Jena – John Mellencamp Music Video

John Mellencamp has recorded a song and video about Jena, Louisiana. The song questions America’s race relations and asks Jena to “take your nooses down.”

The song does not sit well with the Mayor of Jena. “The town of Jena has for months been mischaracterized in the media and portrayed as the epicenter of hatred, racism and a place where justice is denied,” Jena Mayor Murphy R. McMillin wrote in a statement on town letterhead faxed on Friday to The Associated Press.

A brief note from Mellencamp posted Thursday on his Web site says he is telling a story, not reporting. “The song is not written as an indictment of the people of Jena but, rather, as a condemnation of racism,” it says.

Quotes gathered from

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