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Denial Over Disparities: Cutting Down The Oak Tree In Jena

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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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Anybody know the scoop on the stated reason for taking down the tree? I've seen several reports that the tree was cut down, and speculation as to why, but nothing about who made the decision, or why. Interestingly, the time line published by a local LA paper made no mention of the fate of tree.

This inquiring mind wants to know. I'm all about being ready to howl about yet another brilliant bureaucratic move, but I would like to know the facts first.

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