Feminist Philosophers

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The Jena Six and the blogosphere September 21, 2007

Filed under: bias,human rights,race — annejjacobson @ 3:38 pm

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The story: Racial injustice and a disconnect in the liberal/left-wing blogsphere:

Six black youths in Jena, Lousianna, were charged with attempted murder after a school yard brawl which left a white student unconscious for three hours. The fight is widely considered a manifestation of racial tensions that were put on the boiling point by a scene earlier last fall when nooses – a symbol of lynching – were placed on a branch of a tree at a favorite meeting point for whites. The day before a young black student had sat under it. The white students have been left uncharged.

Yesterday in Jena a crowd of thousands called for a stop to racial inequality in the US justice system, a scene reported in the US (here, for example), Great Britain (here) and surely elsewhere. MS covered it, as does Pam Spaulding at Pandagon. Spaulding notes that the left-wing blogsphere have largely gone silent about this important story.The Pandagon post links to “Why the blogosphere white-out of Jena 6?” at Daily Kos, one of the most visible left blogs.  The contents of that ‘diary’ (as they are called at DKos), which describes the silence on this major event in the blogsphere, and the reactions to that, seem to me to illustrate the phenomenon of implicit bias.  As do many of the reactions Spaulding records in her updates. However it is measured, it can be clearly manifested. 

One can also glimpse what, in my experience, is at work in much of the discrimination women face today. It comes not from people who are consciously biased, but from those who are certain that they are not.

(The picture is from Friends of Justice, which also has recommendations about how to help the Jena 6.)

 

 
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