Students express rage from protest

As Booker T. Washington once said “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him”. These are words of a wise man that understood that through trials and tribulations no one should succumb to their enemy’s ignorance or misfortune.

I had the opportunity of participating in a monumental event that would forever shape and impact my future. On Thursday Sept. 20. I had the opportunity to participate in the Jena 6 rallies in Jena, La. My experience was an experience that only one could imagine at this day and age to occur. Jena 6 was a wake up call for those of us who feel that racial tensions are not prevalent in today’s society. We must remember that just because it is not in plane view, that does not mean that it doesn’t exist.

One must remember that it was not too long ago that our ancestors and civil rights leaders were standing tall fighting for the many luxuries we take for granted each day. Upon preparing to leave for Jena 6 tensions were running high, I felt as though I was going to make a change along with my fellow classmates. Getting on that bus reminded me of those who sat on many buses during the ’50s and ’60s civil rights error heading down the road for a peaceful demonstration. They could not predict the outcome, but they rode on with the understanding that they were going to make a difference. Just to think that I was in the same situation caused a feeling of anticipation, fear and excitement all at the same time. When we finally reached our destination I began looking out of the window to my left and to my right staring with eyes full of excitement and joy gazing at the many African Americans that were there for the same reason as I. We were all on one accord serving a greater purpose. I must say that we definitely proved society wrong. We exceeded the expectations of those who were waiting for us to mess up. Society expected a riot and unethical conduct but we proved them wrong as we walked with dignity and undefined character. We entered the town of Jena with retrospect and respect. Through this I learned how important it is to be culturally aware and politically aware of your natural given and constitutional provided rights. It is easy for those of us who remain untouched by this epidemic of ignorance to lack understanding of the situation and pose that question of “how could this happen?” Our eyes are opened through the injustices of others e and with this we should take great caution remembering that our stand doesn’t stop here. Jena helped to pull back the sheets of America’s well-made bed showing us that within the system there are many clichés and injustices for our people. In all honesty “the man” is now saying times have changed and so must our methods. We still have a long way to go and Jena 6 was step one but it is with our continuous effort that an impact will be made. Because of this effort the eyes and ears of Jena’s governing body were opened to there practice of unethical behavior resulting in Mychel Bells release. Therefore the silent protest served as a reminder that human protest effects social behavior. However, the modern day civil rights march proved to be worthwhile allowing our cause to have insurmountable effect. In the words of Martin Luther King “Free at last free at last thank God almighty free at last.”