Perhaps the only lasting contribution from Rev. Al Sharpton's largely symbolic 2004 presidential run is this quip (my paraphrase):
It's not about the Christian Right, it's about lifting up the right Christians.
With that injunction in mind, please meet The Beans, and their most vital mission and ministry, Friends of Justice. It's a little outfit that ought to restore pride to the term 'Mom & Pop' operation.
This seemingly unlikely trio—dad Alan, mom Nancy and daughter Lydia—has made it their business to get in the way of the most blatantly racist part of the criminal injustice system: cops and county courthouses in the small-town South. They tend to get involved and have an impact on the ground way before national media or recognized civil rights groups.
Why? Because they're willing to be among the first white people to stand up against a local majority of their own kind for the rights of unjustly accused or convicted black and brown people.
Most recently they've been bearing witness and stirring the pot on behalf of the Jena Six, black high school students charged with assault after daring to sit under a tree on campus traditionally reserved for whites in Jena, La. One of them, Mychal Bell, was convicted by an all-white jury last week: he's facing a 20 year prison sentence.
Daily Kos was on it, citing the Bean's advocacy and rallying support for both the Jena Six and Friends of Justice. Please read and click through the comprehensive Kos post and lend a hand if you feel moved. AfroSpear has been on the case too, also citing Alan Bean as a source.
Hit player above to hear a little of Lydia Bean (who is also a Harvard philosophy PhD candidate) on what Friends of Justice wants to bring to our table.
Next post: What's this got to do with 'us,' The American Race?
(Hint: It's NOT about how nice it is to find of "good white people" in the world.)