Forums > Social Discussion > Please Help! Segregation-era Racism in Jena, Louisiana, USA

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SILVER Member since Aug 2005


Location: Maryland, USA

Total posts: 136
Posted:Recently I heard a story on NPR that got me all riled up. I just found out about this online effort to help those being mistreated by the judicial system. The story is below with links for you add your voice to protest of injustice.

Last fall in Jena, the day after two Black high school students sat

beneath the "white tree" on their campus, nooses were hung from the

tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a "prank," more

Black students sat under the tree in protest. The District Attorney

then came to the school accompanied by the town's police and demanded

that the students end their protest, telling them, "I can be your best

friend or your worst enemy... I can take away your lives with a stroke

of my pen."

A series of white-on-black incidents of violence followed, and the DA

did nothing. But when a white student was beaten up in a schoolyard

fight, the DA responded by charging six black students with attempted

murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

It's a story that reads like one from the Jim Crow era, when judges,

lawyers and all-white juries used the justice system to keep blacks in

"their place." But it's happening today. The families of these young

men are fighting back, but the story has gotten minimal press.

Together, we can make sure their story is told and that the Governor

of Louisiana intervenes and provides justice for the Jena 6. It starts

now. Please join me:

The noose-hanging incident and the DA's visit to the school set the

stage for everything that followed. Racial tension escalated over the

next couple of months, and on November 30, the main academic building of

Jena High School was burned down in an unsolved fire. Later the same

weekend, a black student was beaten up by white students at a party.

The next day, black students at a convenience store were threatened by a

young white man with a shotgun. They wrestled the gun from him and ran

away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the students

were later arrested for the theft of the gun.

That Monday at school, a white student, who had been a vocal supporter

of the students who hung the nooses, taunted the black student who was

beaten up at the off-campus party and allegedly called several black

students "nigger." After lunch, he was knocked down, punched and

kicked by black students. He was taken to the hospital, but was

released and was well enough to go to a social event that evening.

Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17),

Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an

unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged

with second-degree attempted murder. The first trial ended last

month, and Mychal Bell, who has been in prison since December, was

convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated

battery (both felonies) by an all-white jury in a trial where his

public defender called no witnesses. During his trial, Mychal's

parents were ordered not to speak to the media and the court

prohibited protests from taking place near the courtroom or where the

judge could see them.

Mychal is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31st, and could go to jail

for 22 years. Theo Shaw's trial is next. He will finally make bail

this week.

The Jena Six are lucky to have parents and loved ones who are fighting

tooth and nail to free them. They have been threatened but they are

standing strong. We know that if the families have to go it alone,

their sons will be a long time coming home. But if we act now, we can

make a difference.

Join me in demanding that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco get

involved to make sure that justice is served for Mychal Bell, and that

DA Reed Walters drop the charges against the 5 boys who have not yet

gone to trial.


I was touched by His Noodly Appendage

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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:If they sign a paper agreeing to it, I guess it would be. But I would never let any one do that to me...Very scarey

Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed




Total posts: 6650
Posted:My examples have only been that low-key as to trigger a certain (emotional) reaction. I hope that is clear.

It is only to make you understand that there is a difference between "law" and "what is right" in some instances. Physical assault is wrong, but there are circumstances in which I can find compassion if a Darwin awards applicant gets what he's inquiring for.

However - time is fleeting hug to all who are fighting racism on a daily basis, in their own environment smile

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


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