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doxy
The following is a 3 minute intro to what this is about, I suggest watching it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuoiZnr4jLY

The below is just a story of my Friday night and how it relates to The Jena Six:

So there I am, enjoying my original martini (gin, sweet vermouth, a hit of orange bitters, lemon twist) and a bloke sits next to me at the bar. It's a hotel bar and so I'm figuring he isn't from here. I'm a social cat and so I ask what he's in town for. He says he came down for the Jena Six. I was immediately pleased to meet his aquaintance. I told him my roommates and neighbors went to the rally, and asked him what he thought of the turn-out for it. He was happy with it but emphasized there's still a ways to go. From then on we discussed my dissapointment with the majority of the white people who are actually from this state, especially those outside of New Orleans.
(yes, this email is politically motivated, you can delete it or email me one on one with your dissapointment in me sending it if you'd like, in the end this state has some serious problems)
The basis of my disspointment was how I felt the majority of this state's double standards that went on and go on in all the small parishes, and even the three bigger parishes, did nothing but leave us in 2007 by technicality alone...we're surprisingly behind the times...hate and ignorance has bred more hate and ignorance so much so I feel at times I'm living in Jim Crow's retirement home and it's quite simply the most backwards state in the union ...and I'm not talking just the continental United States either. (I seriously think we've got Mississippi beat--and that's just because their bigotry is more sophisticated)
Back to the main point of my tale.
So myself and the chap next to me are finding ourselves in good company. He told me I shouldn't just accept that I don't like the way things are here and have my views to just sit there at the bar drinking my original martini...that my lazy self should do something productive about it. True, but damn are those martini's tasty.
Then a couple people walk into the bar and they flip-out over my new friend. I asked him what was up? He told me he was sort of a celebrity. Really? Well who are you, I say. He said his name was Most Def. Later on I found out he spells it Mos Def. Either way I still didn't know who he was but said, "damn, that's cool...nice talking to you."
So yeah, I hang out with Mos Def. We have drinks together at the same bar, we're tight. Check me out.

In ending...god bless america.
pepper
*laughing ass off* most def, hee!

seriously, what's the update on this? it's probably too soon to expect much action but i'd like to know as soon as something does happen.
tankgirl
<3 <3 Mos Def


anyway, the sad reality of this story is that, things like this will always happen. im not telling anyone to sit back and not make a stand, by all means for everyone who takes a stand for injustice, a huge movement is made, but there will always be gender/racial/class biases in the world, and it makes me uterly sick.
doxy
My problem is that you say there will be these injustices in the "world" only we're talking USA. Not that it should matter, but unfortunately it does...and for the same sentiments you posted on...which make me sick.

They kicked the kid's ass, fine. The reality is they don't even belong in juvie, just kicked out of the school...but they're in jail.
How many of you have ever been in jail?

The sad reality of the sad reality of your post, tank, is that we don't give a shit about the sad reality.
I'm fucking tired of it. But I don't want my family to write me in jail, but inevitably it seems the only way, I'm that fucking tired of it.
Tank, no offense but sentiments like what you posted are a cop-out.

venetia
Anyway it's not true. If there was no real change then the whole South would still be segregated, heaven if there was really no change there would still be slavery. Whereas as it stands what happened is nowdays treated as such an outrage that I'm hearing about Jena from way over here on the other side of the world.
doxy
Which means what?
Sorry Venetia...don't catch your meaning.
Mr Pugs
The thing that bothers me most about this is the misrepresentation of facts. Some facts are good enough to be included in the media, others are not.

The other thing that bothers me is the Sharpton/Jackson tag team. I agree that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, but they only show up when Black people are involved. If they are against injustice it should be across the board. I don't remember them showing up with a big protest for the West Memphis Three.
LoveMyPugs
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faerietails2
There's gonna be a big Jena 6 protest in DC next weekend (Oct. 2).

I totally agree about the Sharpton/Jackson thing. Then again, there's a lot about those two that always pisses me off.
Mr Pugs
Yeah, but Hank Rollins never claimed to be a civil rights activist. He just researched the case and decided to help the WM3.
LoveMyPugs
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doxy
I'm just shocked with dissapointment in regards to the charge.
Also, I like that AS and JJ show up when it looks like civil rights are being violated, of which they are in that hick town Jena. I also love the fact they came down here to New Orleans (putting two and two together one could come up woth this state severely sucking...)
I read the wikepedia facts, too, and still can't figure out why no one understands the severity of the charges?
I tried reading about the West Memphis thing but it's too long...care to give the jist?
My problem with people jumping to the obvious conclusion when they see Al Sharpton is this...he's obviously there for a reason. To believe his sole reason to live is to make something out of something it isn't is a crutch. If you can't accept there is bullshit going on then I feel sorry for you.

"Yeah honey you are right. I guess in a perfect world when there was injustice everyone would speak up but then again in a perfect world there wouldn't be injustice in the first place right? "
Well said.
doxy
Off topic:
I've been looking at my avator picture lately, it's a fleur de lis I thought fitting with my location. But, sometimes I wonder if there's some kind of klanism in it? A lot of the krewes back in the day were segregated and some were stripped of being able to march in the city on Mardi Gras (like Comus) and so I was looking at my avator and just wondering...
Would be a bad piece of irony if it were.
Mr Pugs
Yes attempted murder is overkill--it has since been reduced to battery, but you have to realize that it was 6 on 1. Justin Barker was hit from behind and knocked either unconsious or semi-unconsious. After that all six started kicking and stomping on him. Were it the other way around, it would have been called a hate crime or lynching.

I'm just shocked with dissapointment in regards to the offense. That's what I have issue with. If everyone went down and protested that the three white kids who hung the nooses (in an unrelated incident) only got suspended and not expelled, fine. I have no problem with that, but to protest and try to "free the Jena Six" when they gang assaulted someone, it's wrong. Only Mychal Ball has been convicted (which was overturned) and none of them have been sentenced. Mychal has had two battery charges as a juvenile, four violent crimes prior to this one, and two parole violations.

