Thursday, September 20, 2007

All Black For Jena 6 -- by J.O.B.

When I have to wear business attire, I always stray from the black shirt/black pants combo. Finding a shirt and pants combo that matches correctly or looks good is usually a daunting task. If you've been paying attention to the National news at all, you're familiar with the story of the Jena 6 - a group of 6 black teenagers who are charged with crimes related to an assault of a white teenager in Jena, Louisiana. It's "The Big Deal" part of a long-running issue in Jena that started with the six teenagers sitting under a tree at a high school traditionally populated by white students.

The morning after the "white tree" incident, 3 nooses were found hanging from the tree, obviously causing an uproar. Three white students were fingered for the prank, and expelled by the principal, only to have it overturned by the Board of Ed and the Superintendent. Despite it being a federal hate crime, the school district didn't report the incident to police.
Of course, situations escalated with instances of the District Attorney threatening protesters, students being denied an opportunity to address the school board and a fire that burned down the main high school building.

Tensions reached fever pitch last December when Robert Bailey and 4 other black students were denied entrance to a predominantly white party, resulting in a fight between them and some white non-students. The next day Bailey and friends were confronted by a white student who attempted to pull a gun on the 6 boys. In the fight that ensued, Bailey ended up taking the gun. This incident resulted in Bailey, Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw and Jesse Beard being charged with assault (Beard who was 14 was charged as a juvenile.) The District Attorney increased the charges to 2nd-degree murder which would put each of the boys in jail past the age of 50.

All of these and more issues have created a public outcry that has generated a public petition ( and a rally that will take place today in Louisiana. Scheduled to attend are Martin Luther King III, Mos Def, Julian Bond, Michael Eric Dyson, Darryl Hunt, Jesse Jackson, and of course, Al Sharpton. I can't stand Sharpton or Jackson, but considering the other key noters in attendance, I'll let it slide. For those that can't attend the rally, a simple request was made - wear all black in support of the Jena 6. Normally, I resist the mono-chrome color combo, but for today and this cause - I'll make an exception.


jnicho5 said...

It'll be very interesting to see how much leniency the 6 kids are given considering the instigation of the crime.

Legally, I don't know if nooses over a tree is breaking the law. Tasteless, completely, but against the law by a high school kid? I don't know.

Beat the shit out of a kid within an inch of his life is however illegal.

Personally I think the six kids should be given a medal. And, a statue should be errected by the "white's only" tree.

J.ust O.ver B.roke said...

Hanging the nooses from the tree definitely fits the standard of a federal hate crime as they threaten race-based violence against someone for exercising a federally protected right.

However, the nooses just started a series of issues. A white kid pulled a gun on black kids and got the crap beat out of him for doing so. Sounds like self-defense to me.