Jena 6… not the Jackson 5

noose.jpg

A rally is scheduled for September 20, 2007, the day that Mychal Bell would have been sentenced on, but whether it will still be held depends on whether Bell is released. Nearly 50,000 people have shown interest in attending. However, I’m asking you to do something! Perhaps you can’t make it down to Louisiana, support a local rally for these kids, say a prayer. Even if all you do it watch the news debates or read my blog and share the facts with another person. Back in the 1960’s our elders did their part, now it’s time for us to do our. If you don’t stand for your people, who will?

One final thing, if you hear ANYONE say something about O.J. Simpson ,ask them have they heard about the Jena 6! It’s such a shame at how people ignore the REAL issues

~cMac

At Jena High School, students of different races seldom sat together. Black students traditionally sat on bleachers near the auditorium, while white students sat under a large shade tree, referred to as the “white tree”, in the center of the school courtyard.

During a school assembly on August 31, 2006, a black male freshman student asked permission from the principal to sit in the shade of the “white tree.” According to the recounting of events given by U.S. Attorney Donald Washington, the question was posed in a “jocular fashion.” The principal told the students they could “sit wherever they wanted.”

The following morning, three nooses were discovered hanging from the tree. Jena’s principal learned that three white students were responsible and recommended expulsion. The board of education overruled his recommendation, to which Superintendent Roy Breithaupt agreed. The punishment was reduced to three days of in-school suspension. The school superintendent was quoted as saying, “Adolescents play pranks. I don’t think it was a threat against anybody.” Black residents of Jena claim that this decision stoked racial tensions that led to subsequent events.

  • On November 30, 2006, the main building of the high school was set on fire. The building was gutted and had to be later demolished. Blacks and whites accused each other of the arson.
  • On Friday, December 1, there was a private party, attended mostly by whites, at the Fair Barn. Five black youths, including 16-year-old Robert Bailey, attempted to enter the party at about 11pm. According to U.S. Attorney Washington, they were told by a woman that they were not allowed inside without an invitation. The five youths persisted, stating that some friends were already in attendance at the party. A white man, who was not a student, then jumped in front of the woman and instigated a fight. After the fight was broken up, the woman told both the white man and five black youths to leave the party. Once outside, the black students were involved in another fight with a group of white men, who also were not students. Police were then called to investigate. Several months later, Justin Sloan, a white male, was charged with battery for his role in the fight and was put on probation. Bailey later stated that one of the white men had broken a beer bottle over his head, though there are no official records of medical treatment being given.

The following day, an incident apparently stemming from this fight occurred at a local convenience store. A student who had attended the party encountered Bailey and several friends. An argument ensued, after which the white student ran to his pickup truck and produced a pistol-grip shotgun. Bailey ran after the white student and wrestled him for control of the gun. Bailey’s friends intervened in the scuffle and took the gun away. Bailey refused to return it and ultimately took it home with him. Local police reported that the accounts of the white student and black students contradicted each other and formed a report based on testimony taken from eyewitnesses. This resulted in Bailey being charged with three counts: theft of a firearm, second-degree robbery and disturbing the peace. The white student who had produced the weapon was not charged.

The following Monday, December 4, a white student named Justin Barker, aged 17, loudly discussed – “bragged”, as characterized by National Public Radio – how Bailey had been beaten up by a white man that Friday night.When Barker walked out of the school gymnasium into the courtyard later that day, he was assaulted by Bailey and five other black students, and was temporarily knocked unconscious. The concussion he suffered has been described in the media as resulting either from a punch to the face or from hitting his head on concrete when thrown to the ground. While on the ground, Barker was kicked repeatedly. Barker was examined by a doctor at the local hospital. After two hours of treatment and observation for his concussion and an eye that had swollen shut, Barker was discharged in time to go to the school Ring Ceremony that evening. In the meantime the six black students, eventually dubbed the “Jena Six”, were arrested…

Five of the students – Robert Bailey Jr., Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, and Theo Shaw – were initially charged with aggravated assault, though the sixth – an unidentified minor – was charged as a juvenile. However, District Attorney Walters increased the assault charges to attempted second-degree murder, provoking protests from black residents that the charges, which could result in the defendants being imprisoned past age 50, were disproportional to the crime.