I just wonder what the hell passes for parenting down there.

I feel to give the jist of the WM3 is wrong Doxy, you should do your own research that way you know for yourself if all the facts are given in a fair light and aren't spun or cast in poor light by opinions.
LoveMyPugs
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doxy
6 kids didn't beat up Barker, 3 did. None the less he was warned the entire time he taunted the black kid (the one beaten up by more than one white person at the preceding party) thru the halls. It was stated on witness accounts by ALL witnesses. It was stated by all witnesses that he was sluring the kid and so how is it shocking he'd get into a "tussle?" He was warned and told to shut his mouth each time he opened it up for racial slurs to exit...getting beaten down is what I call "expected" after that.
All of their parents are just as educated as they are, which is why they're all so uneducated. You can go to school all you want but at the end of the day you go home and dumb down to those who are in your house waiting for you. (yes I know some prevail and are success stories)
None of the protests are suggesting those involved in the fight let go scot-free...the point missed is the bullshit that led up to it all and why certain persons were tried at a different level than others...which is why there was a protest. Pretty simple to me. Mr Pugs, you try and suggest the noose thing never built up to anything, neither did the gun "exchange" at the gas station, and the fight at a party prior to...and then I just have to suggest you've missed the plot then. Again, it's all so very simple to me.

(tangent time)
Best part is the bar where I work is very high-end and upscale--so at work this past Saturday night I just loved the bigoted remarks by the uppity white locals that frequent my restaurant. To actually think none of what went on in that town this past year was racially motivated and biased is to be as sightless as one can get. Yet time and time again that night I overheard their conversations and laughter.
This state sucks, simple as.
doxy
"did the six black kids really think they weren't going to have charges pressed after stomping a white kid?"
Though it isn't right, nor should it even be acceptible: if you pay attention to all the events in chronological order and find yourself living where those 6 black kids lived and then realize nothing will ever happen unless you take actions on yourslef it's what will happen. See every single racially motivated protest and riot. People can only take so much. It isn't exactly a phenomenon, really.
It would be "one thing" if those kids just up and went to school...got out of class and then on the way to another class something clicked--they all of a sudden realized their duty was to beat up a white kid.
But, it isn't that "one thing", it's another thing, lots of'em, in my opinion.
Obviously I'm not the only one with that opinion and so thank the heavens for that.
pepper
QUOTE(LoveMyPugs @ Sep 25 2007, 12:36 PM) *
why did the black kid ask to sit under the "white tree"?


do you mean why didn't they just sit under it? i can see them going to the authority at the school first. obviously they were ready to start smashing the racist action at their school, where better to start than with the teachers and principle? the school of course has to say "white tree? what white tree?", that is their official stand on the matter, they can't be seen as condoning that sort of racism at the school no matter how backwater they may be. but so long as the kids made a point of asking first and bringing the school authority's attention to the matter they have official, at least unspoken, permission to go ahead. it's a tricky situation. it's not supposed to be going on, the "white tree" business, but it is. it's not officially recognized or acknowledged but it's there just the same, and all the more insidious because of it's underhanded, sly nature. unfortunately it's taken a great sacrifice to facilitate change which is just history repeating. those boys don't have to die to stand up for what they believe but their freedom is on the line none the less.

is it about the parents? is it about the school? is it about the community, the social consciousness? yes, yes, yes. but you gotta start somewhere. school is pretty damn fine place for it, i think.
octobersky
Prior to the Jena6 - there HAD to be things going on at the school. I mean I've taught and observed in schools and you can just tell sometimes that there is something in the air. You know like an undercurrent, a vibe? Events don't occur in a vacuum. As teachers and administrators you have to be hyper-aware of and take measures to ensure that behavior doesn't get out of hand - it's your JOB!!! When the nooses showed up hanging from the "white tree" there should have immediately been an assembly addressing the behavior, explaining that the school will not tolerate these actions and that punishment will be swift. I mean who runs the school?

Yeah doxy I've been to NOLA on numerous occasions (pre-katrina) and class/race lines really bothered me. It stood out loud and clear to me that just about every behind the scenes service person was either black or Hispanic and that stuff really hasn't changed as much as society would like to think. The lines seemed to be very clearly drawn, even more so than other southern cities I have visited and I've visited quite a few. I really do love the culture, history and food of Nola but I'm just more aware of my race when visiting.


Here's an interesting side thought that should make just about every person rethink what they thought was their racial identity. Recently I've been doing some genealogy research and have found both sides of my family to be Melungeon. You can read about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melungeon It's still a controversial subject, but there seems to be more and more info coming to light. But in reading about this I'd like to think that these narrow minded idiots who believe some misguided white supremacy that perhaps they themselves are of mixed heritage!! Wouldn't that just be a great twist of irony?
Mr Pugs
QUOTE(doxy @ Sep 25 2007, 03:57 PM) *
6 kids didn't beat up Barker, 3 did. None the less he was warned the entire time he taunted the black kid (the one beaten up by more than one white person at the preceding party) thru the halls. It was stated on witness accounts by ALL witnesses. It was stated by all witnesses that he was sluring the kid and so how is it shocking he'd get into a "tussle?" He was warned and told to shut his mouth each time he opened it up for racial slurs to exit...getting beaten down is what I call "expected" after that.
All of their parents are just as educated as they are, which is why they're all so uneducated. You can go to school all you want but at the end of the day you go home and dumb down to those who are in your house waiting for you. (yes I know some prevail and are success stories)
None of the protests are suggesting those involved in the fight let go scot-free...the point missed is the bullshit that led up to it all and why certain persons were tried at a different level than others...which is why there was a protest. Pretty simple to me. Mr Pugs, you try and suggest the noose thing never built up to anything, neither did the gun "exchange" at the gas station, and the fight at a party prior to...and then I just have to suggest you've missed the plot then. Again, it's all so very simple to me.


I didn't see anywere in my research that there were more than one white person fighting the black kid at the party. Where is your information coming from? Maybe it's an article that I haven't read. The way I understood the party fight was that 5 black kids tried to gain entry to a private party to which they had no invites to. The girl at the door told them they couldn't come in without an invite. They persisted. A white man then told them to leave which they didn't and then a fight ensued.

