The "Jena 6" Affair: A Balanced Perspective

Henrietta Bui's picture

Both the race baiters and the overzealous authorities should be ashamed of themselves...

September 23, 2007
Ugliness on All Sides in 'Jena 6' Case
By Ruben Navarrette

When I first heard of the “Jena 6” – African-American teens in a small Louisiana town charged with beating a white classmate – my instinct was to side with those screaming for justice.

There was always the chance that the case was all about race. The high school that these kids attend appears to be boiling over. A few months before the beating, in an incident a U.S. attorney found had nothing to do with the attack, a group of white students strung nooses from a tree in the schoolyard.

The screams for justice are getting louder. The criminal case has become a cause célèbre with liberal bloggers, celebrities and black radio hosts. It's also become an issue in the 2008 presidential race.

Last week, thousands of protesters descended on the town to show support for the six defendants. And since there were television cameras there, the demonstrators included – surprise – those perennial grievance merchants, the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

But even if my heart went out to the defendants, my head told me to take a closer look. Now, I feel like screaming. Neither the authorities nor the activists come off particularly well. The former treated the defendants as if they were public enemy No. 1; the latter went so far in the other direction as to depict the young men as victims.

I wouldn't call them that. The real victim is Justin Barker, the teenager who was beaten and stomped unconscious and taken to a hospital with injuries to both eyes and ears. Even though he was treated and released the same day, his injuries weren't exactly minor.

Everyone likes to play the victim. But don't blur the lines between those who were wronged and those accused of committing the wrong.

Still, none of this lets prosecutors off the hook for the aggressive way in which they handled this case. For allegedly taking part in the attack, the teens were tried as adults and charged with attempted murder.

Attempted murder! At worst, this was assault. And given that the victim was white and the assailants were black, it could be called a hate crime. But it's not exactly a homicide gone awry.

Tell that to the jury that convicted the first young man to come to trial in this case – 17-year-old Mychal Bell.

Make that, the “all-white jury.” That's a no-no, especially in the South with its rancid history of white jurors exonerating whites accused of crimes against blacks and railroading blacks accused of crimes against whites.

If the Jena 6 are guilty of the crime for which they've been accused, they ought to be ashamed – and punished. But Bell deserved a jury of his peers, and an all-white jury doesn't cut it.

Recently, an appeals court overturned Bell's conviction – not because of the jury's racial makeup but because, the court said, he should never have been tried as an adult. Since the judge's ruling, the charges for three of the other defendants were reduced to aggravated battery.

But there is another side to this coin. Many of the activists supporting the teens haven't behaved much better. For some, even the lesser charge is too harsh. I'm part of a panel of commentators on National Public Radio's “Tell Me More with Michel Martin,” and, when we've discussed the Jena 6, an African-American colleague suggested that the appropriate punishment be community service.

What? Why not just drop all charges, buy them a steak and call it a day?

Students at Morehouse and Spellman – traditionally black colleges in Atlanta – held a rally and declared an affinity with the defendants. Some held up signs saying: “I am the Jena 6.”

Well, not if you've never been part of a mob-style beating you're not. Those college students obviously made good decisions to get where they are. The Jena 6 made a bad decision, and that's why they are in trouble with the law.

And then there's Jackson, who called the case a “defining moment” and compared it with the 1965 voting rights struggle in Selma. Jackson has also criticized Barack Obama over what he considers the presidential candidate's tepid reaction to the case and – according to a South Carolina newspaper – accused Obama of “acting like he's white.”

This was an ugly episode from the start, but shame on those who are – through words and deeds – making things even uglier now.

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Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 10:27am.

Five of them pleading no contest to misdemeanor simple battery. The charges against the five — Carwin Jones, Jesse Ray Beard, Robert Bailey Jr., Bryant Purvis and Theo Shaw — had previously been reduced from attempted murder to aggravated second-degree battery after they were accused of beating and kicking schoolmate Justin Barker.

As part of the deal, one of the attorneys read a statement from the defendants in which they said they knew of nothing Barker had done to provoke the attack.

"To be clear, not one of us heard Justin use any slur or say anything that justified Mychal Bell attacking Justin nor did any of us see Justin do anything that would cause Mychal to react," the statement said.

