Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Jena 6, Shaquanda Cotton, and Blog Power

September 20, 2007


One must wonder if without the aid of the internet: would "The Jena 6" ever made national mainstream news?; would Shaquanda Cotton still be locked up?; or even, would we have experienced the meteoric increase in profit-inducing prisoners over the last 30 years? And what about all the other Bell's and Cotton's who never received a protest march in their name. Is it because we simply don't know their stories? Witt reports that thousands of juvenile cases in Texas are currently being reviewed "as part of a sweeping overhaul of the scandal-plagued system". While this is encouraging news, what will happen in Louisiana and the other 48 states? In 1964, grotesque television images helped coalesce just barely enough national support to get President Johnson to sign a new "Civil Rights Act" in the face of vitriolic segregationists. Is it possible for BLOG POWER to wake up America to deal with Jim Crow's children and get a "Criminal Justice Reform Act" signed at a juncture in American history that boasts a rise in hate groups?

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While such a suggestion may only be a pipe dream, BLOG POWER is not quietly hoping for Senators, governors, and other elected officials to do their job, nor is it patiently waiting for Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, or Joe Scarbarough to determine what is newsworthy. BLOG POWER is a place that demands an end to mainstream media's insidious practice of "racism-by-omission". It is a "cyber rights movement" that won't stop until widespread white denial is widely denied. It is a new virtual democracy at work and a voice for the voiceless. But perhaps the greatest contribution that a handful of committed local journalists and thousands of committed bloggers can make is not its ability to show that Jim Crow has returned, but only to demonstrate that he has never really left. Read all of "Jim Crow's Children," by CHARLES MODIANO.

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