While it may be true that Barker was saying racial slurs against the six, I don't believe that they weren't giving it back. Is it expected that with superior numbers, the six were saying "please, stop saying that, it hurts my feelings"?

The gun exchange is a strange one. There were conflicting stories from both sides, so it's really clouded as to what really happened. I just don't understand the mentality of if someone pulled a gun on me, I'll go take it from him. I would've just put their hands up and shut my mouth. After he left, I would've called the cops and asked anyone who saw it to tell the police when they arrived.

There are multiple sources that say even though an investigation ensued, the noose incident did not play a role in this fight.

Like I said earlier, if you have sources that I haven't seen, please post them.

Here's an article to read... http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/7170510
LoveMyPugs
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girlygirlgag
QUOTE(doxy @ Sep 25 2007, 08:57 PM) *
6 kids didn't beat up Barker, 3 did. None the less he was warned the entire time he taunted the black kid (the one beaten up by more than one white person at the preceding party) thru the halls. It was stated on witness accounts by ALL witnesses. It was stated by all witnesses that he was sluring the kid and so how is it shocking he'd get into a "tussle?" He was warned and told to shut his mouth each time he opened it up for racial slurs to exit...getting beaten down is what I call "expected" after that.

Assault is illegal. You are insinuating that violent use of force, 3 - 1 (I don't care if it is 3, 6 or 10, it was not 1 - 1) was justified. It never is.

QUOTE
Black and white becomes gray in La. town

By TODD LEWAN, AP National WriterSat Sep 22, 7:33 PM ET

It's got all the elements of a Delta blues ballad from the days of Jim Crow: hangman's nooses dangling from a shade tree; a mysterious fire in the night; swift deliberations by a condemning, all-white jury.

And drawn by this story, which evokes the worst of a nightmarish past, they came by the thousands this past week to Jena, La. — to demand justice, to show strength, to beat back the forces of racism as did their parents and grandparents.

But there are many in Jena who say the tale of the "Jena Six" — the black teenagers who were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy for attacking a white classmate at Jena High School last December — is not as simple as all that.

Black and white, they say that in its repeated retelling — enhanced by omissions and alterations of fact — the story has taken on a life of its own. It has transformed a school-yard stomping into an international cause celebre, and those accused of participating in it into what one major Southern daily came to describe as "latter-day Scottsboro Boys."

And they say that 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. He reads the papers. He hears the talk outside of church on Sundays about how the Jena Six business is dividing his hometown down racial lines.

He doesn't buy it.

"You have good people here and bad people here, on both sides. This thing has been blown out of proportion. What we ought to do is sit down and talk this thing out, 'cause once all is said and done and you media folks leave, we're the ones who're going to have to live here."

Clearly, something bad occurred in Jena, population 2,971, an old sawmill town in LaSalle Parish that, once upon a time, was Ku Klux Klan country. And, as most white and black residents readily agree, there is no good reason for embracing what unfolded here.

But what happened, exactly?

The story goes that a year ago, a black student asked at an assembly if he could sit in the shade of a live oak, which, the story goes, was labeled "the white tree" because only white students hung out there. The next day, three nooses dangled from the oak — code for "KKK" — the handiwork of three white students, who were suspended for just three days.

Much of that is disputed. What happened next is not: Two months later, an arsonist torched a wing of Jena High School. (The case remains unsolved.) Two fights between blacks and whites roiled the town that weekend, culminating in a school-yard brawl on ..hat led the district attorney to charge the Jena Six with attempted murder. The lethal weapon he cited to justify the charge: the boys' sneakers.

In July, the first to be tried, Mychal Bell, was convicted after two hours of deliberations by an all-white jury on reduced charges of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit it.

(It was widely reported that Bell, now 17, was an honor student with no prior criminal record. Although he had a high grade-point average, he was, in fact, on probation for at least two counts of battery and a count of criminal damage to property. In any event, his conviction was overturned because an appeals court ruled he should not have been tried as an adult.)

There is, however, a more nuanced rendition of events — one that can be found in court testimony, in interviews with teachers, officials and students at Jena High, and in public statements from a U.S. attorney who reviewed the case for possible federal intervention.

Consider:

_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.

_Two nooses — not three — were found dangling from the tree. Beyond being offensive to blacks, the nooses were cut down because black and white students "were playing with them, pulling on them, jump-swinging from them, and putting their heads through them," according to a black teacher who witnessed the scene.

_There was no connection between the September noose incident and December attack, according to Donald Washington, an attorney for the U.S. Justice Department in western Louisiana, who investigated claims that these events might be race-related hate crimes.

_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.

_The six-member jury that convicted Bell was, indeed, all white. However, only one in 10 people in LaSalle Parish is African American, and though black residents were selected randomly by computer and summoned for jury selection, none showed up.

About 225 miles and a world apart from racially mixed New Orleans, Jena (pronounced JEE-nuh) is a throwback.

Here, one refers to elders as "Sir," and "Ma'am." Children still pull catfish from creeks; couples court at Jena Giants football games; families rope goats and calves at weekend rodeos.

In a place where per capita income is $13,761, there aren't any swank, French restaurants, but rather, family eateries such as the Burger Barn, Ginny's and Maw & Paw's. Most of Jena's 14-odd churches stage Easter egg hunts. On summer afternoons, sweet tea and lemonade on a neighbor's front porch are obligatory.

And there are endearing figures, like the designated town sweeper who mountain bikes around town with a wagon full of rakes, brooms, dustpans and cleaning fluids, stopping only to sweep shopowners' parking lots or to distribute complimentary bubble gum to grade schoolers.

Not all vestiges of the past are beloved, or quaint, of course.

There are no black lawyers, no black doctors and one black employee in the town's half-dozen banks. (The employee is male, an accountant who works out of public view.)

