Jesus Christ prevented violence in Jena

There is that saying – open mouth, insert foot and chew vigorously. Now, meet Jena district attorney Reed Walters. Mr. Walters read a prepared text which included references to God. Now, I’m normally nauseated when most people reference God because it is almost always a way to deflect blame or to inject emotion and sympathy. Mr. Walters knows full well that many Americans believe that racism infects the DA’s office if not many of the citizens of Jena. So, with the spotlight of America shining upon him, he says, “I firmly believe and am confident of the fact that had it not been for the direct intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ last Thursday, a disaster would have happened. You can quote me on that.”

So, Black people can not gather peacefully without God making them behave? Are you serious? What an insult. What a racist insult. Maybe he and Bill O’Reilly hang out in the same places. I’m just stunned because you know that he wrote that down. He probably read it over with his friends to make sure that he got everything just right then he nervously read it before the cameras.

This man who is suppose to apply the law fairly is clearly biased. He should be asked to resign immediately for his racist comments. He should disbarred for his actions in the Jena 6 case. He should face civil changes for violating the civil rights of not just the Jena 6 but of the people of color in Jena. He has made that city the face of racism in America today.

NPR had a very long segment on Jena last week. I thought it was informative especially when they interviewed a preacher, Reverend Eddie Thompson (no relation). The interviewer, Melissa Block and Rev. Thompson were very thoughtful. One portion of the interview was very insightful. It was a clue of what live is really like in Jena. Reverend Thompson said something like we can already see the healing. Minister, Black and White got together and prayed for our community, so I think there is hope. Now, this is close but not a direct quote. He thought that Black and White pastors getting together for prayer was a sign of healing. If that is a sign of healing there shows me everything that I need to know. That’s all they did was pray? Christian pastors got together to pray. This should go on every month!! The fact that it doesn’t is telling. In most cities in America today there is some sort of interfaith counsel. Jena doesn’t have one. This fosters the divide. If Christians and people of faith can’t come together in Jena without a crisis they are seriously in trouble.

BTW – you should read this blog post here. Very informative.

————

From AP:

A black teenager whose prosecution in the beating of a white classmate prompted a massive civil rights protest here walked out of a courthouse Thursday after a judge ordered him freed.

Mychal Bell’s release on $45,000 bail came hours after a prosecutor confirmed he will no longer seek an adult trial for the 17-year-old. Bell, one of the teenagers known as the “Jena 6,” still faces trial as a juvenile in the December beating in this small central Louisiana town.

“We still have mountains to climb, but at least this is closer to an even playing field,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, who helped organize last week’s protest. (more…)

0 Responses

  1. That statement from the prosecutor might come off “racist” to some, but let’s put it this way. If people marched to have 6 thugs released from jail, whether they are blacks, whites, Asians, etc., they deserve scorn and no respect regardless of the color of their skin, and have people in town feared something bad will happen. Why? What kind of impression do people give themselves marching to demand “free the Jena 6″ when the Jena 6 committed a brutal assault, and at least one of the Jena 6 is a serial offender? What happen if a bunch of Asians had marched to defend the name of the now deceased wacko Asian killer Cho at VA TECH”?

    Or a bunch of whites march to call for release of white teens who got convicted of beating a black man? Tell me, would people think such folks who march are racists and potential trouble for the town where they marched to?

    People need to look at themselves in the mirror here.

    I am against racism in all forms, but sorry, those folks don’t have my sympathies here. I am not white either (nor do they have sympathies if the donations they give for the defense funds get wasted on cars and all the other stuff, as rumoured to have happened- since they should have known what kind of folks they are dealing with in sending money in the first place). But telling like it is.

    The prosecutor has every right to give no respect to people acting like idiots, regardless of the color of their skin.

    And what may I ask the prosecutor be disbarred for doing?

    Stomping someone on the head with shoes IS attempted murder according to the legal precedents of this country. So is a gang attack of five or six on on one. Don’t believe me? See a case in South Carolina where the roles are reverse. There, the five white teens are charged with a felony that could have gotten them 20 years for attacking a black teen. Funny, there Jesse Jackson sure didn’t complain about them being too young to be tried as adults.

    In another case, Al Sharpton did say shoes can be used as deadly weapons when used by whites on black.

    People keep harping on the prosecutor showing double standards.

    Let’s look further into the truth.

    At least one of the Jena 6, Mychal Bell, has four priors. He should be in jail yet he is still walking around. He would not have been one of the Jena 6 had he been held responsible for his prior actions before the attack he made that landed him in real hot water.

    People complain about double standard because one white guy got probation for simple battery on a black person. How many such free passes did Bell get? What about the other five? We don’t know their records.

    If we compare from records we do know, Bell got more free passes than the white guy charged for fight at party.

    And make no mistake what happened at the party is far cry from what happened when six guys attacked someone even after he was unconcious.

    The other complaint involves the gun incident. People are saying why charged the Jena 6 with attempted murder, when the white guy who pulled the gun on some of the Jena 6 got off? Let’s see here, one of the Jena 6 guys involved, Bailey, stated in writing to the police, that he and two of his friends were out to attack the white fella, Windham, and that was when he got into his car and got gun to prevent that. So it is not just Windham and an independent witness who made that claim. Bailey himself said that as well!

    So what do you expect the police and prosecutor to do in that case?

