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School Climate & Safety Opinion

Denial Over Disparities: Cutting Down The Oak Tree In Jena

By Alexander Russo — October 04, 2007 1 min read

The New Yorker takes on the Jena 6 case in large part to make the point that despite our tendencies towards denial what’s happening down there is not old school, it’s present-day -- and not just in the South, either. “Discrimination in the American justice system is not only a Deep South thing; it is a national embarrassment...America’s predominant response to racism, of course, has long been denial. In Jena, the town fathers effected a vivid evasion. Their problem, they concluded, was not themselves but their tree: they cut down the offending oak and hauled it away.” (Disparities). Meanwhile, a Chicago student has been expelled for showing a picture of his topless girlfriend to classmates.

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