The Jena6…one perspective

September 5, 2007

   I’m not going to go into all the he said she said.  There are literally thousands of articles available by typing Jena6 into your browser window.  That name itself is part of the problem, and it says more about being human than it does about being black.  Which is allegedly what this is about.  Being black.  which isn’t a crime.  Fortunately,  knocking someone down and kicking them like a football while they are unconscious is.

    What you are likely to find should you type Jena6 in your browser window are a veritable avalanche of articles written by those who feel a grave injustice is being done to the young black men.  Not young men.  Young black men.  I have a difference of opinion with all of these people.  I think they should be punished, and severely, for the cowardly attack they perpetrated.Not because they are black.  Because they are criminals.

    I also feel that the antagonists in the white assaults on blacks should be punished severely.  Assaulting someone is in the worst categories of crimes.  Violence against a person.  The parents deifying their children, when apparently several of them have violent criminal histories doesn’t change the one over riding premise.  They kicked an unconscious human being for the sheer hell of it. 

   Is there a reason all this is happening? sure.  People are stupid.  That’s the nuts and bolts of the whole case.  People are stupid.  Younf Mr. Bell doesn’t think of himself as an individual, and apparently neither does anyone else in this backwater stretch of Louisiana.  The desire to belong to something bigger than oneself is not new, but when you can only identify yourself because of your race you have lost track of what it means to be human.

    It doesn’t matter if the whites in this purgatory on earth defined these young men as black.  It doesn’t matter that the rabble rousers now clamoring around the case define these young men as black.  What matters is how they define themselves, and reality dictates that they will go to prison alone.  They will need to make the decision at some point in their lives that they are men.  Not black men.  Just men.

   Had Mr. Bell and so many others thought of themselves as individuals this entire thing would’ve been avoided.  I picture myself in their shoes.  Looking up at those nooses hanging from the trees.  They took it as an affront to their collective dignity.  One of the ropes would;ve needed my name on it for me to even begin to think it was aimed at me.  Mr. Bell knew it was aimed at his group, and he began a crusade in defense of that group.   The group won’t be going to prison.  The reason for that is many in the group found a better outlet for their anger over the incident, or just understood that this act of ignorance was aimed at the collective, and not the individual.

   It’s unfortunate that the upbringing of these young men made their race more important to them than their own well being.  You can rail away all you want, but the facts in the case are sound.  No black men are going to prison.  Only men are.


I was going to write something

August 3, 2007

    but decided against it.  Instead, Mollie and I enjoyed a baconnator and fries and a quiet evening of talking shit in the driveway with the neighbor and his extensive circle of ne’er-do-wells.  The precocious little nitwit at Wendy’s couldn’t quite comprehend that a #4 was in fact a baconnator, and I was therefore forced to call the god of all cholesterol bombs by its full name.   I don’t know if you’ve ever had the pleasure, but a baconnator is available at all your local Wendy’s fast food locations, and includes 2 slices of cheese, two 1/4 pound beef patties, and 6 strips of bacon slathered all over with mayo, and lodged between two slabs of bread that they cleverly call a bun.  Just one of these monuments to dietary suicide can easily double your cholesterol count.  Mine hovers in the low 4 digits so I’m not particularly worried about it, and damn was it good.   I washed it down with a quart of dead animal fat, and am feeling much better now thank you.

   Rebuild hell is almost over.  Tomorrow we will place the molds back in the slagcaster chain.  I have learned much to my chagrin that my young protege is my perfect cliche young American, meaning he borders on worthless when you ask him to do anything that involves physical labor.  On the bright side, while he doesn’t get a lot done he is amusing as hell to watch, which helps speed the day along.  Yesterday about 9 a.m. I explained the proper use of a hammer to him, and god bless his soul he ignored me until I gave him the class again about 2 p. m. after he was thoroughly worn out, and everyone in the shop had wandered by and asked me why exactly I hadn’t taught him not to swing a hammer like that.  The beauty of our mentoring program is that no one else interferes in it, instead they go to the mentor for all things dealing with the mentee? mental?  The new stupid person? yeah, that works.  Because of this, rather than repeating myself or having someone interfere, I was allowed to spend roughly 5 hours watching him ignore my well intended and somewhat sage advice.

    I’m not as evil as that may have sounded.  I did the hard part so he wouldn’t have too, and when advice is ignored its best to just watch and see how that works out.  In our case it resulted in him having the arm strength of a 5 year old girl half through the day.  When I regave my “how to work a tool with no moving parts” class at 2 p.m., he was  more receptive to my advice, and managed to make it until 4 pm.  At that time he had achieved that near nirvana state of total worthlessness, and was allowed to leave.  I did both of our jobs the last 4 hours of the day. 

   His father was one of the driveway reprobates this evening and I had the opportunity to ask him how the damn kid got to 20 without learning to use a hammer.  His dad is a tough old bastard, and was delighted by the tale I told.  His only response was if I had managed to teach him anything I was a better teacher than he.  The kids alright, and I’m afraid tomorrow might kill him.

     I generally don’t attend the driveway fests, but when I do go they are always informative.  Tonights discussion covered everything from how big a flathead catfish has to be for you to get both your hands into its mouth (45 pounds), which pain killers are the most effective (hydrocodone was the drug of choice, with a smattering of support for oxycontin), and the best way to fool a DOT drug test(that should build your confidence as that semi goes smoking past you during tomorrows rush hour), what to do if you’re carjacked (our august panel of heathens have decided that lodging your handgun under the chin and pulling the trigger is more effective than just letting them have your car), the Harlan County war (they hail from hazzard county Kentucky), and local matters of politics that included a rope, a pickup, and a lot of beer.

   The guy who advocated putting a bullet through the head of a carjacker did 6 years for doing a density test on a thugs skull with a .40 calibre, and the lady that does drug testing for the DOT was very informative.  Lynching the mayor was discussed, but I think it was all hot air.  We’ll see.  If he gets hung I know who did it.  If you ever catch a catfish big enough to stick both your hands in its mouth I recommend not eating it, and the harlan county war wasn’t much like the movie.  They downplayed the hell out of the violence if the old feller I talked to is to be believed.  I didn’t argue with him.  He run about 6’5″ and weighed about 350.  He was damn near big enough to make me lay off the Kentucky jokes for the evening, but I did tell my buddy who is going to his family reunion in Hazzard next week to try and score him a wife.

you folks have a good night.