2 Perspectives on the “Jena Six” Case

Racism is an ugly word and an even uglier reality. From what I understand, racism involves viewing and treating others as subhuman because of their ethnicity, skin pigmentation, or other superficial (or not) characteristic.

The Bible condemns this, despite racists’ twisted interpretations of certain texts.

Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, how racism fits into this I do not know.

Paul says this,

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Treating others as inferior is irreconcilable with what Scripture teaches. A Christian has no business being a racist, anymore than he has any business being an adulterer or a thief, or a hypocrite. That some still are habitually any of these 4, does not mean that Scripture condones these sins. The Apostle says, “Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar“, so the fault must lie with our misreading of God’s Word or failure to put it into practice.

This being said, does racism exist? Yes, and it is not solely an American phenomenon. It comes natural to human beings of all nations because of our fallen state. It is not going to go away so long as human beings populate this earth. It will be eradicated when the Lord returns but don’t hold your breath until then. This of course, does not mean that we shed responsibility if an injustice is being carried out.

2 perspectives on the case in Jena, Louisiana were recently presented by Leonard Pitts and Jason Whitlock.

Pitts’ contention is that racism is still alive (he’s right) and is playing a part in,

Jena, La., [where] six American children with dark skin were charged with attempted murder after jumping a pale child whose injuries amounted to a black eye and a concussion…

Yet, it has become common for some pale Americans to deny that these and other inequities have anything to do with skin tone. That’s an absurdity we left in the ’50s, they say. We are beyond that. There are no pale Americans and dark Americans. There are only Americans. They wish dark Americans would understand this and get over it already.

And it’s the darnedest thing. If you suggest that they are wrong, they will look at you askance, maybe even laugh, and wonder what is wrong with you. Because they know they’re right, know it in their bones, know it in their Bibles, know it with a certitude.

Know it beyond all question.

He contends that the same attitude behind segregation in the South is the same as the unfair prosecution of these 6 black kids, accused of beating a white classmate.

Whitlock writes from a different perspective,

Jesse Jackson compared Thursday’s rallies in Jena to the protests and marches that used to take place in cities like Selma, Ala., in the 1960s. Al Sharpton claimed Thursday’s peaceful demonstrations were to highlight racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Jesse and Al, as they’re prone to do, served a kernel of truth stacked on a mountain of lies.

There are undeniable racial and economic inequities in our criminal justice system, and from afar the “Jena Six” rallies certainly looked and felt like the righteous protests of the 1960s.

But the reality is Thursday’s protests are just another sign that we remain deeply locked in denial about the path we need to travel today for true American liberation, equality and power in the new millennium.

Check out both columns, they are good reads. Do you agree with either one of these guys?


2 Responses to 2 Perspectives on the “Jena Six” Case

  1. healtheland says:

    These are my thoughts on the Jena 6 issue. As you might guess, I tend more towards Jason Whitlock than I do towards the homosexual marriage supporter Leonard Pitts. http://healtheland.wordpress.com/2007/09/21/jena-louisiana-the-black-christian-perspective/

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