The incident in Jena, Louisiana has already resulted in one terrible injustice: capital punishment for the only innocent party in the entire mess--the tree.
What a sad sight! This pathetic victim of the folly and vengefulness of the human species was certainly a good deal older and more venerable than any of those people involved--whether the white high school students who obscenely abused it by hanging the provocative nooses, the black students who responded to provocation with violence, or the shameful adults on both sides who have made a mockery of justice. To deny that racism is at the root of all this seems to me only to compound the tragic absurdity of it all.
So, friends, let's blame it on the tree. Brilliant! Still, I have to say that's it's heartening to see that people can actually be moved to vociferous protest. In the face of Bush endless administration outrages in recent years, the silence has been, as they say, deafening. Back to the barricades, I say!