Economics play a role in this; with the closure of the sawmills in the '50s, the town now relies heavily on the exploitation of oil and natural gas, offshore. There are relatively few good-paying jobs in what is gradually becoming a retirement community, and some point out that African Americans with higher educations tend to leave the parish.

"To a certain extent, that's true," says Anthony Jackson, one of Jena High's two black teachers. "But I know some people who tried to stay here and couldn't get good jobs. There was, for instance, a gentleman who graduated as a certified biology teacher, but he left because he didn't want to deal with what's going on here."

Cleveland Riser, 75, who began working in Jena as a teacher and then rose to become an assistant superintendent of schools in LaSalle Parish, says blacks have long had trouble getting ahead in Jena.

"In my experience, the opportunity for advancing in my profession was denied, in my opinion, because I was black — not because I was unprepared professionally, or because of my performance."

Here and across the "crossroads" of Louisiana, there are Klan supporters, to be sure; David Duke, the former KKK Grand Wizard, carried LaSalle Parish in his 1991 run for state governor. And Jacqueline Hatcher, a 59-year-old African American, remembers when, as a ninth grader in 1962, she saw a large cross burning out front of the all-black Good Pine High School.

"We heard the Klan was meeting in the woods because there was going to be desegregation in the schools and they didn't want that," says Hatcher. Still, no one recalls seeing any public lynchings or whites in robes and masks for a half century.

"If I could take you back to 60 years ago, and then fast forward to today, you'd have to say we've come a long way," says Billy Wayne Fowler, a white school-board member who is one of the few leaders with the school administration or local law enforcement who still talks to reporters.

Most townsfolk, he says, interpreted the events of last year pretty much the same way — that a small minority of troublemakers, both black and white, got out of hand, and that the responses from authorities weren't always on the mark.

The boys who hung the nooses "probably should have been expelled," Fowler says, and the murder charges brought against the black teenagers were "too harsh, too severe."

Tommy Farris, 27, an oil driller, and his wife, Nikki, 29, a registered nurse, concur — to a point. "Those boys should have expelled," says Nikki, who is white. "It was no innocent prank. I think those boys knew what they were starting by hanging those nooses from a tree."

Tommy, who is black, agrees. But free the Jena Six?

"That's not going to happen," he says, adding that he thinks the black teenagers are being given a fair chance to defend themselves against the charges.

Johnny Wilkinson, 44, a platform officer on an oil rig, and his wife, Karen, a 47-year-old director of nurses at the local hospital, are, like many couples in town, wrestling with that question of fairness.

The noose hanging was wrong, say the Wilkinsons, who are white, and the boys who did it should have been more severely punished.

Still, "They knocked that boy out cold and were stomping on him," Johnny says. "They might have killed him. I believe punishment would have been measured the same way if it had been the opposite way around and six whites had attacked a black kid."

(The teenager who was beaten, Justin Barker, 17, was knocked out but walked out of a hospital after two hours of treatment for a concussion and an eye that was swollen shut. He attended a school ring ceremony later that night.)

Adds Karen: "A sentence of 15 years is fair, but I do think they should be eligible for parole. Who are we to say they can't be members of society?"

But to Braxter Hatcher, 62, a janitor at Jena High for 18 years, such punishment would be excessive, and would only serve to reinforce suspicions in the black community that the worst kind of "Deep South justice" still exists here.

"They haven't always been fair in the courthouse with us," says Hatcher, who is black. "If you're black, they go overboard sometimes. I think this was just a fight between boys. I don't think it was attempted murder."

A number of other blacks — and whites — have raised similar questions about the Jena Six episode, particularly the manner in which authorities handled a series of racially charged incidents leading up to it.

Why, they ask, wasn't the noose incident ever reported to police? (A report might have triggered a hate-crime investigation, although federal authorities rarely go after juveniles in such cases.) And when whites and blacks tangled several times before the Jena Six episode, why did authorities charge the whites with misdemeanors — or not at all — while charging blacks with felonies?

Reed Walters, the LaSalle Parish district attorney who is prosecuting the cases of the Jena Six, insisted the case "is not and never has been about race. It is about finding justice for an innocent victim and holding people accountable for their actions."

Huey Crockett, 50, lives with his wife, Carla, 45, in a heavily wooded, predominantly black district just beyond Jena's limits, an area known as "The Country." The Crocketts, who are black, have complained to police that Bell and other youngsters were causing trouble in their neighborhood — scratching cars with keys, breaking the windows of parked cars, spraying property with paint.

The authorities, Crockett says, were always slow to respond.

"But as soon as he had a run-in with a white boy, they came down on him like a hammer. That's not right. If I call the police for an incident here, it may take them an hour, an hour and half to get out here. But they'll be right out in an instant if a white person calls them."

What also rankles African Americans in Jena, says Riser, the former school superintendent, is that whites charged with the same crimes as blacks receive more lenient punishment. "What this boils down to is: Why is there a double standard?"

On a road into town, a brick portal welcomes visitors to Jena, touting it as "A Nice Place to Call Home." But when the national spotlight goes away, will it be that nice place?

A week ago, Eddie Thompson, a white pastor at the Sanctuary Family Worship Center, would have said no. But on Wednesday, as thousands of demonstrators prepared to pour into tiny Jena, religious leaders held a unified church service, attended by blacks and whites.

"We prayed for one another, prayed for all of the boys involved in this," Thompson says. "We're not used to the glare, but something positive is going on here. I believe that we're maybe listening to our neighbors better, when we didn't listen before.


