Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Writing for Liberty and Justice: Jordan Miles

Strangely, although I've mentioned the Jordan Miles case several times on the blog, I haven't dedicated an entire post to the trajectory of the case. Here goes.

Jordan Miles is the Pittsburgh kid who was so brutally beaten by 3 White officers that his face looked like this:

He was unarmed, walking from his house to his grandmother's down the street, when the officers in plainclothes attacked him. Later the police claimed they had thought he might be armed and on drugs. He was neither.

It seems his only crime was being Black and outside at night.

This case has garnered much local and national press, because Jordan Miles happens to be a straight-laced honors student at one of Pittsburgh's most prestigious arts academies. There are no ambiguities here: police were the criminals that night.

The city has largely ignored the issue. The policemen involved are on a temporary suspension during which they are being paid more than they make on duty. (Nice punishment, huh?) The Feds have stepped in, but still nothing has happened.

Sadly, this kind of thing isn't all that rare. Most people know this. As a recovering country bumpkin, I am still baffled when I hear of it, especially when it happens less than 5 miles from my house. So this weekend I attended a rally/march to demand justice for Jordan. And I've chosen "writing against injustice" as a central theme for the two writing classes I'm teaching this term. My students will read about the case (in a media packet I've put together--you may read/download below) and write about it.

These are but small things. Tiny steps to conquer an issue that seems too big. But together with others fighting for peace, may we scale the mountain.

May a better day come.


Katy said...

thanks for sharing the media pack, libby! i like how you've selected articles from several different types of media and even included the comments section from the blog posts. i can't wait to hear what your students come up with in response to their assignments.

Von said...

Little by little, step by step...peaceful World Peace Day.

Lisa said...

very very angry over here on the west coast. Im sure you are also aware of the big incident in my hometown of Oscar Grant(Oakland ca). Except he is dead now. He was unarmed. It is so maddening that this happens, but what is more maddening is "friends" on facebook saying "get over it, it was an accident, it's not always about race". Or some crap like that. As far as your students I am interested to hear their responses too

Muzik said...

We live in a sick-sick world. This is a very sad story especially when this child is innocent on all accounts. We give the police way too much power and confidence.

I am thankful that you are doing your part as an active member in society and speaking out. I pray that he can overcome what he has been though, and let his testimony teach beyond measure.