The heightened racial tension spurned by the controversial Jena 6 trial has had many impacts on both White communities and communities of color. On one hand, it has raised the level of consciousness among the youth. You see evidence of this in the students who wear black in solidarity to take a stance against injustice, or organize marches and protests on campus or in their communities. Jena 6 has ignited a dormant militancy within the minds and hearts of Black youth who seemed to be growing complacent in wake of the Civil Rights Movement. The flip-side of this progressive activism has been the visceral reaction from the conservative mainstream. Across the country, “copycats” have attempted to quell the momentum of radicalized Black youth, by threatening students, professors, and even police officers, with nooses. These attempts to emulate the conditions which led to the conflict that erupted in Jena are widespread,
Most of the dozen occurrences in the past two months involved a noose left anonymously at a school or workplace, including nooses found in a Long Island, N.Y., police locker room, at a Pittsburgh bus maintenance garage and at several high schools. (read entire article here.)
The most recent victim was Professor Madonna Constantine, a 44 year-old Black professor at Colombia University known for her work on racism (read more here). The noose was discovered hanging on the doorknob of her New York home around 10am Tuesday. Some journalists have characterized these acts as harmless pranks, committed by social deviants looking for 15 minutes of fame. Could this be the case, or are we dealing with something more serious? Nooses have a long history and relation to terrorism in the Black community. Has the resurgence of consciousness and militant action on behalf young Blactivists, set the platform for the overt racism of past generations to re-emerge as well?