I realize that some people may roll their eyes when they hear that name, which I think is unfortunate, because I think he is a wise man who needs to be heard*. (He may seem “extreme” to some, but would you want the media twisting YOUR words?)
And he really caught my attention last week with something he said on TV. The clip below is part of what he was talking about, but the piece that really caught my attention unfortunately isn’t included on the YouTube clip shown here. He said something along the lines of “There is a Jena in every town across America.” (I don’t have his exact words, but you can read this, or listen to this, if you want to know more.)
This statement took my breath away. I know that my own city has Jena-esque incarceration rates that disproportionately affect people of color . . . and I know that something needs to be done, but I am not even sure where to start . . . but, to paraphrase another wise Reverend, we (still) can’t wait.
So where do we go from here?
(*it doesn’t hurt that he says “JeH-na” (rhymes with “henna”) rather than “JEAN-a” (rhymes with hyena)–even though I know that the latter is probably the correct pronunciation, I am just happy that he pronounces it like the New Yorker that he is . . . )