Friday, September 21, 2007

No racial divide

Been busy lately. Gotta work. My partner in crime is soon to be retired again, so I better try to make some money, eh?

Meanwhile, I've been following the Jena 6 story, and I wore all black yesterday in protest (although it must be admitted that wearing black is not exactly unusual for me in any case). You can Google or Google News "Jena 6" for background. This morning's news has this:

Jena resident Terry Adams disagreed with any accusations that there might be a black-white divide in the area.

"We are not a racial town. We get along with each other, we get along fine. This is something that got out of proportion. It really has."

Jena's racial tensions were aggravated in August 2006, when three white teens hung the nooses the day after a group of black students received permission from school administrators to sit under the tree -- a place where white students normally congregated.

The guilty students were briefly suspended from classes, despite the principal's recommendation they be expelled, according to Donald Washington, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana.

A member of the LaSalle Parish School Board -- which had a role in supporting suspension instead of expulsion -- insisted the board is not prejudiced.

The panel felt it took the appropriate action, Jonny Fryar said.

"I talked to one of the parents, who called me and said their son thought it was a prank and naive to the fact of what it meant and he was sorry," he said.

"I hate to see people label us as something we are not. Because we have black students and white students playing football together. They shake hands, get along. This is an unfortunate incident. We hope that the community can heal." Source

Why did the black students need permission to sit where white students normally congregated? Had the white students previously obtained permission?

And then the kid saying he was naïve about what the nooses meant: So, he would have hung nooses there if some more white students had sat under the tree?

Yeah. There’s no black-white divide. None whatsoever.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Work snippets 3

Working on Armesto, The World. Not a bad title. The World.

Item number 1:

They were anti-evolution. They didn't want to evolve. Their grandaddys never did it, they sure as HELL weren't going to do it either.

Item number 2:

15. The world’s first true democracies, offering women the same political rights as men, took shape in
a. Britain and the United States.
b. France and the United States.
c. Norway and New Zealand.
d. India and Sweden.

Interesting take on the word "true," isn't it? We still don't give everybody the same political rights. Here, at least, convicts can't vote. Children can't vote. Permanent residents can't vote. Only "citizens" vote, but hasn't that always, essentially, been the case? It's just that we're forever changing our definition of "citizen."

The actual text says this: "In politics, too, the new century opened with new departures. The world's first full democracies--full in the sense that women had equal political rights with men--took shape in Norway and New Zealand."

I'll edit the question to use "full." But it is still highly subjective. I would argue that if we distinguish the citizen from other types of residents, and if democracy is an activity by and for only the citizens, then a "full" democracy is one in which each citizen verifiably has a voice in the process, regardless of the non-citizens that have been left out altogether.

We don't have that now.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be inducted into an honors society. Don't hurt yourself as you fall out of your chair, laughing.