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Submitted by skyspy on Sun, 06/28/2009 - 6:42am.

If you are found guilty of a crime pulll the race card.

This was a hate crime pure and simple, but the hate was directed towards a white kid. In our country hate towards whites is considered to be acceptable.

Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 1:55pm.

All parties, I hope, have learned a lesson about reacting based on 'race'. All parties have learned about 'equal' JUSTICE. All parties have learned about the danger of using violence to address an issue. It appears that these young people will be able to continue their journey to adulthood. Let's hope the 'adults' allow them to continue with lessons learned.

Submitted by head_ragg on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 6:16pm.

for whitie...and it boils over every time you post in here. Since most have been nice to you, and you can barely hold your hatred in check...I'm going to let you see an email to me from a retired relative anthropologist that knows more than your evil butt can spew, but this person has the credentials to back up his statements.

He lived all his life in South Africa and retired later to England...still has a house there...his family came in the 1850s. It is amazing to me that someone who never set foot in the US...comes up with the same thoughts and sees the same destruction in civilization the rest do here. It is sad, but people like is proven..are bringing ...both races down..

"Many thanks for your very interesting message. I am, of course, delighted that you are enjoying my book. It was written nearly twenty years ago and some of the facts and opinions are somewhat out-of-date. However, I do not think that my attitudes have changed at all. I have done quite a lot of travelling and a great deal of thinking since I wrote ........!

Since the new constitution in South Africa in 1994, the policy of positive discrimination in favour of blacks has been applied with increasing rigour, despite that fact that equality in all ways is entrenched in that constitution. I suppose that in South Africa that was inevitable and most whites and Asiatics were expecting it, but it has to be obvious that in the long term such policies are detrimental to the black people they are supposed to be helping by "redressing the balance". Similar attitudes are applied in a much milder way In Britain too. It cannot be good for any group of people within a nation to have their supposed disadvantages redressed by law or custom and not by their own efforts within an equal society. Positive discrimination merely perpetuates the failures of the group instead of encouraging efforts to better themselves.

It has been estimated that since 1994 more than two million of the better-educated and skilled people (including families of course) have left South Africa for the US, Canada, Australia and Britain. Most of those are white, but also included are many people of mixed race, of Asiatic descent and professional blacks who abhor dishonesty and bad practice. They have left because of the problems that positive discrimination have caused with education, deterioration of public services and job security. It is almost impossible for well-qualified whites to get a good job with government services. Inevitably, there has also been massive corruption because all commercial businesses are required to have partners, or members of their boards, and a minimum proportion of employees who are black, whether qualified or not. Many unqualified but politically-connected blacks have acquired fortunes and lucrative positions. This has to have long-term bad effects on the economy and the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation. It also creates a general pervasive atmosphere of corruption and cynical disregard of ethics and the law. However, that's the way it is happening and it is too depressing to dwell on it. I moved to Britain with my family in 1979 because I feared that is the way it might go, and I am very thankful that I did so."

Submitted by head_ragg on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 6:20pm.

he is describing what is going on in Atlanta?

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 2:59pm.

By "All parties" are you referring to the defendants? I would suspect that the young man that was beaten senselessly and for no reason might have a different outlook.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 3:07pm.

This started by the act of 'black's ' sitting under a 'white only' tree - and then (someone) hanging nooses on the tree. All parties learned how 'racism' can get out of hand - and innocents can be hurt. ‘All parties’ includes those who just 'read' about it. He was beaten because of 'hatred based on race'. . . and that is sick. There is no excuse for it - but it exists - and it's dangerous! There are no 'winners' here!

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 3:25pm.

David's Mom, I agree that everyone could learn soemthing from this incident. I really want to know what the truth was though. In the hype and justification of the 6's actions there seemed to be lots of misinformation flowing around. For example, how credible is the concept of a "white only" tree? These boys signed a statement saying their attack was unprovoked. Was there a racially charged situation before this assault, or was this 6 kids that "wilded" as others have done in the past or all makes and races.

Submitted by head_ragg on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 6:49pm.

"this 6 kids that "wilded" as others have done in the past or all makes and races." wilded? wilded? Hay Janet, are you hearing yourself?

