Rev. Al Sharpton announced plans Tuesday for a march on the U.S. Justice Department in Washington on Nov. 16.
Sharpton, speaking at Atlanta's Richard B. Russell federal building, is protesting what he believes is the Justice Department's failure to prosecute a series of recent hate crimes across the country.

"We feel that the federal government has failed to intervene in the cases of hate crimes

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What Sharpton really thinks is that the Rev. Sharpton isn't getting enough exposure, which equates to money.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

...if he thinks the federal government has failed to 'intervene' in hate crimes, doesn't it have to first be a crime?

Wasn't that part of the problem with the Jena issue - that the hanging of a noose on a tree didn't constitute a crime under their laws?

And are such laws supposed to be a state issue versus a federal one?

This issue is not about if hanging nooses is a crime! It is an issue of justice and what is morally right. In the months since nooses dangling from a schoolyard tree raised racial tensions in Jena, La., the frightening symbol of segregation-era lynchings has been turning up around the country.

We cannot ignore the fact that the noose,like the burning a generations-old means of instilling racial fear. What happened in Jena has reintroduced some bigots to the rope. The noose evokes the lynchings of the Jim Crow South and is a symbol that can be deployed with no ambiguity. People understand exactly what it means.

It is easy for people to argue that hanging nooses isn't a crime. It is easy for people to close their eyes and pretend that racism doesn't exist. It is easy for people to sit back and say that was in the 50's and 60's but we have changed and the civil rights movement is over. Especially if it was not your people who were lynched. Especially if it was not your people who were attacked by dogs. Especially if it was not your people who were chained and beaten. Especially if it was not your people who were denied the rights to eat at restaurants, drink from certain water fountains....therefore, I understand that there are those who would ignorantly expect African-Americans to pretend with them that there are not racial issues in America and that justice is for everyone. After all, that is what white privilege is all about right? White privilege is a sociological construct describing the advantages enjoyed by white persons beyond what is commonly experienced by the non-white people in those same social spaces (nation, community, workplace, etc.). It differs from racism or prejudice by the fact that a person benefiting from white privilege need not hold overt racist beliefs themselves.

W.E.B. DuBois made this statement in 1935, "It must be remembered that the white group of laborers, while they received a low wage, were compensated in part by a sort of public and psychological wage. They were given public deference and titles of courtesy because they were white. They were admitted freely with all classes of white people to public functions, public parks, and the best schools. The police were drawn from their ranks, and the courts, dependent on their votes, treated them with such leniency as to encourage lawlessness. Their vote selected public officials, and while this had small effect upon the economic situation, it had great effect upon their personal treatment and the deference shown them. White schoolhouses were the best in the community, and conspicuously placed, and they cost anywhere from twice to ten times as much per capita as the colored schools. The newspapers specialized on news that flattered the poor whites and almost utterly ignored the Negro except in crime and ridicule."

That statement was made in 1935, however it still holds true today!


Black and Latino American males are three times more likely than white males to have their vehicles stopped and searched by police. Young white offenders are likely to receive lighter punishments than minorities in America. Black youth arrested for drug possession for the first time are incarcerated at a rate that is forty-eight times greater than the rate for white youth, even when all other factors surrounding the crime are identical.

Employment and Economics

There is a correlation between a person's name and their likelihood of receiving a call back for a job interview. A field experiment in Boston and Chicago showed that people with "white-sounding" names are 50% more likely to receive a call back than people with "black-sounding" names, despite equal resum


rescue me

And if your comments were directed to me - shame on you for judging me by the color of my skin...especially considering you know nothing of my ancestors

Well said Maggie. Many people fail to take into consideration a person's heritage. Yes, i may be somewhat fair skinned (actually more of a light olive, if you want to be technical) but my family didn't arrive in this country until the late 1950's.


I thought I was very clear in my last post about nooses and hate crimes. I cannot fathom why you would think that I was judging you. I did not judge anyone in my previous post, I just stated the facts. However, I do understand that in speaking factual truths, especially when dealing with issues such as this...people will easily become offended. I cannot apologize for speaking the truth, as I know that sometimes the truth hurts, but it is the truth that makes us free.

To answer your questions more clearly: it is illegal to hang a noose such as in the Jena case.

Under pointed questioning from Democratic House members who decried the lack of federal intervention in the racially-charged Jena 6 case, U.S. Justice Department officials revealed Tuesday that they are now weighing an investigation into allegations of systemic racial bias in the administration of justice in the small, mostly white Louisiana town.

U.S. Attorney Donald Washington also said for the first time that the hanging of nooses from a shade tree in the Jena High School courtyard in September, 2006, by three white students

Bishop...I could not help but be moved by what I have just read. While I understand that with the lack of compassion in our discourse we often rely on our intellect to try to sort through difficult issues. Perhaps this is the only way. I hope not. While I believe there are those who are not willing to display their compassion in public the real downside to "intellectual" discourse it that it allows the hate filled to enter the conversation as a logical participant. I am not casting aspersions on anyone on this thread, I merely want to commend you, Bishop, in trying to strike a balance.

Most African Americans do not want to be called colored in 2007. It is seen as an offensive term by most.

While you may not have intended it as such, I interpreted your comments to be directed to me. Perhaps you've missed my point.

I didn't say it was an acceptable thing to do - in fact, I think it's reprehensible. But, I can still question, in generalities, whether or not someone's reasoning for committing a crime makes that crime any more or less wrong. People certainly don't murder someone because they're filled with love for their victim...

However, I purposely didn't address the 'meaning' of the act or any racial issue. I asked two questions - specifically if the fact that it wasn't illegal to 'hang a noose' was the problem with the Jena issues (this is, hopefully, just a yes/no answer to address a lack of information on my part) ... AND if the right place for such legislation was at the federal or state level, which has nothing to do with the 'reasoning' behind such a request, but rather an attempt to determine if the 'changes desired' are being addressed to the entity most capable or appropriately capable of doing something about it.

And if your comments were directed to me - shame on you for judging me by the color of my skin...especially considering you know nothing of my ancestors.

thank you for this information - it's not something I'd seen...

Most Americans whose family has been in this country for upwards of 150 years normally find they have quite a few African American ancestors.

This is because the importation of slaves was banned in 1808. Not even the Confederacy allowed the importation of slaves. That means that most black Americans have a longer lineage in this country than most white Americans. White American only stayed white due to the large influx of Europeans at different times in our history.

Many colored people of this country who were of black and white mixed heritage found themselves accepted by many classes depending upon the appearance of their skin. In fact in New Orleans it was deemed fashionable to take a mistress of 1/8 or 1/16th African ancestry.



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