Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Jena 6, Shaquanda Cotton, and Blog Power

Jim Crow's Children


Did you hear the good news on "The Jena 6"? The adult conviction and potential 22 year sentence of Mychal Bell has been overturned. This comes less than one week before widespread protests scheduled for this Thursday in Jena, Louisiana. Since this case and the fate of the other five boys are a looooong way from being resolved mass protests will continue as planned.

The development of Jena story is only part of a much larger "Cyber Rights Movement" that has been gaining greater ground in America in 2007. Let's call it "BLOG POWER"! It goes a little something like this: yet another African-American teenager falls victim to Jim Crow-like criminal injustice; the injustice is covered in some local newspaper; national mainstream media completely ignores story; story spreads like wildfire across hundreds of predominantly African-American blogs; national media still ignores it; bloggers still blog; national media keeps ignoring; bloggers keep blogging on irresponsible national media; one national mainstream outlet might pick up story; bloggers keep blogging; other embarrassed national outlets might pick up story; bloggers keep blogging; finally, previously voiceless activists start to receive national media attention; bloggers keep blogging; more well-known activists such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are part of planned widespread national march; bloggers keep blogging; just days prior to the scheduled protest the charges against the young teenager have been reduced or thrown out. While there exist many examples of BLOG POWER, perhaps the greatest two in 2007 involve "The Jena 6" and Shaquanda Cotton. But before we examine what they represent, some context might be necessary. Read the whole article at CounterPunch!

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