    I don’t know if the town is racist. Or if the police is racist. Or how racist the school is- or not- for suspending for several weeks and putting through detensions and mental evaluations those responsible for the nooses (which by all accounts are unrelated to the Jena 6 beating incident, and at least some of the parents of the Jena 6 admitted to their sons hanging around the nooses in the supposedly “white tree”).

    I don’t see any of that as proof the prosecutor is racist. More like he is doing his job, and he is defending his town against unwanted folks from outside who demands the Jena being given a free pass.

    And make no mistake, it is demand for free pass, when not only signs of “free the Jena 6″ are shown,” but excuses are made for their behaviour, like they are reacting to supposedly racist town or that the person they beat up could not possibly be that badly hurt in attempted murder case because he showed up at a ceremony to get the ring he earned.

    Such attitudes, my friend, is enough to make any decent human being (regardless of color) sick, and not just the prosecutor.

    I don’t blame the prosecutor here at all.

    Had the roles been reversed, where six whites did same to a black human being, and they were not charged harshly, I would have a problem with it, too.

  2. And let’s get real here- there are churches where most are blacks and there are churches where most are whites in every city in this country. Not just Jena.

    Styles of worships and beliefs influence which church one goes to, in addition to nationalities and cultures one might have with certain folks that make up the churches.

    To try to prove the city of Jena is racist based on people not getting together is to ignore the realities that this goes on with every city in America.

    Churches don’t have interfaith meetings for various reasons. Some like the conservative Lutheran ones such as WELS and LCMS won’t hold communion with any denom outside of themselves (I know since I belong to WELS), on what we feel are biblical grounds. It is not a race thing. It is doctrinal thing we have, regardless of what the colors of those who make up the other churches, be it Asian, black, or white.

    And the charge of racism for churches not mixing together goes both ways on races. Not just the white one.

    (Personally, I hate using the word race since I believe there is only ONE race- the HUMAN RACE from Adam and Eve, but using the word for the sake of argument).

    To equate people being in cliques in schools and people having their own indepenent church groups as racism or enforced segregations of the 1960s and before times to be me is irresponsible.

  3. Truth –

    You’re premise, I reject. No one was marching to let thugs out of jail. You, like many of the other folks who have commented on my blog, have focused on the part instead of the whole. As I have said before, the march was about justice. Those that marched wanted the Whites that beat up and injured the lone Black 2 days before the Jena 6 incident to be punished with the same intensity. Read what I have said previously – here and here.

    thanks for your comments.

  4. Truth –

    Churches do have interfaith meetings in major cities because they all face common problems.

    Your missing my point. When Christians get together, everyone can agree that they worship the same God. Christians getting together to worship is nice. But Christians getting together to implement the teachings of Christ (love and forgiveness, to name just 2) then that’s a step in the right direction.

    Many Churches in large cities are trying to break down those Sunday boundaries. Many Churches are having choir exchanges. I think that both churches benefit.

    Thanks again for your comments.

  5. “You’re premise, I reject. No one was marching to let thugs out of jail. You, like many of the other folks who have commented on my blog, have focused on the part instead of the whole. As I have said before, the march was about justice. Those that marched wanted the Whites that beat up and injured the lone Black 2 days before the Jena 6 incident to be punished with the same intensity. Read what I have said previously – here and here.”

    I did read those (as well as the same other repeated stuff from others who make same claims you did many times over).

    And you might like to reread what I actually wrote.

    I DID focused on various incidents before the Jena 6 beatdown. You didn’t address them, yet now claim I only focused on one part. I say in actuality, you focused on one part of my post but not the whole of it.

    So let us re-focus.

    Your claim no one is marching to let the thugs out of jail. Explain the signs, cards, etc., of “free the Jena 6”? Explain countless marchers in different blogs demanding they be free on grounds they feel those guys are discriminated against?

    And punished?

    So far only Bell got tried. Not the other fives that I know of. Only Bell got convicted. And being convicted of something does not mean one gets sentence to the max. Just because one faces like 22 years in prison that does not mean one gets all 22 years. It could be much less. The protestors didn’t think of that before protesting, did they?

    Or let me remind you that Bell should have done what the white guy charged at the party did, and that was plead guilty. The white guy got off on simple battery because he plead to a lesser charge. Bell did not. He could have and should have if he was guilty. His lawyer (who is black) advised him to do so. The same lawyer, who pointed out, there was no black jurors because those summoned failed to show up. It is not just the prosecution side making that claim there.

    Bell would have once again gotten off on a light sentence if he had plead guilty (AGAIN).

    Let me remind you of what I wrote previously. He had FOUR PRIORS.

    How many priors did the white guy charged with simple battery for party incident has? One from what I heard. Please correct me on that if this is not the case.

    I can guarantee you a five time offender at DUI will get treated much more harshly than a first time offender at a place (unless that first time results in a death or injury to others).

    Did those black fellas at the party get attacked from behind?

    Did they get knocked out?

    Did they get stomped on the head once knocked out repeatedly?

    If none of these things are true, then there is no moral equivalency between what the Jena 6 did and what happened at the party.

    Likewise, big difference between fighting involving two sides in a melee and a gang battery with intent to do major harm to one human being.

    At the party, according to reports, some of the Jena 6 tried to get into partty they were not allowed into. They refused to leave, and that is when things escalated.

    Arguably, both sides should have been charged. The black students certainly with trespassing and possibly disturbing the peace. Those whites should be charged, along with those blacks involved with fighting.

