Posted on: Sep 20, 2007 05:55AM - edited Sep 20, 2007 05:55AM by NoH8
Posted on: Sep 20, 2007 05:55AM - edited Sep 20, 2007 05:55AM by NoH8
Most everyone is probably already aware of this. I've been following the situation since I first heard about it a few months ago. I wish this kind of thing was of a distant past. It should be noted that the boy who had to go to the ER was at a school social event later that evening-- so it sounds like the DA blew his injuries out of proportion. Hell, I worked with a 7 yo who sent a kid to the ER during a playground fight (not that I'm advocating it ). It should also be noted that there was no investigation into the nooses, threats and violence that the white boys perpetrated.
I'm usually loathe to agree with anything Sharpton says or does because I think often he uses the race card unwarrantedly, but in this case I agree with him.
Is anyone from that area of Louisiana?
Hundreds Join Jena 6 Rally in Louisiana
Thursday September 20, 2007 1:01 PM
By MARY FOSTER
Associated Press Writer
JENA, La. (AP) - Hundreds of people dressed in black, from college students to veterans of the civil rights movements, boarded buses bound for Jena and a rally Thursday in support of six black teenagers who were initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said it could be the beginning of the 21st century's civil rights movement, one that would challenge disparities in the justice system.
``You cannot have justice meted out based on who you are rather than what you did,'' Sharpton told CBS's ``The Early Show.''
The six were charged a few months after the local prosecutor declined to charge three white high school students who hung nooses in a tree on their high school grounds. Five were initially charged with attempted murder; the sixth was charged as a juvenile.
``Six black kids indicted as adults for attempted murder, and the weapons charged in the indictment is their sneakers, this is the most blatant example of disparity in the justice system that we've seen,'' Sharpton said Thursday. ``You can't have two standards of justice. We didn't bring race in it, those that hung the nooses brought the race into it.''
District Attorney Reed Walters, breaking a long public silence, denied Wednesday that racism was involved.
He said he didn't prosecute the students accused of hanging the nooses because he could find no Louisiana law under which they could be charged. ``I cannot overemphasize what a villainous act that was. The people that did it should be ashamed of what they unleashed on this town,'' Walters said.
In the beating case, he said, four of the defendants were of adult age under Louisiana law and the only juvenile charged as an adult, Mychal Bell, had a prior criminal record.
``This case has been portrayed by the news media as being about race,'' he said. ``And the fact that it takes place in a small southern town lends itself to that portrayal. But it is not and never has been about race. It is about finding justice for an innocent victim and holding people accountable for their actions.''
The white teen who was beaten, Justin Barker, was knocked unconscious, his face badly swollen and bloodied, though he was able to attend a school function later that night.
Bell, 16 at the time of the attack, is the only one of the ``Jena Six'' to be tried so far. He was convicted on an aggravated second-degree battery count that could have sent him to prison for 15 years, but the conviction was overturned last week when a state appeals court said he should not have been tried as an adult.
Thursday's protest had been planned to coincide with Bell's sentencing, but organizers decided to press ahead even after the conviction was thrown out. Bell remains in jail while prosecutors prepare an appeal.
Thousands of people were expected at the rally, an event that was heavily promoted on black Web sites, blogs, radio and publications.
Students were coming from schools across the region, including historically black colleges like Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Hampton University and Southern University.
Tina Cheatham missed the civil rights marches at Selma, Montgomery and Little Rock, but she had no intention of missing another brush with history. The 24-year-old Georgia Southern University graduate drove all night to reach tiny Jena in central Louisiana.
``It was a good chance to be part of something historic since I wasn't around for the civil rights movement. This is kind of the 21st century version of it,'' she said.
Others supported the effort but worried that it could erode race relations in Jena even further.
``I don't think it will cause any major confrontations,'' said Odessa Hickman, 72, ``but there is probably going to be some friendships lost.''
In Jena, with only 3,500 residents, some residents worried about safety. Hotels were booked from as far away as Natchez, Miss., to Alexandria, La.
Local officials said they would provide portable toilets, water and medical facilities to ensure the safety and comfort of those attending the rally. Sharpton, who helped organize the protest, met Bell at the courthouse Wednesday morning. He said Bell is heartened by the show of support and wants to make sure it stays peaceful.
``He doesn't want anything done that would disparage his name - no violence, not even a negative word,'' Sharpton said.
Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in Alexandria, La., and Errin Haines in Atlanta contributed to this story.
Oct 4, 2007 01:06PM NoH8 wrote:
Rocker, his attorney said this on the Dr. Phil show, that his juvenile records were released w/o permission.
