A Progressive Theo-Political Blog Bringing You The Best and Worst of Baptist Life.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jena 6 - A Threat to Justice Everywhere!!!

What is Jena 6?

If you don't know - you better read up.

A snippet follows:
What white Southerners still fail to realize is their complicity in some of the most vicious and effective terrorism the world has ever seen. Lynchings were only the most visible and brutal embodiments of a system to terrorize the black minority. A noose is a symbol the way a swastika is a symbol. A noose hanging from a tree in that context is an almost unimaginably vicious act. Those white teens, instead of being ashamed of their terrorist ancestry, reveled in the evil. The adults who are charged with the education of all the students deemed it merely a prank.

The scariest part of this ordeal is that you know these boys are the relatively lucky ones for whom publicity might spare them. How many other black lives are still thrown away at the whim of our broken justice system?

It's amazing that in this day and age, a 16 year old black man could be tried as an adult on trumped up charged, convicted, and sentenced to 22 years in prison by an all-white jury. But honestly I'm not too surprised. This kinda thing happens far too often. Kanye definitely wasn't wrong. And John Edwards is dead right - there are Two Americas.My former boss and personal hero, Rep. John Lewis (a Baptist minister) released the following statement today:
"I salute the hundreds and thousands of students who will be coming from all around the country, but especially from the colleges and universities in the Atlanta area, who are moved to action in the Jena 6 case. It is important for the young people of this generation to stand up, to speak up, speak out, and move their feet when they witness a miscarriage of justice.
Black Baptists have stood up and are speaking out. Friendship-West Baptist Church of Dallas took a bus full of its members to Jena, Louisiana today for the protests. Dozens of other congregations Baptist and non-Baptist have followed suit. Baptist professor Mike Broadway has blogged about a Jena 6 rally held at the Baptist affiliated Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Yesterday, EthicsDaily.com told the story of an American Baptist pastor in Arlington, Texas who is credited with bringing international attention to this awful instance of racial injustice. On behalf of American Baptists, General Secretary Roy Medley has taken a stand for the Jena 6.

I do wonder whether we truly believe that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere?

If we really do - why hasn't Jena 6 caused more Baptists to stand up, to speak up, and move their feet at the sight of this blatant miscarriage of justice???

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice and neat website

10:16 PM

Anonymous Chuck said...

Our justice system doesn't seem fair at times.

Just this one case, for instance, contains several inequitable aspects:

1. the seemingly overly-harsh sentence.

2. the apparent lack of "hate crime" charges, since it was clearly a racially-motivated assault on the white young man by a group of black young men.

3. the fact that our law is biased against actions (the physical beating) over words/symbols (the noose symbol).

8:43 AM

Anonymous Lee said...

Several years ago, while I was living in Kentucky, a group of white students went up and down the rows of the student parking lot in a pick up, waving a confederate flag and shouting racial epithets at black students. It made the paper and the local news. Most of the people in the all-white church where I was serving on staff at the time thought that the action was certainly in poor taste, but took the opinion that the predominantly white county school board did, that no one was hurt and it was just a bad "joke." And since it happened after school hours, even though it was just minutes after, they felt the district really had no jurisdiction.

Two weeks later, at the same school, a vice-principal suspended a student for wearing a heavy metal chain with a medallion at the end of it and a "black power" t shirt to school. The same folks in my church were outraged, declaring that these young black people just wanted to stir up trouble.

And we wonder why this kind of thing continues to exist. Did you hear the D.A.'s comments yesterday? He means to follow through with his agenda, and he intends to make an example out of these 6 boys, and nothing is going to stop him.

9:17 AM

Anonymous RRL said...

I don't understand all of the outrage:

(1) Do you not want these boys to be punished for what they did? Are they somehow excused from their actions because they were precipitated by the hanging of the nooses? Shouldn't these boys go to jail for beating another boy (regardless of his color) within inches of his life?

(2) What law do you believe the white boys violated? What charges should've been levied against them? Having reviewed Louisiana's hate crimes law, this clearly doesn't fall within that statute, so what charge should they have received?

I honestly just don't get it. These boys commited a crime. I think what the white boys did was reprehensible, but I don't understand why it excuses or should in any way alter our perception of the beating that followed. Seems to me like these are a lot of people looking for something to get upset about, and in this case they have picked the wrong situation.

1:10 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Yes, the boys should have been punished for beating the white boy. But attempted murder? 22 years in prison?

The boy was not beat within inches of his life. What injuries did he suffer? His injuries were sooo bad that he went out with friends later that night....

The white boys from the rodeo team received 3 days In School Suspension for hanging those nooses. The school called it a prank. A prank???

I grew up in a small rural town in south Georgia about the same size as Jena. It's impossible to deny the role of racism in this story.

5:45 PM

Anonymous Michael Wesmtoreland-White said...

Impossible is right. These kinds of disparities are all through our legal system. Most are just more subtle than in Jena.

Why did the school allow a "whites only" tree for decades until challenged by one student?

4:02 AM

Blogger foxofbama said...

I have blogged on the Jena 6 and wish you to take a look, though I may need to tone it down a little.
Share your thoughts on my take at the Marshall Frady Prentice thread at Bl.com. I need some justice there as he is simply not telling the truth while he has run of the board in my absence, which is mostly his fault to begin with.
But the news of the day is John Killian's blog on Mike Huckabee and IDEsign.
Have at it and take it to Bl.com as well, as my friend Killian, though I disagree with him on many fronts and this one too, may have a show stopper on his hands.

11:18 AM

Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:48 PM

Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:54 PM

Anonymous Greg Tomlin said...


6:56 PM

Anonymous greg tomlin said...

I spent two weeks this summer with Al Vivian, son of one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s workers in the Civil Rights Movement. My best friend, Dr. Craig Mitchell is black. My children call him Uncle Craig.

I lived with the racism mess my whole life growing up in Arkansas. I'm glad I got away from it. But in any case like this, it's always better for cooler heads to prevail and research the facts. Why did Michael Bell get charged with attempted murder? It was the latest in a long list of assaults. But you don't hear about that in the media.

Here is a thoroughly researched article that should embarass the people who protested the perceived "injustice" in Jena. By the way, it is written by a black man who said in an interview today that things might have been different if the children had been parented properly. Race, it appears, wasn't an issue at all.

In fact, Michael Bell lived with a white family after his own family kicked him out of the house. This, of course, doesn't change that there are some inequities in the system. But it should change the way everyone views this case ... and lead Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton to just stay at home.


7:07 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yawn. Just another case of Jackson and Sharpton using there own race to further their blind ambition. Where the press gets involved and plays up a story involving the poor black man, there you will find their kind of ilk.

5:10 PM


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