    And it was not two blacks fighting. There were five of them. And it was fighting, make no mistake about it.

    Unlike the Jena 6 stomping incident.

    If people want equal justice, then

    1) Everyone, whites included, should get four priors like Bell before they can be tried as adults. Whites and blacks alike.

    2) Everyone fighting at the party get arrested, not just the white adult who plead guilty to simple battery. The police let several of the Jena 6 guys OFF THE HOOK for that incident when they could have been arrested at least for trespassing and refusing to leave when asked to on another’s property, and at worst, for themselves being involved in a melee.

    3) Unless someone besides the victim of the Jena 6 got stomped on head and kicked there while unconscious, there is no comparison between that and what happened at the party. Those who want the same prosecution show either they are not really caring for fairness or they don’t know the law. Or both.

    One can’t be charged the same way if the incidents are different in nature of the crime. One can use self-defense as defense when one pulls out a gun to defend oneself against bodily harm as one guy did, as Bailey (one of the Jena 6 guys) admitted to as reason why, since Bailey and two of his friends wanted to “get some action” on him as reason for him running to his car to get his gun.

    If someone pulls out a gun to threat others unprovoked, one should be charged.

    Two incidents where two persons do same may not get same sentences, if the circumstances are different. The first involved self-defense. The second involved assault.

    Big difference.

    4) Either what the Jena 6 did be treated as a hate crime, or those who demand punishment as hate crime for hanging nooses (which is much far less “crime” than the beating, regardless of how people want to spin it) prove they are not seeking justice. But mob rule over rule of law. And either that beating be treated as a hate crime or simply put, all crimes of that nature not be treated as hate crime, even when done by whites on blacks.

    5) All crimes of that nature if done by teenagers should not be prosecuted. And not just blacks attacking whites, but vice versa.

    If people are enraged and crying racism over black teenagers being tried as adults rather than as juveniles, then they need to show same outrage when the roles of races are reverse.

    But we both know that won’t happen, will we?

    Jesse Jackson surely did not make that demand in South Carolina when five teengers could have been sentenced to 20 years for beating a black teenager if the judge so chose to sentence them to the max. Instead, he wanted them charge with a hate crime.

    Or that other case in NY, where Al Sharpton said a sneaker is a DEADLY weapon when two whites attack a black human being.

    So who are the ones with DOUBLE STANDARDS here?

  6. “Look, all that I want is fair and equal treatment. That’s it. The dude who pulled a shotgun on some of the black students needs to be charged.”

    That is one of the links you asked me to read.

    Now do focus on what I previously wrote in my first post on this blog (before you claim I ignore different things you claimed I ignore, when I did not and in fact did addressed them):

    “The other complaint involves the gun incident. People are saying why charged the Jena 6 with attempted murder, when the white guy who pulled the gun on some of the Jena 6 got off? Let’s see here, one of the Jena 6 guys involved, Bailey, stated in writing to the police, that he and two of his friends were out to attack the white fella, Windham, and that was when he got into his car and got gun to prevent that. So it is not just Windham and an independent witness who made that claim. Bailey himself said that as well! So what do you expect the police and prosecutor to do in that case?”

    Let me add to that this police report, with statemetns from those involved in that incident, including one of the Jena 6, Bailey:

    http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/jena/gottagoincident.pdf

    Windham, the guy with the gun, said it was in self-defense. Bailey, one of the Jena guys, admitted he and his friends were out to do do bodily harm to Windham before he got his gun to prevent from a beatdown that could have made him a Jena 3 victim before there was a Jena 6 victim.

    “The White dudes that beat up a Black dude and this happened before the 6 Black dudes jumped on the White guy. The White dudes need to be charged with something.”

    That is refuted here by a site that actually can reference sources from witnesses and feds alike to case:

    We’ll take Bailey’s word for it but here’s the federal government’s recounting of the party:

    http://thirdestatesundayreview.blogspot.com/2007/09/support-jena-5-or-fact-check-on.html

    On Dec. 1, there was a private, invitation-only birthday party at the Fair Barn. Around 11 p.m., five black students tried to come into the party but were told by a woman that they weren’t allowed inside without an invitation. The boys persisted, saying they had friends inside. A white man then jumped in front of the woman, and a fight started.

    A group broke the two up, and the woman asked the white man, not a student, and the black students to leave the party. Once outside, another fight started between a group of white men, not students, and the black students. Police were called, and a white man was arrested. He pleaded guilty to simple battery.

  7. “Oh, and didn’t the White guy, the victim taunt the Black students just before they kicked his butt?”

    Not a Christian thing to say. And not a valid defense either.

    If taunting means an attack is warranted, probably every teenager deserves to get what happened same way. NEWSFLASH: taunting is an everyday thing in high school. If is not taunting about a person’s weight, it is about grades. If it is not about losing a one one one basketball, it is about something else.

    Someone taunting is no excuse to attack him from behind, knocking him out. And even less having six to stomp him when he is unconscious, including blows from feet to the head.

    And there is certainly no excuse for trying to offer an excuse like that for what the Jena 6, that amounts to saying he deserved to suffer like he did. How is that different from saying a rape victim got what she deserved for dressing to sexy?

    And you wonder why the prosecutor thanked Christ things did not get out of hand if that is rationale for the Jena 6 marches?

    I would hope you think twice about writing that if you profess the name of Christ.

