Racism, prejudice, and unequal treatment has always been sensitive issues in the south, but were reawakened by the charges facing the “Jena Six.” Al Sharpton has called it “the new civil rights movement for the 21st century.”Clearly new minds, bodies, and spirits were touched by this common case of unequal sentencing of black youth.
Although many agree that the punishment didn’t fit the crime, the fact that a crime did occur was all too ignored by many civil rights leaders. Even though the charges were outrageous. The crime was over shadow by the media and brought an issue that America needs to examine modern racism. Lynching was only recently made a federal hate crime in 2005. That shows the failure the U.S. government has made to address the issue.
Perhaps this is why minorities ourselves are so expedient when addressing only certain issues popularized by certain leaders. Often times becoming engulfed in the issue ourselves becoming more reactionary than proactive. This may have been why recently Alma J. Brown (AJB) teachers took the initiative to teach a lesson in racism.
Small protests were given where students marched around a tree and learned about the racial bias of the quaint Louisiana town. Given the proximity to the school the lesson taught to AJB students was bound to be reported. It was not until a picture of a young girl being picked up to demonstrate the experience of hanging from a noose reached www.thegramblinite.com that racial sensitivity became an issue for The Gramblinite.
For the second time this year The Gramblinite is being censored. Earlier this year Provost Dixon shut down the paper for a brief time citing poor editing and plagiarism. A few days later the paper was back in press while the website was taken offline for some brief revamping.
Thegramblinite.com has uploaded new features. One of which is a picture gallery that has more than doubled the previous amount of hits on the site. Soon, however, after pictures of the AJB students were posted, they received attention from viewers on the site. Soon after, we were ordered by President Judson to remove the pictures; which were said to be in “poor taste.”
Surprised was I as one of the online editors to see the picture posted on the online pages for several newspapers in the area. The Gramblinite is a learning experience set to teach us how to operate in the mainstream news media. The website is an opportunity for students to learn the growing industry of web news as well as provide the community, alumni, and even random visitors to the site a perspective of what is going on at the University and surrounding areas.
So why should The Gramblinite be forced to censor certain pictures when mainstream media isn’t? It should be The Gramblinite’s responsibility to censor itself and to teach the students what is appropriate.
Administration at Grambling State University has taken extreme liberties to monitor student body by monitoring Facebook to now monitoring what students can see in their very on newspaper. Illustrating a learning experience is news.
We at the Gramblinite “don’t make the news we report it.