Felicia I wasn't implying that being poor and black were the same thing. I was talking about inequities in the justice system of both the poor and minorities since the wealthy have access to expert witnesses and high priced attorneys that the poor don't have. I do believe that Bell happens to be poor and black, since his family couldn't raise the original $90,000 bond and it's been alluded to that he originally had a court appointed attorney. I would make the assumption about anyone who got a court appointed attorney because in my county at least, you have to be eligible to collect welfare to get one. To me being poor added to the inequity, but wasn't the whole reason.
I definitely agree that a federal prosecuter needs to be appointed and hopefully will look back on the history of such crimes and injustices, as well as "incidents" that weren't called crimes like nooses.
Felicia, I really hope that the same outcry would be there if this was a straight on gay crime. There was a much needed outcry after the Matthew Shepard incident, but inspite of that cbs' 48 hrs interviewed at least one of the viscious murderers who tried to claim that Matthew made a pass at him-- as if that's justification. I also wonder if the situation involved arabs/muslims if there would be an outcry. I hope there would be.
Oct 4, 2007 01:14PM NoH8 wrote:
Ugh-- zzz-- college kids too.....
I guess there's no legal consequence for such idiocity-- I hope the college can throw them out--- there has to be some morals clause somewhere. I'm all for free speech but see this as crossing the boundaries that Felicia mentioned earlier.
Oct 4, 2007 02:31PM - edited Oct 4, 2007 02:34PM by Rocktobermom
Felicia, I only quoted what Snopes.com referred to as "the facts" in this case. Maybe he was not arrested right away. I don't know.
I hope we can all continue to express ourselves without attacking anyone .... Everyone has an opinion and I can't scroll back but the cybersister who posted about her family is trying to say she has no prejudism in her.
Oct 4, 2007 03:04PM - edited Oct 4, 2007 03:13PM by Paulette531
Rocktobermom...unfortunately, IMHO discussions such as this one usually end up in attack mode which is why I feel the way I do. It is as though people really do not want to get to the roots of problems, they want their voice heard no matter how they have to "call it out". That's probably why from a humanity standpoint we constantly witness man's inhumanity to man.
Amy, totally agree with you on what you said about the Mathew Shepard case, such a shame the way it went down, yet I think when the movie came out it did open some eyes.
Oct 5, 2007 08:57AM - edited Oct 5, 2007 09:02AM by Felicia
Amy, my comments weren't directed at you at all (I really miss the old "Reply to" feature from the other board). No need to appologize, my dear...
And Paulette, DAMN RIGHT I want my voice heard - as I'm posting on a public message board just like you are (hardly a private journal entry, lol). If we all just shut the heck up, discussions like this would NEVER EVEN happen. Just look at us: women from all over the globe, none of whom was personally affected by this event all giving our thoughts and opinions about where we should go from here. We may not all agree, but this thread is alive and going strong because we're trying to learn what we can and let others know what we think.
I know I personally can't get to the root of this problem by myself, nor can anyone for that matter (alone, that is). Not talking about it is exactly what makes stuff like Jena and Matthew Shepard so horrible. The discussion helps to make us aware that problems like this occur everyday, whether we know about them or not. Refusing to acknowledge them doesn't make them any less real. I've never been one to stick my head in the sand and I certainly don't plan on starting now...
And according to AP reports, Roctobermom, Mychal Bell was arrested within an hour of the fight on December 4, 2006 and remained there until his release last week, making it virtually impossible for him to have committed a crime after the fight. Take it from a journalist, folks, don't believe everything you read. Unless you see/hear it from more than one source, question its validity ALWAYS.
Oct 5, 2007 09:08AM - edited Oct 5, 2007 09:11AM by Felicia
And I swear, if I hear "i have just as many black friends as i do white," (a direct quote from Kristy Smith's Facebook appology) one more freaking time, I might just go mad! Do people really think that actually opening their mouths to say these words doesn't make them racist?!?! Gheesh!!
Oct 5, 2007 01:06PM NoH8 wrote:
Felicia the same people say, "I know a lesbian, do you want me to set you up with her." LOL...
The way I look at this discussion and others like it, is that some people are the type to shout out, "the emperor has no clothes.", some are the type to whisper to each other "the emperor has no clothes.", others are the type to pretend they don't see it and still others don't even notice.
I prefer to be shouting, "the emperor has no clothes." (as you probably guessed).
Oct 5, 2007 02:35PM - edited Oct 5, 2007 02:36PM by Felicia
Amy, we shold start a thread about our favorite non BC insensitive remarks. Mine is "I have one Black friend - you might know her/him and..." Just makes me shake my head.
And I'm shouting about the naked guy with the crown right along with you ;-)