    And here is the rest of the documents that I found online involving the Jena 6:

    http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/archives/003979.html

    “Churches do have interfaith meetings in major cities because they all face common problems.

    Your missing my point. When Christians get together, everyone can agree that they worship the same God. Christians getting together to worship is nice. But Christians getting together to implement the teachings of Christ (love and forgiveness, to name just 2) then that’s a step in the right direction.”

    Interfaith movements between churches usually exist more on a national or statewide scale than city basis.

    The fact churches don’t get together at Jena is no different from what happened in other cities, that don’t have the stereotypes of being a Southern town.

    But if you want to play race card on whites, just remember one thing: this issue of getting together is a TWO-WAY street, not just one way.

  8. Truth –

    I must say that you are persistent. An admirable quality. I have a real problem with the official account which says that he was “knocked out”. The person who was beat up and “seriously injured” was spotted at a party later on that same night.

    From a medical standpoint, I’m questioning the official story also. I’m a trauma surgeon. I know trauma. If you have a patient that is seriously injured to be point of beating unconscious, that is a patient that you admit to the hospital 99.9% of the time. The other 0.1% of the time if the CT scan is negative you can send the patient home with responsible family. You can send the patient home not to a party.

    On another note, Dallas has an interfaith council. Tyler, Tx (90 miles from Louisiana) has an interfaith council. Atlanta, Ga. and Asheville, NC are 2 other cities that I know these councils exist and help bridge the gap between faiths. These councils help those of faith understand that when you have faith you have more in common than you have that separate you.

    I’m not saying that churches have to get together. I’m saying that churches found in civil rights movement that the teachings of Christ did not lift up one race or another. The teachings were for all men (and women). Fighting injustice and inequality was a Christian thing. Fighting oppression was the Christian thing. In the deep south, poverty is everywhere. Poor Whites and poor Blacks have much more in common than they do that separate them. This is what the interfaith council can stress.

    Many of your links I was unable to open but again I appreciate your thoughts and your comments.

  9. “I must say that you are persistent. An admirable quality. I have a real problem with the official account which says that he was “knocked out”. The person who was beat up and “seriously injured” was spotted at a party later on that same night.”

    Actually, he was spotted at the ring ceremony. He was there to pick up his ring that he had so earned. He was also in alot of pain and would be so for weeks. He left early because of the pain. He probably should have spent longer in the hospital then he did, but wanted his ring apparently that he waited so long to get.

    He LEFT EARLY once he got the ring.

    The bottom line is you would not be saying this if this happened to your son.

    So basically he is not hurt enough for you because he showed up to pick his ring? Or the victim needed to get beat up some more to the inch of his life, and those who saved him needed to let him get beat up further to where he can’t move around later on or even die, for the charges to matter?

    My point precisely why I don’t take the Jena 6 protestors seriously.

    When you make statements like he was taunting the Jena 6 as way to excuse the Jena 6’s actions or trying to trivialize what happened by saying he must not have been hurt since he was seen later on in public, then it tells everyone else outside the Jena 6 movement that the advocates don’t care about justice or victims of these types of crimes, that are racially based, when the victims are not blacks.

    That is precisely the message that it is coming across loud and clear.

    If you act like you don’t care what happen to the white victim in this case, by the comments I see, then just remember that, it makes it hard to take seriously the claim of the desire for justice for all people.

    Christians should be concerned in cases like this for the victim FOREMOST.

    But that is not what I see from the Jena 6 protestors. Where is the call for remorse and REPENTANCE on the part of Jena 6 members and their families? Where is the shame in what they did? Where is the concern for what happened to the victim and his family?

    I see alot of blaming the victim, excusing what they did to the victim, downplaying what happened to the victim. Is that how Christians ought to present themselves?

    The “official account” comes from eyewitnesses. So everyone are liars, including at least one black witness who was there? And the very school that has protected Bell from the consequences of his actions for so long?

    And tell me, if the noose is such a cause, how come there was no race based incidents for three months after it?

    If it was such a cause, how come none of the Jena 6 when asked for statements by police used that as excuse?

  10. And another thing. The real victim here also racked up 12,000 dollars in hospital bills. Who will set up donations for him, rather than give all these donations to the Jena 6 and their families? He is the REAL VICTIM in this incident. Not the Jena 6.

    That is why as a minority in this country, I am thoroughly embarrassed by the actions of fellow minorities in closing ranks behind what six thugs did. It is unfathomable to me.

    Take a good look at what those guys did to him:

    http://optionsunbound.wordpress.com/

    The injuries from the picture there are no laughing matter at all. Not ones to be trivialized.

    Now imagine if this has happened to your kid, and people are trying to excuse what happened to him by saying he ran his mouth so he deserved it, or that he was not hurt too bad since he tried to make it through a ring ceremony?

    How you feel if you are a parent and people say that about your kid who just got attacked in a gang violence that is so brutal?

    If a black guy has gotten this badly beat by six white thugs and he managed to show for the ring ceremony to show he is courageous, I would applaud him for being heroic like after what he has been through.

    And I bet nearly every one of the Jena 6 protestors would do the same.

    So what is wrong with the picture when they make claims like that the white victim didn’t really get hurt because he was seen in public later on?

    Hello? People can be hurt and be in public around others. They just won’t be able to function in physically as they normally can.

    As a Christian, I urge you to display compassion here for the person who needs it the most.

    It won’t be just the physical that will affect him.