Are the charges too severe, YES. But to act like these kids did something noble or justified is wrong. Bell has a criminal past. His charges will be more severe, he is a prepeat offender.
pepper
luvpugs "to stand up and ask the principle if they could go sit under the "white tree" just seems like starting some shit to me. From what I read the whites liked the tree and the blacks like the bleachers. So why did the blacks decide they just HAD to go sit under the white tree. It doesn't seem innocent to me. It seems like they wanted to start some shit."

but how do things change though if no one wants to stir it up? it's not like it's going to go away all by itself, somebody has to make some noise. i really think that Somebody Has To Shake Shit Up To Get It To Change!!! imagine if none of our brave grandmothers stood up for change or wanted to "start some shit"? we'd still be chained to the kitchen stove!
how do things change without conflict? i don't see humans as being all that evolved yet personally.

ggg interesting article. wish there was some mention of the DA who said he could make those kids "disappear with the stroke of (his) pen" though. that was a serious abuse of power, says more to me about the prevailing attitude of authority there than any and all of the rest of it.
girltrouble
QUOTE
GGG:
Assault is illegal. You are insinuating that violent use of force, 3 - 1 (I don't care if it is 3, 6 or 10, it was not 1 - 1) was justified. It never is.
ordinarily, i'd agree with you, but i don't think the situation here is occuring in a vaccum. from what i understand, the assaultee was harrassing the 6. to do that, you'd either be an idiot or think that you can't be touched. i think the circomstances at the time tip towards the latter.

thank you for posting the todd lewan piece, ggg, but honestly, i don't trust it. the best piece on jena i have found is one of the first: all things considered july30. the story is the most complete, including the situation with the gun being pulled, as well as interviews with people involved. the ap story uses un-named sources to refute some of the main points, but sometimes with ridiculous results: highschool age kids playing with nooses in the heart of the south? sorry didn't happen. 2 nooses vs. 3? nitpicking, but one of the quotes in the npr story makes it clear there were three nooses. add to that, he claims that the tree was not specifically a "white tree" but then what would be the point of the initial question that sparked all of this, and the hanging of the noose? he is told that jena isn't racist and he seems to go out of the way to try to agree with them. he goes as far as omitting what happened at the convenience store and the comments of the district attorney-- crucial if we are to understand the injustice in jena. he also claims that the incedents in dec had nothing to do with the "noose incedent." so then it happened in a vacuum? mr leman only seems to ask questions when it reinforces his "jena idyll"-- the norman rockwell-esque dream version jena, which he partially dispells. but how come in all of his mythmaking and demythifying, did he not mention the troubled youth facility that jena is usually in the headlines for? the one that is notorious for abuse of it's inmates, it was also the home of where many of the new orleans inmates where held post-katrina, where, according to the new york times reported cases of, "beatings, racial slurs and sexual taunts". seeing as prison is a big industry in jena, it's probably a place where many parents of the highschool student's parents. if, as he says he is out ot find the truth, why is this omitted?
lastly, the writer's by-line didn't say he was in jena. which means more than likely, he was in DC or NYC. finally, the npr story was broadcast almost a month before the AP piece. i think a few people have changed their story since it's become an international story.

and pugs, since when is wanting to go somewhere in this country "trying to start something?" if you look at it that way, we'd still be defined by gender roles and jim crow. after all, by that measure, rosa parks was a trouble maker. don't tell me you believe one should know one's place (and stay there)...
Mr Pugs
Again, GT, that article to me read like there was some bias and leaving out of facts. It said that Mychal Bell was convicted by an all white jury. It doesn't mention that no blacks answered their summons. There can not be a mixed jury if blacks don't show up for jury duty. I'm not saying that life is a vacuum, just that the noose incident did not directly cause the fight. When I was a kid, I got burned by the oven. I learned not to touch the hot oven again. I didn't blame the oven for any other burns I got since then. The story of the convience store seems to make a little more sense now. 3 black guys "exchange words" with one white guy, who then proceeds to get his gun from his truck. Instead of backing down, they take the gun from him and go home with it. To me it sounds like the white guy was scared of getting jumped, and pulled the gun for protection. If it were the other way around and the white guy was the aggressor, it seems like they wouldn't try to take the gun from him. It was the middle of the day, and there were other people around, I don't think he would have shot anyone, or the gun would have been fired in the scuffle or when they approached him. I have had racial slurs yelled at me in the past, is it okay for me to go and beat up someone of that race?
pepper
i don't think it matters that some people didn't answer the jury duty call, the jury ended up being All White regardless, with the inherent all-white-jury racism intact? we'll never know if that was the case or not. it's just nitpicking that business, to focus on the people who were summoned and didn't come, it's irrelevant.
Mr Pugs
I agree pepper that it's nitpicking, but I've heard/read a lot of people saying that it can't be a jury of their peers without black representation. To state in an article that it was an all white jury, without mentioning that they couldn't choose blacks due to none answering the summons, seems like it's adding to the racial aspect of the story. I'm sure that if any showed up, they would have been on the jury.
doxy
"3 black guys "exchange words" with one white guy, who then proceeds to get his gun from his truck. Instead of backing down, they take the gun from him and go home with it. To me it sounds like the white guy was scared of getting jumped, and pulled the gun for protection."
But then--weren't you always going to see it that way?

So Michael Bell beat up some drunk guy who was bothering the people he was with...again, it's better than shooting the idiot.


If you lived here maybe you'd understand why none of those who were black answered their summons to jury duty. Why haven't "they" been interviewed? Again, you don't live here. Two weeks ago some friends of mine visited me from Raleigh and I took them on the Garden District Tour. When I do the tour we end up in the cemetery. This time the grounds keeper was there and offered to show us a couple famous tombs. Along the way he went on to discuss living in the garden district after the hurricane and how he carried a gun the whole time...then suggested that if he were black he'd have been shot, he was certain of it. What bothered me is that he didn't say "black" he said if he were a "n word"....in front of me and my friends. Obviously thinking because we looked white it would be ok. We all shook our heads and left, I turned around and suggested he lose that word when talking to tourist...gives us a bad name. He complained he wasn't being racist about it--right, you were being sincere. Fuck off.