If it was 'whitie'...would you say they were just ''wilding''? Since you make so much of 'the tree' could the whites have just been 'wilding?...oh my aching a##

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 7:10pm.

I lived in New York when there were several incidents of teenagers "wilding" as the press called it. Including an attack on a central park jogger. I am not too terribly worried about competing with you. You should speak to your partner about your aching "a##". Perhaps you can drive next time. Just ask

Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 4:12pm.

I think Cy was right - Google the incident if you have the time. The 'feelings of racism' runs deep and long in many towns and cities in our country. My take was that this should have been 'nipped' in the bud long ago. The statement was that the student who was beaten was not 'heard' or seen' to make any statements to provoke the attack. Traditions in many towns are changing - but change is difficult (don't we know that!) Adults (black and white) should have provided guidance and leadership - and they didn't. IMO. At my high school in California - there was a 'senior' park - and any underclassman was vilified if he/she made the mistake to wander into the 'senior park'. (race had nothing to do with it - but there were some 'beatdowns' behind a 'mistake')

Submitted by head_ragg on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 6:55pm.

people like you will ...never ...let the races get along. You have wanted to burn down whities house so long..too bad you were laying in bed watching God knows what during the Watts missed your wave...give it up...If you hadn't been lazy could have been out there with them, writing the injustices, smashed a few windows and a few TVs would be missing. You missed it...accept it and move on...

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 3:25pm.

While not wanting to stir this pot again I think you and I can agree that it started before the incident concerning where people sat. It really is unfortunate but this whole thing is akin to a "Nifonging". And you're right, there are no winners.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 3:55pm.


Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Sat, 06/27/2009 - 12:59pm.

... just a beatdown.


Coming to a neighborhood near you soon.

Submitted by joyb on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 5:45pm.

It seems that it boils down to whether hanging ropes from a tree in a schoolyard is a worse, or equal, crime in comparison to beating someone three-quarters of the way to death. I think "to Nifong" should be a 2007 entry into the Oxford English Dictionary as a verb. It looks like a Nifonging is being attempted in Jena.

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 9:08pm.

“The Jena Dodge” excerpts

"Demonstrators and the Media Avoid the Stubborn Truths of Black Social Breakdow"

Pandering politicians have erupted in an outpouring of seeming joy at the alleged proof — after so much diligent trolling for evidence — that America remains a racist country. Senator Hillary Clinton told the NAACP: ‘This case reminds us that the scales of justice are seriously out of balance when it comes to charging, sentencing, and punishing African Americans.’” Shocked Puzzled

“The reason that the black incarceration rate is the highest in the country is that blacks have the highest crime rate — by a long shot.”

“Nationally, blacks commit murder at about eight times the frequency of whites. In New York, any given violent crime is 13 times more likely to have been committed by a black person than by a white person, according to the reports of victims and witnesses. Though they are only 24 percent of the city’s population, blacks committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in New York last year. Whites, who make up 34.5 percent of New Yorkers, committed only 5.3 percent of violent crimes. These ratios are similar across the country.”

“No one in the Jena stampede dares whisper a word about black crime, because it undercuts the portrait of a victimized race.”

“It is not racism that is putting black men in jail; it’s their own behavior.”

“There is not a single elite institution in the country that is not twisting itself into knots in favor of African-Americans.” [i.e., reverse racism or discrimination against “whites”]

“In short, the opportunities for blacks to roar ahead in the economy if they stay out of trouble, study, and apply themselves are legion, but the numbers taking advantage of these opportunities are not.”

“No one wallowing in Jena promotion has had the courage to speak about an even more important crisis, the breakdown of marriage. [This is also a huge "white" problem.] The nearly 70 percent national illegitimacy rate for blacks — a number that can approach 90 percent in inner cities — is a cataclysm. Its consequences go far beyond the harm to individual black children — especially boys — who grow up without fathers.

"The real poison of the marriage crisis is the message it sends to young men about personal responsibility.

"The first duty in civil society is toward one’s own children; everything else is built around it.

"But when boys are raised without any expectations that they will have to support their children and marry the mother of those children, they fail to learn the most basic lesson about responsibility. They also are freed from the civilizing force of the marriage requirement, which pressures young men to become attractive mates.”

