Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jena's Six

As I was wandering through the hallways of the Internet, I came upon a story that I couldn't believe was taking place in today's society. It takes place in a small Louisiana town by the name of Jena.
(After a lil help from wikipedia, I found out that there are roughly 3000-4000 people residing there.)

Anyways, In this city there's a high school; Jena High School, home of the Giants. One day a young man (who's black) asked permission of an administrator if he could sit in the shade of a tree, usually reserved for white students only.

whoa! are you kidding me, reserved for whites only! It's sad to see that some places in this supposed progressive country are still in that backward state of mind that this country was originally founded on. now back to the story....

The next day, there were three nooses waiting on that tree. Now if this isn't enough, the three white students who did this were recommended for expulsion by the principal but the decision was overruled by the School Board and were only given I.S.S. (In School Suspension). The Superintendent was quoted as saying that "Adolescents play pranks. I don't think it was a threat to anybody"................rightttttttt

now keep in mind that the town of Jena is 85% white.

Some of the football players (African American students)decided to take a stand against the decision and staged a silent protest under the big tree. The school called the local authorities and even the District After quite a while the DA lifted up his pen and is quoted as having said "with one stroke of my pen, I can make your life disappear."

I don't even know what to say to that. Even though it isn't known as to whom it was directed, that's still a very profound statement.....

Throughout the fall semester (football season as well) fights continued to break out between blacks and whites but nobody wanted to do anything to hurt the team, who was having a great season until that point.

After the season though....on November 30th, 2006 to be specific, a fire was started inside the school completely leaving it ravaged. The culprit was not found and the school had to be rebuilt.

The school being burnt down was just the start of many other events between black and white students that would eventually escalate. On December 4, 2006, a group of 6 black students jumped a white student, Justin Barker, after he bragged about how another black student was beaten up earlier that week. Barker was sent to the hospital with a concussion and a swollen eye, and the 6 students were all arrested.

The 6 students were all charged with aggravated assault, but which was later upped to attempted second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder by the DA......which would have put them in prison for up to 100 years. On top of that their bond was set between $70,000 and $138,000.

That's ridiculous if you ask me. I'm not mad about the fact that the black students getting in trouble, which they should have since it was a school fight. The fact that is irritating to me is the charges put upon them.

Conspiracy to murder? Attempted Second-Degree Murder? On top of that, nothing AT ALL happened to any white student that was involved in any other fights, one of which involved a sawed off shotgun being pulled out. You have got to be KIDDING ME!

Now some of the kids were not able to make bond and have remained in prison for the months since. The first of the Jena six's trials recently began and to many people's surprise his sentence was reduced to one of battery instead of murder, which could be punishable to up to 22 years in prison. The court appointed lawyer didn't call a single witness to the stand and the all white jury scheduled for the trial will only make matters worse. His sentencing will be held on the 20th of September.

Many organizations are trying to help these kids and their community and trying to spread the word about this horrible situation.

I cant help but laugh at the way things were handled by the leaders of the community. This country still needs to grow up.

Like the late Martin Luther King said, "Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"

Do your part....Help these victims of prejudice.

**facts from npr, democracy now, various major news sites.**

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are very right nothing is being done in this country but suppression. A change needs to happen but only if we can make a big enough stand.