What is begining to bother me is the underlying sentiments on the "6 on 1", as if that was the only way big barker was going to get beaten down. I have a suggestion. How about our lot pay a white male to go to a Common or Mos Def concert just to yell racial rhetoric in the crowd. You think he's going to get hit once? Here's the better question, how many people will have been shockingly offended?
"While it may be true that Barker was saying racial slurs against the six, I don't believe that they weren't giving it back. Is it expected that with superior numbers, the six were saying "please, stop saying that, it hurts my feelings"?"
Use your head.
"There are multiple sources that say even though an investigation ensued, the noose incident did not play a role in this fight."
Have we really become this simple?
"I have had racial slurs yelled at me in the past, is it okay for me to go and beat up someone of that race?"
Does the shame lie with us as a whole never being able to place equal wieght upon each race's respective slur...or is it on the fact that one represents the ugliest hatred this country has had to offer?
So it's a shame we don't feel the bother when being labelled crackers, Mr.Puggie, but then are you to suggest you'd rather have it the other way around (or are there implications we're superior as it'll never bother us to the point of riot)? Gonna go ahead and call it bullshit, ie non-relevant.
After reading most of this I'm begining to wonder why you don't like Delaware?

Well I'm done, it's getting too draining for me to stick with this thread...also cheekily I've been slightly upset with myself to not have come up with what GirlTrouble and Octobersky posted below. Wasn't at me articulate best.

Here's to 4 of the 6, the three chumps who hung the nooses to all be shackled together for some serious community service, chain-gang style.

pepper
i know we all feel strongly about this but i see the thread disintegrating into a mud sling if we don't quit with the personal shit people.


"one represents the ugliest hatred this country has had to offer?" this i whole heartedly agree with. one cannot really be racially slurred against as a white person, it's a flimsy little insult by comparison.
girlygirlgag
Knick it off with the "You don't live here" garbage. I live in a city known for race riots, I live in the US. This problem is not strictly LA.

Does it matter if it was 6 or 3? It was not 1 on 1, P E R I O D.

VIOLENCE IS NOT RIGHT AND NEVER JUSTIFIED, stop trying to justify those actions. I don't agree with trumped up murder charges, but it is unlawful for people to seek their own justice through violence.

Maybe I should have my ten year old neice find a group of her friends and jump the girl that through rocks at her and called her a dumb white bitch?

Sound fair?

Grow up, people.
girlygirlgag
QUOTE(pepper @ Sep 27 2007, 05:02 PM) *
cannot really be racially slurred against as a white person, it's a flimsy little insult by comparison.


Bullshit.

When I am followed down my street being harassed and my color is called out in that harassment, it is equally threatening. To act like I should take it because I am white, or anyone else, is a double standard and nullifies your position. It is equal rights for everyone, that means everyone should be held accountable to the same level of decorum.
Mr Pugs
"one represents the ugliest hatred this country has had to offer?" this i whole heartedly agree with. one cannot really be racially slurred against as a white person, it's a flimsy little insult by comparison.

I agree with that. The thing that bothers me is the double standard. A racial slur is a racial slur. I don't get offended by getting called a wop or cracker, because they are only words. I feel bad for the person saying it, because they can't get past the ignorant mental hurdle. If the "n" word is so hateful and horrible, why do I hear it all the time in rap music and from urban radio djs?
pepper
for the same reason that the gay community has reclaimed the words queer, fagot, and dyke.
girlygirlgag
There is also the position in the gay and lesbian community who think it is wrong to use that kimd of language, as well as persons of color who find the "N" word offensive.

I think the word "bitch" is offensive and I hate when people use it.

I never think it is okay to use deroguatory language.

I think that Jena is home to a bunch of punk teenagers, white and black. This school has made grave errors on not treating the situations that lead up to this as seriously as they should and this DA shoudl resign.

However, the people who beat this kid up, or stood around egging on the attackers, should be punished as well. Like, doing community service, etc, IF they have no priors.
Mr Pugs
QUOTE(pepper @ Sep 27 2007, 01:04 PM) *
for the same reason that the gay community has reclaimed the words queer, fagot, and dyke.

What's the purpose of reclaiming the words?
laniethezany
The problem with looking at this situation in isolation is that there are decades of history that go into why things are the way they are in a given town, not to mention in the American criminal "justice" system.

There has been mention of the Black citizens of Jena who didn't show up when summoned for jury duty. But if you live in a town like this where there is such blatant racial bias in the application of the law, it would be very easy to become disillusioned with the system and see no point in showing up for jury duty.

Also, the presence of a few potential Black jurors would not have guaranteed that any would have been appointed to actually sit on the jury. The process of selecting jury members includes a chance for each side's lawyer(s) to ask questions of the potential jurors to identify any who should be removed for cause. (They know one of the parties, they have a financial stake in the case, preconceived ideas as to guilt or innocence, etc.) Each side also gets a number of peremptory challenges where you can strike a jury member for any or no reason. There are Supreme Court rulings saying that a lawyer can't use these challenges to remove a juror because of protected class status (race, sex, religion, ethnicity, age, disability, or veteran status), but it's fairly easy to get around that even in a court where there isn't this kind of nonsense going on. All the lawyer has to do is articulate some other reason that the juror was stricken, and unless the judge finds no basis to believe the lawyer, that person is out.

There has also been talk of Mychal Bell's priors. Well, look at the people who are charged with applying the law in this town. There are all kinds of statistics that show how Black youth are far more likely to be charged with crimes when engaging in identical behavior to white kids. Once charged, they are much more likely to be convicted and sentenced more harshly. (This spirals into ongoing issues with huge racial differentials in the prison population, spurred on by "three strikes" laws and other factors like mandatory minimums, but that's a topic for another post.)

The plight of the Jena Six is a particularly glaring example of the type of injustice that goes on all the time in America. While there are certainly groups calling for the charges to be dropped, I don't think anyone is saying that assault is OK. But Mychal Bell has already spent almost 10 months in jail. It's not like he's getting off with no punishment whatsoever.

The National Lawyers Guild (a seriously kick-ass organization) has a statement on the situation that sums this all up better than I have. You can read it here: http://nlg.org/news/index.php?entry=entry070924-114458
treehugger
QUOTE(Mr Pugs @ Sep 27 2007, 01:34 PM) *
What's the purpose of reclaiming the words?


MY take on the reclaiming of words derogatory to your particular "niche" in society, is,

That when a word is so hateful, so derogatory to you, and is constantly being used to be abusive towards you, it's an act of defiance. You feel that if you can somehow convince that abuser that the word doesn't bother you....they will stop using it.

