Archive for September 2007
Wow, what a week! It’s like we’re back in the Sixties. First, there was “Don’t tase me, bro” from Florida. Then Jena, Louisiana exploded onto the national stage. Last night I was stacking firewood listening to NPR when the story came out about how the telecom Corporations are trying to get its lapdog Congress to give it immunity against lawsuits over illegal wiretapping.
Don’t Tase Me, Bro. Alright, let’s take this slower. On the taser incident, recall that the Sixties was a time when young progressives took to the street to express their strident opposition to the corrupt and destructive policies of the state. In response, the state over-reacted, giving us memorable incidents like the 1968 Democratic National Convention and Kent State.
Fast forward to the Fall equinox of 2007 on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville. At a Q&A session in a school auditorium, student Andrew Myer — a relentless attention-seeker — asked John Kerry three questions. In asking these questions, Myer was passionate, yet annoying to many in the crowd. He went on for too long, and was a tad strident. His questions came from the Far Left. Despite all this, Senator Kerry was prepared to answer Myers’ questions and even called them “important”.
We all know what happened next. My only questions are: Who is the guy in the video giving the “throat slashing” sign, and toward what person is that guy, and all of the police standing next to him, looking at? We know that the tasering police are appendages of the state (campus security in this case). But from what branch of the state is the guy in the suit?
Jena. Last year, in the Duke lacrosse case, a racially biased prosecutor, spurred on by the biased University president, prosecuted three Duke lacrosse players for alleged rape. Early on, it became evident that the only crimes committed by the players were second degree misogyny, aggravated frat-boyism, and first degree I’m-a-rich-white-boy-and-the-world-is-my-oyster-ism. Despite these crimes, they were innocent of rape. Eventually the prosecutor was removed, and even disbarred, and even jailed!, for his unfair racist behavior.
What made the case fascinating was that the defendants were rich and white, the “victim” was poor, black and female, and the prosecutor was white. The Duke lacrosse matter was one of those old-time cases of Southern prosecutorial “justice”. But what made it fascinating was that it wasn’t your daddy’s Jim Crow form of perverted Southern justice.
But the Jena case is precisely that. In that case, six Black boys, led by a self-styled vigilante (Mychael Bell) who no doubt sees himself as a Black Clint Eastwood, executed some vigilante schoolyard justice against a White boy. They were guilty of just that: schoolyard vigilantism.
But Jena is the Jim Crow South, where all Black witnesses are liars, and all White people are victims. So in that case, the Jim Crow prosecutor could not see the aggravated threat and assault in the noose incident, nor could he believe stories of a White boy threatening Blacks with a shotgun, nor of a gang of Whites beating up a Black victim, nor any such other incident.
Of course, all such other incidents paint the otherwise deplorable actions of the Jena 6 as actions arising in reaction to extreme provocation — provocation coming not merely from White classmates, but also from White teachers, the White schoolboard, White police, and the White prosecutor.
In other words, what we have in Jena circa 2007 is the Jim Crow South of 1963 (except that the townsfolk — 60% of whom voted for David Duke — insist they are not racist). Now while the Duke lacrosse case was troubling, at least it suggested some measure of “progress”, albeit a perverted progress gone too far.
But Jena is all about regress. It’s 1963 all over again. I mean, we all know racist individuals exist throughout this country. But who could have guessed that a retro racist micro-state called “Jena” could still exist in 2007?
Telecom Corporate Cheating. The interesting thing about that telecom/wiretapping/immunity story is not that the telecom Corporations are seeking such immunity, or that Congress is ready and willing to do their bidding. That is the world we live in.
No, what is interesting about the story is that the story has come out before the immunity provision has become law. Normally, we People hear about such Corporate cheating long after the cheating has become law. By that time, nobody cares.
But this time, the People have caught the cheating Corporations and their Government stooges in the act. What’s more, some Corporate media have published the story.
That’s what the Sixties was about. Corporations were suspicious to the People. And so the attention of the People was tuned to Corporate malfeasance.
Conclusion. In the seminal piece which kicked off this Duck & Gather site, I explained that the book The Fourth Turning seems to predict a coming crisis in America that will resolve unresolved battles from the Sixties.
The lone Sixties battle I could think of that is currently unresolved is the People vs. Corporations battle. In the Sixties, the People were soundly defeated in this battle.
But in that article, I claim that for most other battles of the Sixties, we People won them convincingly. These victorious battle include the Civil Rights movement and feminist revolution.
Yet this week brings us “Don’t tase me, bro” and Jena. These cases remind us that there is still some work to be done, and that the coming crisis may prove even more challenging than previously imagined.