On June 26, 2007, the first day of trial for defendant Mychal Bell, Walters agreed to reduce the charges for Bell to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated second-degree battery. A charge of aggravated battery requires the use of a “deadly weapon”. Walters thus argued that the tennis shoes that Bell was wearing and used to kick Barker were deadly weapons, an argument with which the jury agreed. Despite conflicting witness accounts on whether he was involved in the attack, Bell was found guilty and faced the possibility of up to 22 years in prison when he was to be sentenced on September 20, 2007. The judge has overturned the decision, and now the attorney general is trying to try him as a juvenile.

The case was disputed, as the jury was all-white and the court-appointed public defender did not call a single witness in his attempt to defend Bell. Bell’s new defense attorneys, Louis Scott and Carol Powell-Lexing, requested that a new trial be held on the grounds that Bell should not have been tried as an adult and that the trial should have been held in another parish.

A rally is scheduled for September 20, 2007, the day that Mychal Bell would have been sentenced on, but whether it will still be held depends on whether Bell is released. Nearly 50,000 people have shown interest in attending. However, I’m asking you to do something! Perhaps you can’t make it down to Louisiana, support a local rally for these kids, say a prayer. Even if all you do it watch the news debates or read my blog and share the facts with another person. Back in the 1960’s our elders did their part, now it’s time for us to do our. If you don’t stand for your people, who will?

www.freethejena6.org

Wikipedia – Jena 6

28 thoughts on “Jena 6… not the Jackson 5”

  1. Interesting post and well organized post! I’m a relatively new blogger and just published a post on Jena 6 that I thought you might be interested in, check it out

  2. Thanks for posting this! I was sad to see how many of my fellow people had no clue about this. And even moreso, I only knew of it via the blogs. My first time ever seeing on my local news was THIS MORNING! I am wearing all black today and I am in constant prayer for these kids.

    PEACE!

  3. i am so sick of everytime that a black person gets in trouble they call it racism…yes it was wrong to hang that noose, but it was even more wrong to beat up a guy whether black or white…all the boys should be punished…slavery is over and all of yall should get over it=)

  4. awwww damn. Tricia had to take it there, without knowing the issues. I had just hoped that people would read the information and understand what’s going on.

    She says that “All the boys should be punished”

    well that’s not the case.

    She says that “it’s wrong to beat up a guy black or white”
    both black and white people got beaten up.

    Did anyone miss the part where the black kids took a loaded gun from the angry white guy, and then later the black got charged for theft of a firearm.

    Nope, Gee golly George I don’t see no stinkin racism there.

    Tricia… there is no “even more wrong” there is only wrong or right. Both parties were wrong, both parties should be charged accordingly.

  5. Um, Tricia you sound like you haven’t really read up on the issue at hand. It’s blatant racism when a noose is hung on a school tree because black students chose to sit under it one day. It’s blatant racism that the tree was even known around the school as the “white only tree”. It’s also blatant racism that after sitting in jail for 10 months and having his conviction thrown out of court last Friday, Jena 6 defendant Mychael Bell was not released from prison yesterday as expected because neither the prosecutor nor the judge showed up for his bond hearing. I could go on but I won’t…sadly, I’m probably just posting this for blind eyes.

    And p.s. I am over slavery. It seems like there are still some others that are not around this country so we have to take a stand.

  6. yeahhhh…so ole chick up there needs to understadn the whole situation before you even start to make a comment like that.

    think about it–

    black kids fight = attempted murder

    white kids fight = not even charged

    rediculous…the whute dude pulled out a shotgun…black kids didnt even have a gun!…

  7. Both parties were wrong, both parties should be charged accordingly.
    ________________________________

    thats exactly what i thought,i hadnt really got to hear everything about this case until this but yeah first of all:

    you pull out a gun
    that is a pussy move
    if you really need to pull out a gun then somebody else shoulda pulled it out first

    then you talk about how one of the black kids got beat up and how they got what they deserved

    in almost any circumstance if someone is talkin about you,you are gonna go lay them out unless you are a pacifist

    the kid got what he deserved

    although if this wasnt a racially charged incident i could see it being turned on the group of black kids even if they were white but thats just cause i know situations where they turned it on the other side just because the people dont come from as good of an enviroment

    disclaimer
    yes i agree this is a racial incident
    i was just saying though…. haha

  8. And p.s. I am over slavery. It seems like there are still some others that are not around this country so we have to take a stand.
    ____________________________

    i think that is a two sided issue and i think to take a stand more people from all races need to start standing up and saying that we are gonna grow past it

    there are alot of ignorant people around the nation that just dont understand there are people who are never around black people and there are black people who are never around white people so i think a large showing of coexistance,like an old style march or something could help open the eyes of people
    do the million man march with an extra million of white people,that type of thing

  9. I know non blacks that are heading down to jena to support.

    what kinda mess is that? the judge and attorney don’t show up, after 10 months that WONT count towards any sentence, what happened to “the right to a speedy and fair trial”?

