was an unloaded .22 caliber rifle in the back of the truck. There sheriff found brass knuckles. Unable to summon the courage to display their racist nature on their own, both the driver and the passenger intensified their courage, and dampened what remained of their common sense, with alcohol. Both are facing charges of attempting to insight a riot, disturbing the peace, and disorderly conduct. The driver faces an additional charge of driving while intoxicated. And the major is facing an additional charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Mayor Jacques Roy made a statement that federal authorities may be contacted to investigate the possibility of a hate crime.

Without a doubt the driver and his passenger will claim that they didn’t mean anything and that it was all just a prank. Kind of like the three nooses that started the whole affair that put Jena, Louisiana at the center of people’s attention around the world. But it wasn’t funny then and it is just as unfunny now. To the members of the African American community nooses are a raw symbol of racial hatred and disparity. After everything that has happened in the last year a person continuing to use such offensive icons would have to be either completely brainless or completely insensitive or a complete sociopath. The whole point of the rally was to help bring attention to the potentially destructive power of such a community divisive act.

Many black people aren’t quick to forget that our African ancestors died at the hands of white people using nooses. A white man with a noose conjures up all kinds of hurtful and latent, hateful emotions for many people in the black community. It is not a joke or an innocent prank. A white person who faces black people with a noose is throwing down the gauntlet. Some people would like to dismiss such acts as not worth the black community’s collective attention. No one dies such a raw ugly death these days. But tell that to the family of James Byrd, Jr. whose body was dragged through the backwoods of Jasper County, Texas. That incident probably started as a prank as well.

However, somebody is beginning to listen. The sheriff and Mayor of Alexandria have learned the all too important lesson. They may have dismissed the truck with nooses hanging off of it as little more than a prank last year. This year their reaction is altogether different. It is offensive and it is instigative. In order to keep the peace, offensive acts must be kept in check even if the sheriff may not necessarily find them personally offensive. And today, because black people organized and made their collective feelings known to the white community, more white people understand that nooses hanging from a tree are not at all just an innocent prank but a provocation.

The protest in Jena was successful. There was no violence and there was nothing but a peaceful message that the black community is very concerned with what we feel is a lack of equal justice in Jena, in Louisiana, and in America. Racism is alive and well in America. Today more people should understand that fact more clearly than ever before. That makes the protest widely successful.

Sunday, September 23, 2007 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Men, Black People, Black Women, Jena 6, Justice, Life, News, Racism, Thoughts


  1. I’m sorry, I have to disagree with you. Yes, I’m glad there was support for the Jena Six. But that hardly makes up for the continuing injustice in America’s justice system. Just visit any prison.

    Comment by kip | Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Reply

  2. Whoa! Ease up there Kip. No where did I say this made up for all the injustice in America’s injustice system. All I’m saying is that because the protest was carried out without problems it was successful. Because there are more people who understand or who take these noose threats to the black community more seriously it was successful. This should not be interpreted as everything is fine now. I don’t believe anything I wrote could remotely give the impression that the struggle for equal treatment in America is over.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Reply

  3. African Reparations for the Black Holocaust Petition:

    Comment by AFRICA UNITE | Monday, September 24, 2007 | Reply

  4. What success? Mychal Bell is still in jail and will remain there until Esau says so. What did the million man march do for us? Since that time there has still been countless blunders in the community. So-called blacks have been marching for 60 years, and the situation remains the same. One question… How do you fight a race, be lynched(Mississippi burning), be hosed(Chicago), be beaten(numerous marches), have vicious dogs sicked on you, etc., just to earn massa’s respect to live amongst him and take part in his sysytem? Does that even sound good to you? So basically, all these years we’ve been marching, and fighting massa for him to let us into his system. The same system that BP and most so-called blacks complain about everyday. It’s comical. But, we’ll march to be accepted into it.

    You can march to the end of the earth, Esau will never change his wicked ways. And he will never accept us. Never!!! I’ll holla in another 60 years after we’ve marched a billion more times, after another 17 year-old is charged with attempted murder for a school fight, after another man is dragged for a mile behind a KKK pick-up truck, after another brother is shot 26 times by police, after another elder man is beaten by police for asking the time, after another radio shock jock refers to our women as “nappy-headed hoes,” and basically after another 60 years of injustice.

    The Most High warned his people to “separate thyself from thine enemies.” Esau is clearly an enemy of ours after ALL his atrocities towards so-called blacks. Wouldn’t you say? Wake up my people!! Wake up!! Return to your heritage. Had Mychal Bell’s parents opened his eyes, he would NEVER be in this situation. Now Esau has gotten the best of him.

    Comment by Easy | Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Reply

  5. Black reparations? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!! So-called blacks have been waiting for that since 1865, when it was promised to us. You think 142 years and 27 presidents later, we are going to see any reparations let alone 40 acres? Hahahahahahaha!!! Still begging Esau for a hand-out. Why don’t we march for it? Oops… Done did enough marching.

    Your reparations will NOT come from Esau. He is evil, his money is evil, and his land is filled with abominations. Your reparations will be better than ANYTHING that Esau could ever give to you. Just be patient my brothers, and DO NOT depend on Esau.

    Comment by Easy | Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Reply

  6. Easy,

    Silly me thinking tens of thousand of people coming together to show solidarity in a peaceful protest was actually a good use of time. Now I know it was just a big waste. Thank you for your input.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, September 27, 2007 | Reply

  7. Of course I agree that the noose incidents you mention are totally inappropriate. They’re all obviously meant to be intimidating, threatening and racist. But do you think that all nooses are racist? The only ones I’ve seen with my own eyes are Hallowe’en decorations of hung pirate-skeletons, eyepatch and all, which seems totally unrelated to me. CNN says it’s a nono anyway, but that makes little sense to me. We were hanging pirates and thieves back when we still thought Africa was filled with sea monsters.

    Comment by Meg | Thursday, November 8, 2007 | Reply

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