The Jena Who What Huh?

While thousands march today in protest of modern day racial injustice, it's pretty difficult to not be aware of the Jena Six. Certainly all of the Democratic presidential candidates are.

Apparently, though, staying up to date on current events isn't a prerequisite for the Republicans.

Asked about the Jena Six case today on his way into a San Antonio fundraiser, [Fred] Thompson said, "I don't know anything about it."

Thompson's comments come as he and his Republican colleagues are taking increasing flack for ignoring minority voters, particularly for skipping out on forums aimed at black and Latino voters.

Enough said.

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Somehow I fail to see how 6 kids who gang jump 1 kid as civil rights martyrs. This entire episode seems to be little more than a P.R. stunt for the increasingly irrelevant identity politics race baiters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

By DougAnders (not verified) on 20 Sep 2007 #permalink


Well...the problem is not so much the one incident, it's the whole history. Essentially there's a two year span of incidents where black kids and white kids were going at each other. The authorities made things worse by letting the white kids off easy while targeting the black kids. Just like the LA riots weren't just about Rodney King, it was about a whole long history of abuse by cops; this isn't about one incident.

I have been following this case very closely and am at a loss to identify the stupidest statement to come out of it so far. Was it when Al Sharpton compared "black blogs" to the Underground Railroad? Was it when Jesse Jackson said Barack Obama was "acting white" because he wasn't taking the Jena Six case seriously enough? (He has since apologized) Or was it the Jena resident quoted as saying; "We're not racist like it's been depicted. Those nooses were just a joke."?

Hope it turns out nonviolently. The reportedly 50,000 unorganized protesters descending on a town of 2,000 people, I mean.


I don't doubt that there are issues in this community, its my opinion that 1) its a huge mistake to pick 6 thugs who commit a violent crime against an innocent kid who had NOTHING to do with the noose incident as your "martyrs", and 2) Al Sharpton is a bigoted idiot who abuses these type of situations for attention.

Ultimately, this type of race baiting with such undeserving thugs as its center will do little but push the squishy middle of the American electorate a little towards the right.

By DougAnders (not verified) on 20 Sep 2007 #permalink

Regardless of what you think about the commentators in this case, clearly this is another example of justice being unequally distributed in a manner reminiscent of the overt racism of the not-too-distant past. The most important factor here, though, is that the futures of six teens hang in the balance, as the state seems determined to make some sort of dubious example out of them.

I guess the 6 thugs should have thought about their own future as they were beating a single innocent kid unconscious. Crying racism after the fact in order to achieve leniency merely dilutes the the terms effectiveness with later far more legitimate examples of racism.

By douganders (not verified) on 21 Sep 2007 #permalink

This seems to be a setback for the civil rights movement. Rather than focusing on the nooses or holding white thugs accountable, the protesters want to "free" the Jena 6. These six black students suckered punched one white student while he was not looking. After he was knocked out and defenseless, they repeatedly kicked him in the head. They are thugs who deserve to be locked up. There is no reason at all for them to be "free."

I'm sensing a surprising amount of hostility and defensiveness from the commenters here. I'm not sure where all of this stems from, but the goal seems to be to obscure the big picture by taking these events out of their broader context.

If a community allows a 'whites only' sign to be posted on public property and nooses to be hung on trees they are either begging Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to pay them a visit or they are plainly ignorant. These incidents speak volumes about their everyday lives. Racism is not born of one generation. Entire families and communities have to participate for its seed to generate.
Violence is never the answer. I hope that justice for all can be served under the circumstances. Are the citizens of Jena asking that the facts of the case be dismissed?
Most Americans (the ones that don't make the news) are frustrated and tired of dealing with issues that should have been laid to rest long ago. Knock, knock, whos' there? 2007!

Re: DougAnders

You've missed the point. No one is crying racism to get leniency. Protesters are crying out for punishment to fit the crime - neither a get out of jail free card or the attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges they're with which they're faced. If anything they're crying racism to get a fair trial.

I actually strongly deny being either hostile or defensive. I am advocating a position, if I were hostile I would have anger to those who post opinions disagreeing with me. Advocacy and hostility are rather easily distinguishable. And I see nothing defensive about my words. Futhermore, it actually seems a little ad hominem to assume so. I don't want to get into a name calling match, but such reflexive accusations are rather dissapointing to me as a long time reader of this blog.

The community as a whole didn't allow nooses to be hung from the tree. The nooses were immediately taken down and the offenders disciplined by the school. It is an outright fiction to accuse the entire community guilty of the actions of a few. Moreover, two white driving a truck with nooses were charged with a crime. And, the system itself corrected the overcharging issue in appellate review. This case is so obviously not even a close analog to the racial injustice struggles of forty years ago.

I don't doubt that there are some white racists in Jena, however, their existence and actions don't justify violence on the inncoent. The idea of collective racial guilt has an equally horrible history.

By douganders (not verified) on 21 Sep 2007 #permalink


if they were protesting for the indictments to be changed to lower crimes, uh... that's been mooted for a while. The charges were already lowered from attempted murder. Furthermore, the appellate review already corrected the being charged as an adult issue.

By douganders (not verified) on 21 Sep 2007 #permalink

Douganders doth protest too much, me thinks.
The noose-hangers were only suspended for 3 days. I dont know about youre school but at my high school, just smoking pot in the bathroom warranted 2 weeks suspension. Personally, I think issuing what amounts to a graphic death threat to every African American at the school should get more of a punishment than a little weed. The lax reaction of the school officials reinforced the message of the noose and told the students youll get no protection from us. I dont condone violence, but you cant just brush off the trigger with by saying the offenders were disciplined with a slap on the wrist.

By J. Gabler (not verified) on 24 Sep 2007 #permalink

Not only is there almost no coverage by the corporate media of black violent crimes against white people, but in high profile cases they proffer the black criminals as 'real victims'.

To illustrate the bias of the corporate media, imagine if the facts were reversed - if a gang of six white kids led by someone with four previous convictions for violent-crime had attacked a lone black student, kicking and stomping him into unconsciousness. As far as the corporate media are concerned, they would be interviewing the black victim on every TV talk show across the land, discussing his fear, his pain, his suffering. They would be interviewing his crying relatives and friends. They would not be voicing any fear that the white attackers would be treated too harshly, or even that they would be treated at all.

No one knows who hung up those noose, onl that 'white racists' lost out the most from it.


A comment like that hardly deserves a rebuttal, but I can't let something like that sit on my blog unaddressed. These "reverse discrimination" scenarios are virtually never based on fact, and are just intended to scare. Likewise, you just propose an outrageous hypothetical, without pointing to any specific instances of this.

And, if you don't think that the corporate media covers black crimes, all I can say is that we're clearly watching different media broadcasts.

The racially-biased nature of our legal system is well-documented, and the Jena Six case is just the latest example. One of the most outrageous instances occurred when a white student pulled a shotgun on several black students. After they wrestled it away, they were then charged with theft, while the white student was not charged with anything.