  10. cMac Says:
    September 20, 2007 at 11:37 am
    I know non blacks that are heading down to jena to support.

    what kinda mess is that? the judge and attorney don’t show up, after 10 months that WONT count towards any sentence, what happened to “the right to a speedy and fair trial”?
    _________________________________

    well im just saying a march should be done like that anyways to make people more aware but yeah the trials arent always fair,mike jackson walked free and i dont know anybody who doesnt think he did it,pac went to jail for going to sleep while two people messed with that girl…etc

  11. In response to Tricia’s comment. These young men would not have to call it “racism” if there was not a distinction of who could sit under the “white tree”.
    According to the dictionary racism is defined as, “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.”
    For added measure why haven’t the grown men who were fighting with the black youths?
    Sometimes we need to think outside of the box. The black students initial action was not wrong he had every right to sit under the tree, it is an inadament object, not owned by any student. However, the retaliation by the white students is considered in most states a terrorist threat not a schoolyard prank. So why are the rules different in this instance.
    I will now get off of my soap box however these young men should not have their lives ruined for a fight.

  12. slavery is over and all of yall should get over it=)

    ^^

    Slavery is over, but racism is very much alive. Anyway (most) people are upset behind the unfair sentencing – which should be the main focus.

  13. Slavery is over, but racism is very much alive. Anyway (most) people are upset behind the unfair sentencing – which should be the main focus.
    ______

    That’s what pissed me off.
    You sentence one party in this incident, you must sentence the other.

  14. i am so sick of everytime that a black person gets in trouble they call it racism…yes it was wrong to hang that noose, but it was even more wrong to beat up a guy whether black or white…all the boys should be punished…slavery is over and all of yall should get over it=)

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    blah, blah, blah. I’m also sick of when some white people try to downplay the significance of racism and how it does affect many trials in this day and age. People like you complain about the overuse of PC and say black people like to pull out the race card, but you always overlook alot of aspects. Racism is more subliminal these days, alot of people are predispositioned to racism, because they have grown up with these stereotypes about African Americans hammered into their head by different things. I wouldn’t call it intentional racism, sometimes it is just ignorance.

    But in this case I mean come on, first off how often are kids charged as adults for school fights? School fights occured like everyday when I was school yet no one was ever charged, unless it was gang related, and this clearly wasn’t.

    The charges were inaproppiate and quite frankly outrageous. These kids are juveniles, and the prosecuters were trying to charge them as adults for a school fight, or whopping as you may want to say. The white kids suffered no serious damage, a concussion is the lowest level of minor bran trauma, it isn’t even dangerous as long as you go to the doctor and don’t suffer additional ones within that time.

    I don’t know what to say, but the whole case is just bullshit and everyone but deniars know this. If it were some white kids fighting other white kids I would have loved to see what the charges were.

  15. someone brought up this point to me:

    if this was white kids beating up one black kid would anybody try to get all the facts about it or would it automatically be racist and lock them up in jail

    seeing as in the past any crime like this is immediately shined on and people go nuts about it(which is true in some cases,think about how al sharpton and jesse jackson react to alot of things)

    not my exact opinion but i was just wondering what people thought

  16. The US Judicial System and the inherent racism that exists in it is what should be the issue here. Tryin a 17 year old as an adult for manslaughter for gettin in a few shots is fuckin outrageous. The kid was released the same day he got beatdown. Ignorance leads to all of this shit. I’ve always said you don’t respond to violence with violence if you wanna solve soemthing but if you could imagine how frustrated these kids were after that noose was put up and the kids who did got away scott free I’d be kickin seven shades of shit outta the kids who did it. I can’t believe this shit still goes on in America. Having said that 2 years ago in Liverpool, England, some black kid got an axe in his head by a white racist. That white racist is now doing life. There needs to be a fair judicial system, until that is sorted there will never be equality.

  17. great post cMac..I been up on jena 6 for a min now….had a post about it when i had my blog..glad to see its getting the attention it deserves..racism is alive, still exists folks..dont be in denial

  18. co-sign erep. for sure, this shit is ricockulous. the right thing to do is to try the white boys for hate crimes and to try jena for their violent behavior. but manslaughter, really? give me a fucking break. why is physical violence treated a billion times harsher than psychological damage? particularly considering the entire thing would have never happened had the white kids been properly dealt with by the law. the whole thing stinks.

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