    It will be also the mental trauma as well.

    And also what do you think goes through his mind to see all these people marched on behalf of those who did this to him?

    Think of what effect that might have on him and his family and friends as well.

    The Jena 6 movement might be in for short-term gains like getting the Jena 6 freedom or light punishment as in probation, but it is short-sighted and will have long time repurcussions for reasons I pointed out.

  11. “I must say that you are persistent. An admirable quality.”

    You should see me in some of my theological debates on message boards. Some of them go pages after pages long. And also, see the Civil War debates I occasionally get into in the past (I take the side of Lincoln and the Union, and also my position is that slavery is the central issue that caused secession in the first place and ultimately, the Civil War, regardless of what neo-Confederates now try to claim about states’ rights and tariffs). lol

  12. “If you have a patient that is seriously injured to be point of beating unconscious, that is a patient that you admit to the hospital 99.9% of the time. The other 0.1% of the time if the CT scan is negative you can send the patient home with responsible family. You can send the patient home not to a party.”

    Actually, he DID get admitted to the hospital. He was there for 3 hours, and ran up tons of hospital bills, before releasing him.

    And as pointed out, where did you get the idea he went to a party?

    I don’t count ring ceremony as a party.

  13. Since you can’t get into the links let me give some quotes from them:

    http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=200696

    The media continues to make the point that Justin Barker “attended a party” later that evening, insinuating that his injuries were not very severe. The Barkers, by no means a wealthy family, face medical bills already over $12,000 from the emergency room visit. Imagine what an overnight visit would have cost. Justin Barker was advised to remain hospitalized but decided he would not let the event keep him from participating in the once-in-a-lifetime, traditional Ring Ceremony at First Baptist Church in Jena, where class rings are presented to the upcoming senior class.

    http://thirdestatesundayreview.blogspot.com/2007/09/support-jena-5-or-fact-check-on.html

    One of the best lessons that my son could learn that’s one of the best lessons: to know what it is to be black now. You know, if this don’t teach him what it is to be black now, I don’t know what will. But he’s seventeen now. You know, he’s got a lot of life left ahead of him. And the day he set foot out of jail, I’m going to tell him, I’m going to tell him again, “You know what it is to be black now. Here it is.”

    That’s Marcus Jones, father of indy media saint Mychal Bell, speaking on September 21st’s Democracy Now! and that is the nonsense that had Betty’s father hitting the roof. After he was imprisoned, Marcus Jones hopes, his son had learned a lesson on race. Sorry to interrupt the canonization, but maybe a lesson should have been learned long before it?

    Abbey Brown (The Shreveport Times) reported on August 25, 2007:

    In addition to Mychal Bell’s recent felony conviction, his criminal history was revealed Friday to contain four other violent crimes.Because of that, a LaSalle Parish judge denied a request to reduce the 17-year-old’s bail in his current scrape with the law. Bell remains in jail in lieu of a $90,000 bond.
    Bell was convicted in June of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit that crime for his part in a Dec. 4 incident at Jena High School that left fellow student Justin Barker unconscious.
    [. . .]

    Three months prior to that attack, Bell committed two violent crimes while on probation for a battery Christmas Day 2005, according to testimony. Later that same week, he led the Jena Giants to a shutout victory in a football game against the Buckeye Panthers. Bell was adjudicated — the juvenile equivalent to a conviction — of battery Sept. 2 and criminal damage to property Sept. 3, said Cynthia Bradford, LaSalle Parish deputy clerk.

    John Barr and Nicole Noren (ESPN) reported September 21st:

    While Bell is held up as a symbol for activists, what many of them either don’t know, or don’t choose to dwell on, is the fact he’s been in trouble before.
    During a previous bond hearing it was revealed Bell has a string of juvenile offenses.
    Sources told ESPN that one of those cases was a battery in which Bell punched a 17-year-old girl in the face.

    Where was Marcus Jones during all of this? Living in Dallas, Texas. Your son’s repeatedly convicted and placed on probation and where’s the father who now wants to say a lesson (about racism) may have been learned from imprisonment?

    We blame all the adults, White and African-American. When three nooses were hung from a tree on school grounds, it was a community problem that should have been addressed as such. But it wasn’t.

    Despite the claims of some activists, every African-American student did not grasp immediately the meaning of the nooses.) Tina Jones, Bryant Purvis’ mother, speaking to Amy Goodman:

    Well, my son, he didn’t know about it at first. And when he did go to see, the noose part of the rope had been cut off, and just the rope itself was hanging. But when I found out about it, it was at work, from some of the other parents talking about it. Bryant didn’t come home and tell me. So when I got home that day, I asked Bryant about it. And Bryant told me, “Yes, ma’am.” But he didn’t really understand what the noose part of it meant. So, you know, and he was like, “Well, what is that, anyway?” And, you know, we went into detail as to, you know, what it represented or whatever.

    We also lay a huge portion of the blame on the media and that’s independent media. That includes a White woman who elected to make jokes about a White student being assaulted by six other students, kicked and stomped long after he was unconscious as ‘assault with a shoe’. We seriously doubt the same commentator would be making jokes were the student in question gay. In fact, if someone had made similar jokes about what happened to Matthew Sheppard, we think the woman would have been (rightly) offended.

    Somehow independent media — activists posing for reporters — spent hours and hours, columns and columns, on this topic but not only left out Bell’s criminal record, they also downplayed other things as well.

