Racism is alive and well in America!
If you don’t believe it, try spending your next summer vacation in Jena, Louisiana. Like many of you, because it was not happening here in Los Angeles County, I was numb to the goings on in Jena. In fact, it was not until Michael Baisden of V100 brought it to the national scene that I really gave it a second thought. Like most of us, I hear about injustice but I want to believe in the end justice will prevail. But once Michael started telling the story, I was captivated. In fact, shortly after I heard about the situation, a young woman asked me at “Back To School” why the Sentinel had not given it front page coverage?
That question really made me pay attention. Then every morning my daughter Taelor and I started listening to the updates on Steve Harvey (KDAY 93.5). Once I knew the story I immediately dispatched several Sentinel reporters to get the whole story. Once again I realized that it is only through the Black Media that our stories will get told.
Since then, I have been involved in conference calls from all over the country about making sure Michael Bell and the other five young people get a fair trial. We are currently talking about putting together a bus to send people who want to go and support these victims of racism. My brother Eric Lee (SCLC) and I have engaged in debate upon debate on what is the best course of action to take in Jena.
This debate can go on forever but in the end, it really is just about US as a people doing something, about not standing for nothing and demanding that these young men get JUSTICE.
No matter what you decide to do, write to the governor, district attorney, mayor or anyone else demanding justice for Michael Bell and all the Jena 6, or getting on a plane, in a train or in your automobile and showing your support. All I ask is that you do something, anything because what is happening in Jena today, can happen in Los Angeles, Compton, Hawthorne, Torrance, Pasadena or somewhere much closer to home (and possibly much closer to you) tomorrow.
I need to hear from you now more than ever. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor