(h/t to Independent Bloggers Alliance for helping to inspire this post)

While black bloggers have stood strong for Jena 6, have helped to keep the heat on racists, have dispelled the myths around the case while enlightening folk on why this case is significant — white progressives have been there. May not have been as hard and steady a drumbeat as black bloggers. Still…even when other issues like election 2008, climate change, Iraq and health care have pressed, there’s a uniting force here to see justice done, if you choose to see it. Calling attention to the bloggers who have helped keep the issue of Jena in the public eye like

FireDogLake — thank you
Huffington Post — thank you
OpenLeft — thank you
TalkLeft — thank you
DailyKos — thank you

will bring more supportive attention to the societal costs of U.S. criminal (in)justice in the long run than blasting those who may find themselves pulled in multiple directions towards a set of problems that includes Jena 6. Americans are grappling with difficult times on so many fronts. I know there’s some frustration out there and some of it is on target. Check out the first comment on this post last week at TPM, a blog I like a lot, btw:

On Facebook, there are more than 500 groups, with thousands of members, which reference Jena. On YouTube, there are more than 1,600 videos that mention the town, including this one — which has been seen more than 1 million times. A Google Blog Search today yielded nearly 40,000 results. The Wikipedia entry is 2 months old, 3,000 words long, and contains 39 footnotes. In the progressive Christian community, the blogs are all over this. Obviously, Jena has been a lead topic on the African-American blogosphere (on sites that cover everything from politics to hip-hop) for months.

All the same, I thank all those working to make America a place that truly has liberty and justice for all.

After all, there are plenty of white folks like Sally Kohn over at HuffPo who dig it:

Rather than us white folks reading the news about OJ and assuming, “There he goes again…” we should be reading the news out of Jena and thinking, “There it goes again!” — the “it” being racism, injustice, systematic oppression, an entrenched double standard based on race. We must start to recognize that, when it comes to crime, the problematic pattern in our society is NOT the criminal behavior of communities of color. That’s a myth. It’s wrong. White people commit far more crimes than blacks. We must recognize that, when it comes to crime, the problematic pattern in our society is us white folks over and over again presuming the criminality of people of color while denying that we do so, thus allowing injustice to accumulate in often subtle but just as often egregious ways. When we don’t acknowledge our own racism and the racism of those around us, we lay the groundwork for an all-white jury to convict Mychal Bell and call it justice. As the saying goes, if we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem.

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