    To be clear, we support the Jena Five: Robert Bailey, Jr., Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Theo Shaw and Jesse Ray Beard. Our time is too valuable to be wasted supporting a serial offender who had his day in court many times and, in relation to the school incident, has now had his sentence set aside and will have a new day in court. We do not lump Baily, Jones, Purvis, Shaw and Beard in with him because, unlike Bell, they do not have a criminal record. Lumping the five in with a serial offender does them a huge disservice but independent media wasn’t interested in that, they were interested in being ‘creative.’

    Jacquie Soohen (Big Noise Films) is a curious sort of ‘reporter’. She declared the following in a ‘report’ aired on Democracy Now!:

    A series of incidents followed throughout the fall. In October, a black student was beaten for entering a private all-white party.

    By whom, Soohen, because press reports say it was an adult and not a student? And, according to Robert Bailey’s mother, Caseptla Bailey, it wasn’t an “all-White party”

    That young black man was my son Robert Bailey. Him and some friends had gone to a party at the Jena Fair Barn. And to my understanding, it wasn’t an all-white party there. It was a few blacks that was already there in the party, and he asked to enter the party, if would it be OK for them to come in. And he said the lady responded as, “Sure, you know, as long as there be no fighting.”
    So once he did enter the building, a gentleman asked him what was his name. He told him, “Robert Bailey” — no, asked him, “Is your name Robert Bailey?” And my son said yes, and Justin Sloan hit him, as well as his sister Jessie Sloan. And from there, he was attacked by several white men in the Fair Barn. After the incident happened, his other friends came in to assist him. And once the police got there, the police told the black kids that they need to get back to their side of town. So that’s where a lot of racial tension is also coming from: our town cops in Jena, Louisiana.

    We’ll take Bailey’s word for it but here’s the federal government’s recounting of the party:

    On Dec. 1, there was a private, invitation-only birthday party at the Fair Barn. Around 11 p.m., five black students tried to come into the party but were told by a woman that they weren’t allowed inside without an invitation. The boys persisted, saying they had friends inside. A white man then jumped in front of the woman, and a fight started.

    A group broke the two up, and the woman asked the white man, not a student, and the black students to leave the party. Once outside, another fight started between a group of white men, not students, and the black students. Police were called, and a white man was arrested. He pleaded guilty to simple battery.

    Soohen, where do you get your facts? Soohen continues:

    Later that month, a white student pulled a gun on a group of black students at a gas station, claiming self-defense. The black students wrestled the gun away and reported the incident to police. They were charged with assault and robbery of the gun.

    Again, Soohen doesn’t know what she’s supposed to be reporting on. Again, she’s created a “White student” where there was a White non-student. Caseptla Bailey explains the “gas station” exchange this way:

    Well, that incident happened on Saturday, December 2nd, the following day, where Robert and two of his friends, Theo Shaw and Ryan Simmons, were going to Gotta-Go Grocery. And once they got there, they say Matt Windham, who is a man, not a student at Jena High School, and Matt Windham — I guess they had come upon each other, because Matt Windham was involved the previous night with the white gentlemen that beat my son the previous night at the Fair Barn, where — rather attacked my son at the Fair Barn. So once they came upon each other, I guess it was on.
    You know, Matt ran to his truck, from my understanding, pulled a shotgun, a sawed-off shotgun with a pistol grip, and my son wrestled with him to get the gun from him. And the other two gentlemen proceeded then to fight, and they took the gun from him and left the scene running. You know, I’m sure they were — I know they were in fear of their lives. They were afraid that this man was going to shoot them, you know, especially in the back, running away from the scene. So they were scared. I’m sure Matt Windham was scared. You know, but he chose to run to the truck and pull the shotgun, not our children.

    “A man, not a student,” says Robert Bailey’s mother. Again, the federal government’s summary of the events:

    On Dec. 2, there was an encounter at the Gotta Go convenience store that appears to have been spurred by the Friday night fight. The white man, not a student, gave one version of the story, while the three black students gave another. Walters based his charges on the statement from the witness and neither of the sides involved, and charged one of the black students with battery and theft.

    Soohen has a troubled relationship with the facts when she has a narrative to sell:

    No charges were ever filed against the white students in either incident.

    What White students in either incident? Soohen, what White Students? 22-year-old Justin Sloan was arrested for his attack at the party and got a slap on the wrist (injustice) while the woman involved (apparently Jessie Sloan, was also a White adult, not a student) didn’t even get a slap on the wrist. At the “gas station,” we’re again dealing with a White adult, not a student. Why does Soohen have to lie? Soohen continues her creative ‘reporting:’

    Then, in late November, someone tried to burn down the high school, creating even more tension. Four days later, a white student was allegedly attacked in a school fight.

    “Allegedly attacked”? The student was taken to the hospital. It’s a cute little narrative Soohen offers, it’s just not reporting.

    And it’s been the biggest embarrassment for independent media.

    They’ve near consistently revealed themselves to be unwilling to report while expecting to be seen as reporters.

    We’re all for supporting the Jena Five.

    Bell?

    Five times convicted and he’s a saint?

    Maybe, had independent media wanted to report instead of lie, we could know about the convictions. We could evaluate them. They’ve provided nothing on the five convictions. So left to take the mainstream media’s word only (which happens when independent media stays silent), we’re left with the belief that sports star Bell was a thug, not unlike many jocks on campuses, and got away with things he should have been thrown off the team for and moved to another school over.

