Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lack of Progressive Coverage On Jena6

Pam Spaulding has a post taking the progressive blogosphere and Glenn Reynolds to task for not covering the Jena6 story.

* DailyKos features a handful of posts about injustice in Iraq today -- but not a single entry on its main page, or even its user-generated "diaries," about this important case.

* TalkingPointsMemo, a favorite of the DC wonk set, is similarly incensed about foreign policy, but apparently not about racial justice in the South -- nothing there either.

* Long-time progressive blogger Atrios doesn't have a lot of posts up,but found time to touch on Paul Krugman, Iraq and the state of the Euro -- but not this major issue.

* Surely TalkLeft -- which has positioned itself as the leading progressive blog about criminal justice issues -- would have something? Think again -- not a single mention, not even in the quick news briefs!

* What about another progressive favorite, FireDogLake? A rant about Republicans being "little bitches," but nothing on the Jena 6.

When the Jena 6 does make an appearance on progressive blogs today, it's little more than a passing nod. Huffington Post has a blog post buried below the fold; ThinkProgress gives it a two-sentence news brief.

However, many of these blogs are eagerly pointing to news stories which suggest the Republican candidates don't care about black issues.

Jane Hamsher protested Spaulding's post. She felt she was being accused of being a racist and would have to defend herself if she wrote about the Jena6 controversy. I don't think that was the intention of Spaulding's post. The point was minorities and the poor are often neglected in news coverage. That doesn't mean Hamsher is a racist. (I have seen no evidence to lead me to believe that.)

I have been guilty of not covering the Jena6 story. I wrote this comment at Pandagon.

I have learned about the Jena6 story from media reports in the last few days. I admit that I haven’t blogged about it myself. I think Jane Hamsher is being overly defensive. The truth is there are a lot of stories the blogosphere doesn’t cover. I try to write about Florida and Tampa politics because very few people do. If people say I haven’t blogged enough about Jena6 I’ll take it as a valid criticism.

I’m trying people. Believe me.

What is interesting is Facebook has activists very involved in getting the word out on Jena6. That is how I first learned about it.

Students Baltimore, Los Angeles, New York, and New Orleans are protesting the legal treatment Mychal Bell and other black high school students in Jena, Louisiana. Bell was convicted of second-degree battery by an all-white jury. His conviction was overturned. The court ruled he should not be tried as an adult.

Jean has a history of racially-charged fights. White youth would either not get charged or face misdemeanors. Black teens would face harsher penalties. Six teens are facing second degree murder charges for assault on Justin Barker.

There is something extremely dysfunctional about the community. Black and whites long had contempt for each other. Nooses were hung at a high school. This is not the way for people to live.

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At September 21, 2007 9:34 PM , Blogger Frznagn said...

Some of the worst racism I've ever seen was down in the south. And it goes both ways too. Funny how the vast majority of news reports only show that whites are the racist ones.

Lots of problems on both sides. Ever get this feeling that there will be peace in the mideast before there is reconciliation in the south?

At September 22, 2007 2:03 AM , Blogger tas said...

Ever get this feeling that there will be peace in the mideast before there is reconciliation in the south?

No, actually. And not to be sassy about it, but in the MidEast the differing factions fight over land they think they should own, and they hold grudges for a millennium. In another thousand years, we might find out if they hold grudges for two millennium. Southern US race relations, on the contrary, have at least gone through some progress.. Give it 200 years, at most, and everyhing should be hunky dory.


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