Friday, March 18, 2011
Every now and again, I blog about a blog. And that's what I'm doing today. I had been vaguely aware of The Louisiana Justice Institute for some months, having run across some of its activists here and there in the course of doing the work I do. It's not like they're low profile folks. In fact, Institute Co-Director Tracie Washington was named this month by The Root, the daily online magazine published by the Washington Post, as one of its twenty Leading Black Women Advocating Change. And somewhere along the line, I started noticing links on my Facebook site to posts on Justice Roars, the blog of the Institute. But you know how it is, you're moving at the speed of light through your own life, trying to stay on top of the 419 plates you have spinning, and who has time to really pay attention, right?
Then, one day (this morning, obviously), you wake up knowing you don't have to leave the house before you have your coffee (for a change) and you somewhat arbitrarily read a post from one of those links and get blown the eff away. Now, I'm asking myself, how did I avoid realizing the nature of these folks' work all this time? (*shakes head ruefully*)
The post I read is on Louisiana's 200-year-old "crimes against nature" law (this in a country where corporations have the governmental green light to rape the land we live on and the water we drink but disproportionately Black and poor teenagers are put into prison for offering oral sex to keep themselves from becoming homeless). This antiquated excuse to harass and brutalize should have been deep-sixed when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against sodomy laws in 2003. But Louisiana always resists the opportunity to treat ordinary poor people and people of color with the same casual acceptance as, say, rich White politicians like David Vitter (who was re-elected Senator on a family values platform even after it was divulged that he's been known to engage in "diaper play" with prostitutes).
Thankfully, what sounds like a crack legal team has formed and brought suit on behalf of those who continue to suffer at the hands of a criminal justice system that has recently been outed yet again as unconscionable. And Jordan Flaherty's discussion of the situation and the case kept me glued to every word and has me now committed to seeing what I can do to help (make that 420 plates).
So, I've added Justice Roars to my blog roll, joined the blog followers on that site, and decided to contact someone I know from Women With A Vision to see if they have time to come up and talk about the case on my campus. Whether you're in or outside of Louisiana, I highly recommend that you take a look at what The Louisiana Justice Institute is up to and what's shakin' at Justice Roars.