    Independent media embarrassed themselves by canonizing Bell. In doing so, they did a huge disservice to the other five who face being tainted by Bell’s criminal past as more people learn of it. Had they done their job and covered those convictions — or even noted them — people would be informed; however, they didn’t do that. Bell’s past — which is only Bell’s as far as anyone knows — will become better known and, when it does, some will be suspicious of the other five. That shouldn’t happen but independent media has allowed it to.

    The problem was the adults. The problem was always the adults. A school board overruling expulsion for the White students who hung the nooses (they were given two weeks probation), the school refusing to involve all parents immediately in what happened and to note that such actions would not be allowed or tolerated.

    Another failure came when African-Americans who received jury summons elected not to show up. Hopefully those who elected not to obey the summons were not among the ones later complaining that the jury was all White.

    In “Tipping the Scales of Justice in Jena,” Amy Goodman opens with the following:

    The tree at Jena High School has been cut down, but the furor around it has only grown.
    “What did the tree do wrong?” asked Katrina Wallace, a stepsister of one of the Jena Six, when I interviewed her at the Burger Barn in Jena, La. “I planted it 14 years ago as a tree of knowledge.”

    How did the tree become a place for White students to sit while African-Americans were sitting on the bleachers? (We wouldn’t be surprised to learn that more than just African-Americans were excluded from beneath the tree but the press wasn’t interested in that.) Where were the adults?

    Katrina Wallace planted the tree and you know she didn’t plant it to belong to one group, let alone one group of White students. When it became that, where were the adults?

    And, as Wallace asks, why was the tree cut down?

    If the problem is not addressed, something else will stand in for the tree shortly.

    Addressing it isn’t independent media distorting the events or cutting out aspects that don’t ‘play’ well. The five members of the Jena 6 without any record — let alone a lengthy criminal history — are done a huge disservice when their actions are lumped in with Bell’s and independent media stays silent on Bell.

    Al Sharpton does a huge disservice to issues of racism when he doesn’t even know his facts. In an interview with Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!), Goodman twice corrected him about the name of the District Attorney; however she failed to correct the following by Sharpton:

    The fact is that if you have a prosecutor that decided that he could not prosecute the students, the white students that hung the nooses, because a hate crime, you must be an adult, according to Louisiana law, and these were juveniles, yet he felt that the black kids in the fight who were the same age, going to the same school, were adults. How do you have white kids juveniles, black kids adults, same age, same school? The fact that he did not, in any firm way, prosecute the young white student that had a shotgun on school grounds, threatening the black students, that there was a black student that was beaten at a party that he was invited to by a white female, and that person, the white student, was given a hundred-dollar ticket, tantamount to a traffic ticket.

    There was no shotgun reported on school grounds. Sharpton is referring to the “gas station” incident. The White man at the party who received a slap on the wrist for his assault was not a high school student, he was a 22-year-old man. Sharpton went on to misstate the facts again:

    I think that, one, no one ever said that we condone schoolyard fights, but that’s what it was. And the punishment should have been a schoolyard fight. Had these young men been dealt with in juvenile court in a regular proceeding for juveniles like any other juvenile, including the white student that pulled the gun, the shotgun at the school, and the white student that beat up, I believe it was young Mr. Bailey at the party, I don’t think there would have ever been an issue, local or national.

    Repeating, no “shotgun” was brought onto the school — that was at a “gas station” — and the assailant in the party beating was not a high school student, he was a 22-year-old White man.

    Sharpton repeatedly made similar misstatements on urban radio. Betty and Cedric would direct friends to Democracy Now!’s previous coverage of the topic but that corrective was undone when Sharpton was allowed to distort the events on Democracy Now! itself.

    Racism is very much a part of the United States in 2007 and it won’t go away by people denying it. It also won’t be eliminated by lying. All those who offered half-reports and full out lies have allowed very real racism to be ignored in the future because the truth does come out and when Bell’s criminal history is better known, it will be the excuse — as was Tawana Brawley — to dismiss racism. Independent media truly should be ashamed. And, Betty’s father wants noted, when your child gets arrested, “You get off your butt and haul it back to where your kid is. Not five times later, the very first time.”

    The ‘creative’ reporting didn’t just hurt all future causes — because as truth gets out Bell will be used in the same manner Tawana Brawley still is today — to dismiss very serious racial justice issues. It also hurt the other five defendents. A point Jess’ parents (his mother’s a public defender, his father is a prison rights activist) wanted made. Five juveniles with no record are now publicly melded with Bell. Unlike Bell, they haven’t been convicted five times. Unlike Bell, they weren’t on probation. Unlike Bell, they weren’t turned into saints by independent media. As their cases go to court, having been yoked to Bell — having Bell turned into the poster boy for them, juries will see them as one person. The only one who benefits from that is Bell. The others are all hurt by it because, though independent media couldn’t tell you about it, Bell’s convictions have been heavily reported in areas that jury pools will come from. If there was one poster boy to be made out of this, the most likely would have been the then-fourteen-year-old. He is the most naturally sympathetic because of his age. Prospective jurors, hearing about the case over the last few weeks, would have been naturally the most sympathetic to him. However, independent media wasn’t interested in that. And as a result, most following the coverage can’t even name him today. They can’t even shape a narrative correctly.

    (For those scratching their heads — many, but not all, will be, Jesse Ray Beard was 14-years-old at the time of the school beating.)

