Quite on the eve of Rev. Sharpton’s Justice Department protest
Today in a conversation regarding Friday's march, a friend of mine extolled Rev. Al Sharpton's ability to organize. I believe Friday will show us the true extent of this widely held opinion and offer a glimpse where Black activism stands as a result of the Jena 6 activities.
Rev. Sharpton's National Action Network is leading a March on the United States Department of Justice. "We feel that the federal government has failed to intervene in the cases of hate crimes — swastikas and nooses," Sharpton said on the groups website. "Since the federal government won't come to the people, we're going to bring the people to the federal government."
I'm at a loss on this one. I'm not in the predicting business, but I'm trying to figure out where the marchers will come from. Maybe some of the people who missed out on Jena want to get involved and will show up in D.C.
To be real, this march has been a non-factor on the internet. The only exception is a counter-protest by one blogger for what she perceives as silence by Shaprton regarding the Dunbar Village rape case. Rev. Sharpton promoted the march on radio -Michael Baisden and Tom Joyner- but there was no effort to reach out to what most have agreed is a powerful part of the new civil rights movement.
In a Chicago Tribune article regarding the place of black bloggers, Rev. Sharpton himself spoke highly of the new medium. "Ten years ago this couldn't have happened," said Sharpton, who said he first heard about the Jena case on the Internet. "You didn't have the Internet and you didn't have black blogs and you didn't have national radio shows. Now we can talk to all of black America every day. We've been able to form our own underground railroad of information, and when everybody else looks up, it's already done."
Well I guess only half of the Underground Railroad was used to promote this march. I can say I was surprised when I found out that there were meetings regarding a March on Washington and none of the bloggers that I communicate with were present either physically, by phone, or by webcam. Though I was surprised, I was not at all offended. I respect the NAN's right to organize this march as they see fit, but there's no doubt the group missed out on an opportunity.
My thought from the beginning has been, let's wait and see what happens. By now we can all agree, including Rev. Sharpton I'm sure, that there is no one leader for Black American and we are not a monolithic people. But my guess is that the blogs will be buzzing one way or another after Friday's protest.