Like if I use the word "cunt". If people think that the word doesn't bother me, they won't use it against me, cause it's ineffective. Now it's stopped being their weapon, and has become MY word.

Anyway...that's my take on the reclamation of derogatory words. It's a way of empowering yourself. Not that it always works, not that it doesn't backfire. It's just my impression of the phenomenon.
pepper
it's not so much about making the people using the word against you feel that it doesn't bother you, that's too passive i think. it's more about Actively reclaiming the word and redefining it so that it has a different meaning not only to you but to society at large. queer, fagot and dyke don't mean what they used to mean. even when used in a derogatory fashion the words just don't have the same kind of impact. i still struggle with the N word however, as do many others. popular usage hasn't dimmed it's extremely negative connotation for me. sure it's insulting to be called cracker, whitey or whatever but it hasn't been used whilst lynching a bunch of us based solely on the colour of our skin. it just doesn't have the same history, the same depth of meaning, the same impact. not by a long shot.
culturehandy
In regards to how the media is handling this. We all know that the media likes to sensationalize things. Media has a bias (NPR vs. Fox), and media outlets are all over issues that show how the issue of race is handled. People are obsessed with the concept of race and when there is an instance, particulalry in an area that has a history of division, then of course there will be a frenzy. My question is, if the media had not reported on this, would the turnout have been the same? The media, of course, has brought an important issue to light here, and that is what matters.

As for priors, we don't know what happened in these priors. We were not a fly on the wall and it is inappropriate to judge someone based on this. Would you all think differently of me if I told you that I was charged with assauly causing bodily harm (a serious criminal offence in Canada)? You don't know the details of what happened in my situation, just as we don't know the circumstances of Mr. Bell.

As for the lack of action taken when nooses were hanged from a tree. That is disgusting and I would have reacted as well. If someone pulled a gun on me, you can bet that I'd start some shit. After recovering from being shit fucking scared. Does anyone see a problem with someone under 18 having a gun????

No one will ever know what went on here. Yes there is obvious injustice here and yes something needs to be done. It is also sad that instances of unfairness in the justice system exist everywhere. In Canada, it is the First Nations population that is marginalized and people are quick to blame crime on those of First Nations ansestry. The phenomenon of blaming those who are at a disadvantage (any disadvantage, no matter who put them there) is not one that is restricted to the U.S. alone.

I understand that when a crime is committed action must be taken, however, one cannot ignore the facts, as the DA did in this particular case. (and countless others, I imagine). What is worse is that some people feel powerless to do anything about this.

As for using a derogatory word in a positive sense, it is taking power back from the one who is trying to oppress you.
sixelacat
What treehugger said. smile.gif eta: and pepper! guess I'm just not typing fast enough today!

I would also add that over time it changes the meaning of the word for everyone. Since language is organic and ever-evolving, reclaiming words like dyke and queer as a community pushes their evolution in a more positive direction, which over time benefits everyone. And while any word can be used as an insult through context/inflection, reclaiming certain words can help remove their inherent negativity. Does that make sense?



girlygirlgag
I never said that Mr bell should be punished as severely as he has been, but he committed a crime and he needs to face the consequences, and he has done it before. To throw out the, "Well so and so did it and they did not get in trouble" becomes inconsequential, because he did it too, knowing it is illegal, and he got busted.

I understand that white kids in the burbs get away with a hell of a lot more crap than black kids in the hood. I know this is the situation here, considering the kids who hung the nooses are not in jail on hate crime charges, like they should be. This school needs to be held accountable for not taking appropriate action against that assault.

BUT, there is a personal choice to participate in certain behaviors, to act like these kids are not in control of how they act in a situation is ludicrious. These kids stooped down to that level and they should not have. There is a choice, a person has control as to which way they are going to choose. I have sympathy in that this DA, and town needs a serious wake up call and the DA needs to piss up a rope and resign.

I have sympathy for the students, who are not acting like complete idiots, who have to suffer through these injustices and keep their heads up without resorting to illegal behavior, ON ALL SIDES of this situation. I have sympathy for the six who have suffered a punishment that did not fit the crime, and I have sympathy for a the asshole kid that got jumped by a group of other kids.

This is an ugly situation and it highlights what there still needs to be done in the American justice system, to make it fair for everybody. But to insinuate that beating a person up is ever acceptable, goes against making the system fair. To state that it is okay for some people to either judge or harass a person based on their color, because it has been done to them, goes against all senses of fairness.

is it frustrating? Yes. But, things have to be balanced for them to work.
girlygirlgag
beep
girlygirlgag
boop
pepper
wow, you really, Really meant that, didn't you? wink.gif
girlygirlgag
I have gremlins.
culturehandy
girlygirlgag, I totally agree that one needs to face the consequences of actions, I was merely saying that we don't know the whole situation. I remember what else I was going to say, vigilante justice is what this has come to, and two wrongs certainly don't make a right.
Mr Pugs
QUOTE(doxy @ Sep 27 2007, 12:24 PM) *
"3 black guys "exchange words" with one white guy, who then proceeds to get his gun from his truck. Instead of backing down, they take the gun from him and go home with it. To me it sounds like the white guy was scared of getting jumped, and pulled the gun for protection."
But then--weren't you always going to see it that way?


That last line got me...I read it as implying that I'm racist. I tried to have a clean talk about Jena and I get called a racist for my troubles. I talked to my mom about this and asked her if she thought I was racist and she told me when I first went to grade school and learned about black history month, I asked her why is there a black history month and nobody else gets one? My parents are the least racist people I know. After she told me of that story (I was too young to even remember that) she told me that I was always questioning the world and searching for my own answers. She then told me that if I have become racist, it's because we live in a racist world.

Reflecting upon that, I'm not sure I'm going to post about this anymore no matter what my beliefs are, because nothing will change. All sides are too stubborn and unwilling to compromise to rectify things. I'm not just talking about Jena, but racism in it's entirety. I believe that there is hate inside all of us, and it is easier to be hateful than be loving. There will always be racism, and god willing, if racism ends, people will hate each other for something else. I like to be a positive, kind person. That thought just pisses on my mental wheaties.

