Tallulah Thoughts, Pt. 2

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With the recent movement for justice in the case of the Jena Six, Louisiana is being revealed for the racist state that it is. The history of slavery and the southern plantation economy runs deep here, and it shows in the small town of Tallulah, devastated by dirty politicians and a huge prison placed right in the heart of the town’s Black community. This town is America in its purest form, so beautiful and ugly at the same time. A train track divides the Black and White parts of town, with the “wrong side of the tracks” symbolism so real here that you forget its 2007. The segregation and look of hatred in the eyes of White residents is a reminder of America’s bloody legacy. Through it all, a coalition of community residents fights to convert the Prison in its backyard into a Success Center; which would constitute a community college providing job training and skilled trade degrees, a center providing social services to the community and an organization actively working to encourage businesses to come to the region.

This is where the movement sparked by Jena should move its attention to. This, which would be the nation’s first prison-to-school conversion, is so much more than a headline. This is a fight to shape the new South. Do we continue to invest in a racist prison industrial complex? Or do we decide to invest in education? The struggle for Tallulah’s future is a struggle for the future of America.

You can read more about this fight here, and if you feel so moved, write a letter to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and let her know your thoughts on the struggle.

Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004

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One response to “Tallulah Thoughts, Pt. 2

  1. Yo, I was watching Dr. Phil last week…*ahem* I mean, Em was watching Dr. Phil last week, =P and I noticed that he had hella folks from Jena on his show discussing this very issue. It was wild because my first thought was that he was gonna say/do something ignorant and offensive, but he basically used the show to scream at white supremicists and tell them that they are stupid, ignorant and insane if they believe that the majority of Americans think like them.

    It was pretty damn refreshing to be honest. He also had the reverand of the local Black Christian church in Jena, explaining how a group of men had come in the night and destroyed the sign for his church. When he wanted it reported as a hate crime, the local white sheriff told him it wasn’t a hate crime because the sign wasn’t valued at over $500.

    As someone who has never been to the south, it boggles the mind to imagine just how obtuse, backwards, pathetic and blatantly hypocritical scared white people can be. At least in Cali racist white folks attempt to hide their shit…You know, come to think of it, I’d rather have it be out in the open.

    Real talk.

    Maybe, just maybe, when hate is so blatantly obvious, it rallies thoughtful people, creating a bigger sense of urgency to fight oppression and the evil that men make. I think the reason so much racism, sexism, homophobia, oppression is able to exist after so much work has been done, is because hateful, ignorant people have learned to hide their hate so well. They use coded language like: “We need to secure our borders” when they mean “dirty mexicans are stealing our jobs,” or “Marriage should be set-up to exist between a man and a woman,” when what they really mean is “F*ck these f*ggots, they make me sick, and I dont want my kids thinking its okay to live like that.”

    “Either America will destroy ignorance, or ignorance will destroy America.” I forgot who said this but it is completely factual. Just like the cheddarbox said, we have to make a decision about the future. Will we invest ourelves into a capitalist machine that will eventually and inevitably fall? Or do we work to educate the youth of America to be critical thinkers who won’t allow terrible decisions to be made. If “30’s the new 20,” and “Thursday’s the new Friday,” then “the Prison Industrial Complex is the new Slavery.” FREE THE JENA 6. Nuff said.

    Bless,
    Senbei

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