  14. And see if you get a program that allows for use of PDF, at least for the link I sent form evangelicaloutreach (that provided the police documents and statements from those involved in different incidents). If you can’t, let me know, and when I have time I can manually type in the words stated by the Jena 6 in different incidents.

  15. Truth –

    my PDF’s are working fine. thanks for offering to help.

    There are tons of great information about the Jena 6 that has been written over the last 8 weeks. The Alexandria Newspaper which had little of nothing 2 months ago has organized many of their articles plus the articles from the Jena Times.

    There are several things that I have concluded by reading a lot of this material. 1) Most people try and do the right thing. 2) Our youth, Black and White, can’t write or spell the English language. It is a disgrace. 3) There is a ton of he said, she said.

    More later.

    Thanks for your comments.

  16. Agreed with a lot of what you said.

    The sad part was some of the black high school students playing under the nooses alongside the white students (there goes the theory of supposed “white tree”). Sad because it gives legitimacy to white students who hanged the nooses that they didn’t know nooses were used for lynchings in the past of blacks, not just some hang them high western stuff.

    So if black students don’t know, why should white students?

    I say it is a negative not only on education level in Jena, but in this country in general. And btw I got a BA in History, so I can only shake my head in disgust at the level of education we are getting these days, when people don’t know basic things about our history.

    And I do agree with you on he said, she said. Just not on the gun incident since Bailey admitted he and his friends were out to beat up the guy who ended up drawing his gun, so self-defense is legit reason for pulling out gun.

    The fact alot of he said, she said makes it more imperative not to jump to conclusions to where one tries to build a Selma type civil rights movement around it (especially when parents of Jena 6 has vested interests in trying to spin story to get their sons free, and I have seen more than a few times where stories seemed to get changed to that ends). Especially when violence like this is involved. Hard to argue though against like 30 witnesses to the Jena 6 incident.

    Btw, there is a case in SC where white teenagers beat up a black teenager and they were facing up to 20 years in prison, though they ended up getting less time than 20 when the judge handed down the sentences:

    http://www.courttv.com/trials/grice/background_ctv.html

    http://www.gaffneyledger.com/news/2006/0111/front_page/001.html

    Jesse Jackson in that case demanded the case be tried as a hate crime. Obviously, when it comes to white teenagers doing it to a black one, they should be tried as adults, but not when roles are reverse.

    And here is this case where whites did the stomping with shoes, and the victim was black:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/19/nyregion/19attack.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Except on this case, Sharpton treated it as a crime where the person could have been killed.

    He said: “This is certainly something that is threatening to him as a person, could have permanent damage to him and certainly is hate-based, with racial language used.”

    Here’s the deal- the victim was Sharpton 2 days later in public. So should we use the logic that if Barker appeared later on in ring ceremony, that must mean he was not really hurt enough to warrant serious charges that he could have been killed?

    And unlike Barker here, apparently according to Sharpton, NO ONE intervened to help the black victim in NY. At least people stopped the Jena 6 from doing any further damage to him.

    Sharpton and Jackson themselves are guilty of demanding two different forms of sentencings. So they are not really in good position to judge Jena. It is like pot calling kettle black.

    And here is what Carol Swain has to say about the Jena 6 issue (she herself is black, as well as being a lawyer, who just happened to lose a brother to death at hands of young thugs who stomped him to death):

    http://www.expertclick.com/NewsReleaseWire/default.cfm?Action=ReleaseDetail&ID=18156

    About Mychal Bell:

    “I hope that the 10 months of incarceration will serve as a wakeup call for young man who seems headed for trouble.” He is on probation already for committing similar crimes.”

    “If Justin Barker were a black teen, we would not have heard of this incident.”

    (The above comments are based on Bell’s probation for 2 assaults and criminal property damage)
    ——————————————————
    About the Jena District Attorney:

    “I don’t know if he is a racist or not. A prosecutor is in a position to see all sorts of crimes, and he or she knows from previous cases that under the right circumstances sneakers and fists can become deadly weapons, especially if a victim takes a blow to the head. Had not bystanders intervened, we don’t know what would have happened.”
    ——————————————————
    About my personal experiences with a similar crime

    “I have had my own experience with a similar such crime. Last November one of my brothers died from a brain injury that he sustained after being attacked by a gang of five teenage boys.” A neighbor pulled the boys off him, he staggered home, lapsed into a coma, and was declared brain dead within hours.
    Apparently, the injury caused massive hemorrogaging. Two of the boys were charged. One is still in jail awaiting sentencing. The DA hopes to try the others.”
    ——————————————————
    About my qualms with civil rights leaders

    “Mychal Bell is no choir boy. I find it regrettable that civil rights leaders have downplayed and minimized the seriousness of the criminal act against Justin Barker. There should have been a serious condemnation of the manner in which six–on-one attack.”

    “I would like to see Reverends Jackson and Sharpton organize a massive civil rights march to condemn the rates of violent crime in black communities. Much of this is black-on-black crime. Unfortunately, too many of our so-called leaders remain silent on the issue.”

    About my brother’s death
    ——————————————————
    For more information, please see my op ed in the Tennessean (September 28, 2007).

    When teens aren’t taught value of life, it can have deadly consequences
    http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070928/OPINION03/709280414

    Carol Swain (carol.swain@law.vanderbilt.edu)
    Prof: Law & Political Science

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

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