“The orgy of Jena coverage will not just fail to improve the lagging performance of blacks; it will impede such improvement by strengthening the victim mentality.” [The same goes for "white" bullies and thugs.]

“The real tragedy is the dysfunctional culture that holds back too many blacks from seizing the many opportunities open to them.” ["Blacks" don't have a monopoly on "dysfunctional."]


"Norfolk Beating [of 13-Year-Old White Teen by 5 Black Teens] Caught on Tape"

"Videographer Sheds New Light on Mob Beating"

"Suspects range in age from 13-16. All of the teens are charged with Assault by Mob, a class one misdemeanor. They each face no more than 12 months in jail and a fine of not more than $2,500."

"It was supposed to be a fight they wanted to put on MySpace and YouTube. A friendly fight. But I mean it was gonna be just one on one. It wasn't supposed to be six on one," said 14-year-old Anthony Dimarco. Somewhere along the way, more people joined in and this is the end result. "It was supposed to be a play around wrestle match. And then I guess, one of the kids called up his friend and it turned into a jumping in."

Investigators are saying that it's not race- or gang-related. But I wonder. Puzzled


"Man Dies after Brutal Beating"

19-year-old man from Georgia was beaten to death by mob of more than a dozen people, including 4 teenage girls. A mob of men, women, and teens stripped 3 men of their clothes and brutally beat them; 2 escaped (seriously injured) but 1 could not.

No matter what one's skin color, we all bleed red and can die or be seriously injured by thugs. What kind of adults will these "kids" turn out to be? Sad


If a nation expects to be both ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Submitted by Davids mom on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 6:37pm.

Thanks for your comments - which puts statistics in perspective to reality. The crisis in the black community is well documented. The tens of thousands who 'marched' were those who benefited from a 'functional' family; an education; a caring community. What it showed to the world is that there are a great number of 'blacks and whites' in America who are NOT thugs or of the 'Britney Spears/Paris Hilton' persuasion. Peaceful intervention for equal justice under the law. My hat is off to the young lawyers who are working on this case 'pro bono'. We have a legal system in this country - when applied fairly - is the best in the world.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 9:20pm.

Hi Denise,

Hope all is well with you Cowgirl! Do you sometimes ask yourself why you even bother to research and blog? Do you ever wonder if anyone out there really cares and does it even make a difference? Puzzled

I sure hate the thought of 'throwing up the white flag' and moving to the 'dark side'. But, you gotta ask yourself sometimes if there really is any hope out there regarding the increasingly violent and corrupt society we exist in today.

Thanks for your hard work. You're a good one! Eye-wink


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 9:39pm.

As a wise man once wrote, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (That's hard to do!)

("But they that wait upon the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." I do have trouble with faith and obedience.)

But he also wrote, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding."

Aren't you glad for those promises? Smiling

We should keep on doing what we can do because, in the end, we'll know that we've done our best and will hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." Smiling

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:01pm.

That is one of my favorites. Thanks for keeping us sane through the hype of the jena 6.

I love reading all of the information you put into your blogs. I wish I had the energy.

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:15pm.

We all contribute in different ways (even Dollar?). Isn't the internet great!

Have a good evening and day tomorrow -- just be on the lookout for criminals. Sad

Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 9:34pm.

Duplicate post -- sorry!

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 9:47pm.

I do have trouble with faith and obedience.

Boy, don't we all. Sad

Aren't you glad for those promises?

Those promises are the only hope I can see. Problem is I fail to lean on those promises like I should. Seems like I get impatient and try to fix so much myself.

Other than the hope of or Lord I'd say there isn't much out there to be optimistic about. I do try to work all day to make a difference, but you can't help but get a bit discouraged when you look at what's happening around us.

Hey! Thanks for the encouragement. We could all use a bit of that from time to time. Smiling Smiling Smiling


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:10pm.

Have you heard of the Truth Project? It's excellent.

The Truth Project

Dr. Tackett reminded us of the Pilgrims, of whom William Bradford wrote:

"Lastly, and which was not least, a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make someway thereunto, for the promoting and advancing of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea, though they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work."

"The Saga of the Pilgrims"

I surely am glad for their vision and sacrifice and example of faith. Smiling

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 6:38am.

The one for 'The Truth Project'.



"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Paul Perkins's picture
Submitted by Paul Perkins on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 12:11pm.