Mr. Pugs
culturehandy
I think people are afraid because of the media portrays race. In Canadian news, often times it's portrayed as some scary aboriginal male who's going to jump you in a dark alley. I am sure that it's the same in American news, but with black men.

I can tell you I'm much more weary of white jock, athletic type men then of an aboriginal man.
girltrouble

pugs:

i should also mention, in your post you quote doxy quoting you, and i must correct an error in your reading of the gun situation in jena. the gun situation happened BEFORE the incedent that had the jena 6 charged. it was a one on one situation, where barker verbally harrased a black kid who had been assaulted earler. when the black kid refused to take barker's shit, and pushed barker back, barker went to his care, got a gun and threatened the black kid. the black kid took the gun away, taking the gun with him. the police officer who was called to the scene dismissed barker, but charged the black youth with theft, or some such.

the reason that i find this story so crucial, is that it goes to the UNEQUAL treatment of blacks in jena, and the reason why the jena six is a ralling point for black people. it's not that we condone the jena 6' act, we just want justice to be FAIR, EQUAL AND EVEN for whites and blacks.



oh, and mr.pugs...?


DOOD: YOU ARE A RACIST.

now before you go off in a huff, hear me out....

we all are. i am, you are, the priest at the corner church is. really, i don't care if you are married to a black woman, or you ARE a black woman. you're a racist. just as inspite of my being a male-to-female transexual, living as a female for more than 10 years-- i still have some sexism-- that i need to expunge. and' i'll work on that till the day i die, but i don't delude myself into thinking, i'm not still sexist. by the some token, you're a racist. as are your parents. please don't get all offended cos someone might call you on a racist point of view you might have. because it's not an insult. it's an opportunity for you to learn, for you to rise to the occasion. for you to grow into a slightly better mr. pugs. just as my friends call me on my sexism so i can be a slightly better gt. and incase you were wondering. i've had black friends point out that i've internalized some racism about black folk too. so if i, the trifecta of minority-ness, being a black transexual dyke, can be an occasional sexist, racist, queerphobe, how can you somehow be free of sin? you can't. we all swim in this rotten hateful sewer of american culture. but what we can do is try to grow a little, so that on the day we die, we are better versions of ourselves than were around the day before.

being a white male, your life and experiences have given you a view of the way the world works. can i suggest that that view works because you are a white male? it would not work if you were black, female, asian, or even visually handycapped. the way you have been treated, and how you perceive that treatment, the way you move thru the world are your "baseline." your view of what normal is. you assume that everyone is treated roughly as you are. this is not true. any one of those or any number of groups would get treated very differently based on the social perception in our culture (if you want to add another layer you can add class, but for simplicity's sake, i'll not).

i was listening to angela davis talking, and she ponted out that just because the visual cues of racism are gone, it doesn't mean that the racism is, but because of how we got rid of those visual cues, we have come to believe (wrongly), that the way to get rid of racism is to pretend it doesn't exist, dispite the FACT that the ACTIONS of racism still exist in abundance. racism isn't just nooses hanging from trees, it's opportunities denied, in housing, in occupations, in promotion. it's exclusion from social circles. it's denial of loans. it's house's value being appraised lower, because there is a picture of black folk on a desk. it's my communities being targeted for industrial dumping, because city governments all over this country value their lives less than. it's neighborhoods even here in yankee seattle divided by black businesses (and consumers) on one side of the street, white on the other. its road and electrical repairs being done in the north more quickly than in the south, because the black folk live in the south part of town. it's jacked up re-fi loans offered to black people at a higher rate, and those same black folk losing their houses at a greater rates. it's the way that people in the media infer the recipients of those loans were some how less fit to own homes. it's that banks are less willing to loan black folk money for houses, business, or anything else irregardless of credit history.

in other words: it's this american culture, and so many things that are invisable to you, because you never have to deal with these and other barriers, because you are a white male. and because you are a white male, there is not the social weight, social history, social signifigance of ANY words*, let alone, whitey, honky, wop, or cracker, that will give you an understanding of what the word nigger means when heard by a black ear. you will never know, or feel that pain, that goes thru not just my mind, but thru my bounes and back generations. you will never know the chill that the sight of a noose hung in hatred feels like in your veins. indeed, i am still revolted by the article that GGG posted, suggesting that black teens could be so ignorant of the nooses' implication that he believed they would play with them, as if they had no more significance than a jump rope. the simple assertion makes my blood boil.

but, don't give up. like patrice rushen said, "giving up is giving up."

*that said, calling a white person a racist does give them some measure of pause, for some odd reason wink.gif



*************
tankgirl
QUOTE(doxy @ Sep 24 2007, 11:37 PM) *
My problem is that you say there will be these injustices in the "world" only we're talking USA. Not that it should matter, but unfortunately it does...and for the same sentiments you posted on...which make me sick.

They kicked the kid's ass, fine. The reality is they don't even belong in juvie, just kicked out of the school...but they're in jail.
How many of you have ever been in jail?

The sad reality of the sad reality of your post, tank, is that we don't give a shit about the sad reality.
I'm fucking tired of it. But I don't want my family to write me in jail, but inevitably it seems the only way, I'm that fucking tired of it.
Tank, no offense but sentiments like what you posted are a cop-out.



way to be rude man, i was saying that this makes me sick. if you think thats sad to each his own i guess. racial injustice makes me sick and im not afraid to say it and i mean world. sure this is happening in the us but racial hatred is WORLDWIDE. go ahead and try and deny it i dare you. i was talking in a general sence, not specifically. why? because what you posted seems very one sided, and i dont know the whole story. im not going to form a strong opinion on something by only hearing one side of the story, ever. racist people make me sick, bigots make me sick and sexist people make me sick, as a whole as a general rule, not just in this specific location. that is what i was saying, but to put me down for having that opinion is very very childish.
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