Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Baby Boomer's View of the Jena 6

As a veteran journalist and baby boomer, I have followed, with much interest, the controversy surrounding the Jena 6 in Jena, Louisiana. This is one of those times when I wish I was still working in the newsroom---fighting for the right to cover stories of the injustices done to African-Americans---especially to African-American males.

I have seen very little coverage on this story and I know why. The “white shirts” who run newsrooms around the country don’t see the same significance as they do in a story berating OJ Simpson. It’s OK to kick a black man down BELOW the ground but don’t try to lift him up because he might try to steal a white woman.

I worked in an environment where an Assistant News Director expressed his fear of driving in a predominately black neighborhood and chastised me for his belief that I wanted him to show me favoritism because of my race. My question was----and still is---how do you get objective news reporting coverage from a manager like that?

What is getting ready to happen in Jena is historic. But let’s not forget, it’s happening in other places across America. Take the case of James Johnson in Wilson, NC who is scheduled to stand trial for the murder of an 18 year old white girl next week. There is NO EVIDENCE linking him to the crime but the District Attorney seems gung-ho on connecting him since he was apparently at the crime scene with another young man who has already confessed that he did it and he acted alone.

The Jena 6 movement is also very similar to the marches of the late 1950s and 1960s when people who believed in freedom marched and said “I ain’t gon’ let nobody turn me around..turn me around…turn me around…”

It is somewhat similar to Woodstock, when free thinkers said make love---not war.

I salute Davie Bowie who recently donated $10,000 to a legal defense fund for the six black teens charged in the alleged attack on the white classmate in Jena. It tells me that there are baby boomers who still have a conscience and awareness for what SHOULD be right with the world

Now I know this blog is going to piss some people off but I thank God I live in a country protected by the First amendment.


Miss_A said...

I can't watch the news today. There is no real substance to it. I used to do graphics for a newscast and I was always amazed at what was considered headline news. I didn't know anything about the Wilson, NC situation. Being that I live in NC I will be looking for more information about that.

Bev Mahone said...

Thank you for your comment. Since you have some background in television news, you certainly understand how the public was been "brainwashed." Unfortunately, there aren't enough people in positions to make a difference. News people of color today are more concerned about "keeping their jobs" than about speaking out for what's right.

Carine-what's cooking? said...

News is supposed to be "color" blind and it sure isn't. You are so correct with what you have pointed out here today Bev.
I know of late, I have been rather occupied in personal life to have put much time into watching TV/radio at all, but you've also pointed out, that even if we don't like what's going on-we'd better at least be well informed and put our 2 cents worth in, before we won't be able too.