FWIW-The Truth Project is an excellent course.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 4:27pm.

I bookmarked The Truth Project and will check it out very soon! On another note I'm thinking I might just file an ethics complaint after all. Take up John's challenge. Hey... Git Real is a real citizen and at the very least it might make some of these clown lawyers "play it a little straighter" in the future.


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 3:26pm.

Jason Whitlock, columnist for the Kansas City Star and, clarifies the muddy waters of Jena in "Journey to Jena" and "Lessons from Jena, La."

"Jesse and Al, as they’re prone to do, served a kernel of truth stacked on a mountain of lies."

"Much of the mainstream reporting on this story has been misleading, irresponsible and inflammatory."

"On the surface, the story sounds like a horrifying tale of Emmett Till-style justice."

"Pro jocks feel like they're owed something" and should have "their failures rationalized and excused." -- Football star Mychal Bell, one of the "Jena Six" who "punched, beat and stomped a white kid" even after he was knocked unconscious, was already on probation for assault and had been convicted of two other violent crimes in 2006 and one charge of criminal damage to property. Maybe that's why he was charged as an adult (a common practice with "kids" who are 16 & 17)? Also, don't prosecutors often, or even sometimes, use more serious charges as a bargaining tool? Puzzled

"And it’s never mentioned that white people in the 'racist' town of Jena provided Bell support and protected his football career long before Jesse, Al, Bell’s father and all the others took a sincere interest in Mychal Bell." -- Bell had already been "brought before the court for the third time on assault charges in a two-year span" when he and 5 others attacked the white student. It seems to me that the school and parents willingly overlooked previous violent behavior so that the players could be kept on the football team. Why no suspensions or expulsions long before this incident when someone could have died (head injuries are serious and not to be taken lightly)?

"Our pursuit of a bigger house, a fancier car and a splashier vacation has short-circuited our commitment to parenting." -- Bell's father lived in Dallas for the last 7 years and only moved back to Jena AFTER his son got into really serious trouble.

"And we as black folks need to question ourselves about why too many of us can only get energized to help our young people once they’re in harm’s way." [Reminds me of Genarlow Wilson & friends.]

"Where ... were the parents — all of the parents, white and black?"

"Shame on the parents." -- All of the parents who overlooked and excused bad behavior on numerous occasions.

"Mychal Bell's clueless public defender was black."

"There were no black jurors because of the 50 people who responded to the more than 100 summons [computer-generated with no designation of race], none were black."

"Not one witness — black or white, and there were 40 statements taken — connected the jumping/beatdown of the white student (Dec. 4) to the noose incident (Sept. 1)." A BLACK U.S. Attorney found no evidence either. Of course, no one would believe a WHITE U.S. Attorney, would they? Shocked

"Only after the prosecutor overreacted (or tired of letting Bell and others skate once the successful football season was over; Bell wasn't the only football star charged) did the 'Jena Six' blame the attack on the nooses and the white shade tree."


"Jena Jigsaw" by Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

"How do we begin to heal the racial divide in our nation? After all, despite our nation’s diversity, the black–white gap seems to be the greatest ethnic division we face within our borders. I believe that the only catalyst that can unite the races in America is the Christian Church."

"James Jenkins, a strategist with African Americans For the Louisiana Baptist Convention, made the following comments in this regard, 'Outsiders tend to stereotype a town like Jena, … I know the people in this town. … This is not a racially divided town … good is going to come out of this. This [national attention] is going to affect relationships in the town, and that will affect the community in a positive way.'"


"As an adolescent, Ken Hutcherson says he hated white people. In fact, the former NFL linebacker first started playing high school football just so he could hurt white students without getting in trouble."



"Law Versus Mob Rule" by Thomas Sowell

"It is painful -- and dangerous -- how little we learn from history, even when it is recent history."

"Liberals' skills at moral equivalence have been so finely honed during the long years of the Cold War that they have turned this into a case of 'unequal treatment,' based on race -- as if putting a noose on a tree is equivalent to stomping somebody who is unconscious."

"Racial hype has replaced all rational discussion."

"Violations of law by people with approved victim status like minorities, or self-righteous crusaders like environmentalists, were to be met with minimal resistance -- if any resistance at all -- and any punishment of them beyond a wrist-slap was 'over-reacting.'"


"Black and White Becomes Gray in La. Town" -- Many interesting quotes from residents of Jena

"While their town's race relations are not unblemished, this is not the cauldron of bigotry that has been depicted."

"To Ben Reid, 61, who set down roots in Jena in 1957 and lived here throughout the civil rights era, 'this whole thing ain't no downright, racial affair.' Reid, who is black, presently serves on the LaSalle Parish council."

Ben Reid: "You have good people here and bad people here, on both sides. This thing has been blown out of proportion."

"The so-called 'white tree' at Jena High, often reported to be the domain of only white students, was nothing of the sort, according to teachers and school administrators; students of all races, they say, congregated under it at one time or another."

"The three youths accused of hanging the nooses were not suspended for just three days -- they were isolated at an alternative school for about a month, and then given an in-school suspension for two weeks."


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the "Jena Six" (with audio, video, photos, & many article links).


To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. ~ President Teddy Roosevelt

Submitted by Davids mom on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 4:37pm.

As facts become known - I think that sensible people agree that the adults - parents; school administrators; law enforcement; DA; - missed an opportunity to resolve a conflict peacefully. However - there were adults who took advantage of a situation and allowed it to fester for whatever reason. Let us all learn from this - and not allow this to happen in our cities and towns. Adults must assume leadership in helping children to resolve conflicts. It is enlightening to learn that this town is not as 'racist' as the press painted it (how ever the reaction and silence is typical of many northern and southern towns) - and that some attempt was made by the leadership to provide justice for those who were seen as 'victims'. However - the adults of that town and of this nation should have spoken up earlier and louder when they saw unequal justice for ALL VICTIMS. Special treatment for a 'football' hero; white teen; etc., etc., etc., led to a disgraceful situation which the children of Jena did not deserve. As I read and listen, there are some wonderful children in Jena at that high school. It's too bad their adult leadership let them down. By the way - Jesse and Al should not get credit for bringing this to the attention of the nation. The college students of this country - black and white - were discussing this for a year!! They are the ones who organized the peaceful demonstration - supported by white and black professionals and churchgoers. Jesse and Al just jumped on the bandwagon - a year too late! We have laws in this country - we just expect law, in 2007 - to be administered equally to all citizens. Skin color and athletic skill does not warrant special treatment when the law is broken and citizens are disrespected.

Thanks for your research Denise. The responsible press is now giving us the facts – for a fair perspective.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 09/26/2007 - 4:33pm.

Thank you for your hard work, and research. This gives us a clear and rational picture of this event. The media only gives us part of the story.

Where were the parents, and why did they have these kids if they didn't want to take care of them?

Submitted by Davids mom on Mon, 09/24/2007 - 8:06am.

Excellent commentary. The children acted with the wisdom of children. What happened to the adults in this case? I don't feel the public has all of the facts - and hopefully equal justice will be implemented in this case. The prosecutor, school leadership, parents - should all be scrutinized. Their behavior could have changed this whole scenario into one of a learning situation of how the 'justice' system should work. As in the case of Nifong - DA's will learn that an informed electorate will study their actions and motives. Now we just have to work on securing an informed electorate. I, for one, am so tired of having the media tell me who the 'black' leaders are! Jesse and Al, as stated by the writer of the balanced perspective stated - only appear when there are cameras around. That's not leadership - that is grandstanding! I applaud the students, professionals, and church people from the black and white American communities who held a peaceful demonstration in Jena. I applaud the townspeople and law enforcement of Jena - who went out of their way to insure that the demonstration was peaceful. Children, black and white, made some unwise choices in Jena last year. Where were the adults and their guidance to help them make better choices? Where was the leadership to explain the law and the justice system? A teaching opportunity was lost - and chaos was allowed to fester.

Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Mon, 09/24/2007 - 11:44am.

You're right D. Mom. Where were the adults? This should have been nipped in the bud when it happened, not allowed to escalate. What a shame, a learning experience WAS lost.

I like your assessment of Jessie and Sharpton. What a pair. They do love the grandstanding and cameras. They need to shut up and go away.

Submitted by Davids mom on Tue, 09/25/2007 - 4:07pm.


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