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The Jena Six

Six young black men are headed for 20+ year prison sentences in a clear case of Jim Crow “justice.”

Photo of Jena Six Parents

Their families are fighting but need our support. Will you stand with them?

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A lot of bloggers in the Black Blogosphere have posted about the Jena 6, young black men charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in one of the most blatantly racist prosecutions I’ve come across lately. I’ve been largely silent on this blog because this is one of those rare cases where the situation makes me so angry I can’t even call it anger, anymore. I am furious. I don’t know if a word has been invented that accurately describes my feelings about this.

Which doesn’t make for an interesting post. Maybe I should just do a video of me taking a hammer to my wall and furniture, cuz that’s the level I’m at.

I didn’t want to let too much time go by before posting about it, though. Especially as it highlights just how far we have not come as a country. It doesn’t matter that this is happening in the South. We cannot just write off the South when something especially heinous happens down there. It’s America. North, South, East, West, Midwest, Bible Belt, all of it belongs.

So, in case you’re not familiar with the story of the Jena Six, here are some resources for you:

More recently:

From there you can spiral out and find more articles, posts, etc. If this situation angers you as much as it angers me, consider doing something about it. Express your opinion to the prosecutor, the governor, local, state, and federal representatives. Contribute to the defense fund. Educate people about what’s going on. Write a letter to the families affected and offer support. Bug news outlets and ask them why they spent weeks worrying about Michael Vick and whether or not Senator Craig was NOT GAY!!!! yet don’t work themselves into a lather over this.

Oh, and get angry. If there was ever a time for it, now is that time.

ETA: As I come across more Jena Six posts, I’ll list them here.

59 thoughts on “The Jena Six”

  1. Michael says:

    Clearly this needs more press! As a whte american, this does society no good at all when such blatant racsim is on display and it gets less airplay than the commercial for the next dumbed down sitcom they want to feed the masses. I would have rather seen this on the news that that ridiculous Don Imus crap

  2. Ninja says:

    Michael – I’m from Louisiana (few hours away from Jena), and this did receive lots of local coverage, but should have received national coverage. I heard that the guys who were arrested and tried nearly killed the other kid. But like I said in a previous other post, unbiased news is hard to come by so I don’t know the real situation.

  3. Saladin says:

    It’s amazing how little (as in almost none) national press this has gotten. I’ve mentioned it to friends — even conscious friends — and they had never heard of the case! In fact the only attention I’ve seen in NYC (other than Sharpton going down to louisiana) is a protest few t-shirts
    in Bklyn.

    Eeven from a seedy sensationalist media POV, this should be big news — race relations, kids in trouble, creepy cops, vioelnce, etc. WHERE IS CNN ON THIS?? WHERE IS THE NYTIMES??

  4. Saladin says:

    Sorry – fury typing on the last post. That should read “a few protest t-shirts in Bklyn” and “Even from…”

  5. Antonio says:

    This case really makes me angry too. I’m basically useless at work right now because I’m fuming over how blatantly racist and unfair the authority’s behavior has been. I want every single authority figure in the same hot seat Mike Nifong was in when he was prosecuted for the Duke lacrosse case. Dropping the charges just isn’t enough.

  6. Blackamazon says:

    I love how often in the original press folks use the word colored

    I hate peopel some days

  7. BrevisMus says:

    I was utterly shocked when I first heard about this (only through blogs, I might add – but then I’m in the UK and do tend to avoid the news), and I’m still steaming. I honestly thought that it must be an old story from 50 years ago when I first read it, I just couldn’t/can’t comprehend that there’d be a ‘whites tree’ in a school playground. Never mind everything that followed.

    Nope. Sorry. Words are still failing me.

  8. rashad says:

    yeah this sucks, i talked about this on my site a couple of months ago, and signed the petition. not enough people are hearing about this, so kudos for putting this up on your blog.

  9. Anita Marie says:

    I live out in Washington State, and if it makes you feel any better we are VERY familiar with this story. It’s been featured on CNN and I believe NPR.

    The thing of it is, if you want to be informed you have to go through the news stories yourself to find out what’s really going on.

    It’s time consuming, but in my opinion it’s worth it.

  10. Saladin says:

    AM –

    Of course, I agree. But the situation is made even worse because, even though most people don’t close read the news enough, almost everyone in this country absorbs certain media images just by walking around, talking to friends, seeing headlines, etc. Everyone in the country knows that there’s some tragicomic rich girl named Paris out there and she was like on TV or something. But so few people seem to be talking about this case, or other equally important matters. Then again, my blog is full of pictures of Darth Vader, Cobra Commander and Magneto, so maybe I should not throw stones…

  11. Anita Marie says:

    Toss a few Saladin because at least you’re trying to tell a story- the Jena Six is a story, it involves risk and effort on the part of the writer to tell it.

    And it takes nerve to read it and think about it and question it.


  12. Blackamazon says:

    Saladin TOOSS EM

    Iw rote about it in JUNE and rewrote a couple times and I was MONTHS


    behind most other black bloggers and a handful of radical ones.

  13. Ico says:

    I recall some article that mentioned the “whites tree” and the nooses on AOLnews… I don’t think it covered the arrests, though. I am forwarding links on this to people I know… There aren’t words adequate to convey how disgusting and horrible this is.

  14. Saladin says:

    All –

    Apologies for my blog newbie-ness, but what do “Toss a few” and “TOOSS EM” mean?

    BTW, I see above that I was unclear: I didn’t mean to imply that bloggers were neglecting this case — rather that the mainstream media was. That seems to be slowly changing (Nice Hair Model…err Journalist Anderson Cooper has picked it up, for one)

    Be well.

  15. dendoo says:

    I haven’t blogged about it but my sister and I have talked about it. I live in the Caribbean and it’s so funny down here because on point you’re all “Black people are the majority” but yet sometimes it feels, even with the 3% of white folk living in my country, that we allow ourselves to be dominated, oppressed and convinced that we’re not good enough.

    These young men did something wrong in beating up the student and don’t get me wrong I for one was like yeah beat him up. But violence is never the answer.

    Let me get to the most important issue though: while they might have been wrong for beating that kid up what is happening to them is majorly wrong. Their lives are being raped of freedom while they must endure this injustice with a “yes massah” attitude.

    I stated that I’m from the Caribbean and most people down here aren’t talking about this case, just the few who actually watch the news. I’m hearing a few mumblings of “oh they deserved it”. It’s sad to know that you can’t escape racism and that’s what this is. Let’s not sugar coat it, it’s everywhere. And more than racism let’s talk about prejudice it’s prejudice people! and that itself is crazy prevalent.

    I hope black people unite on this. It’s sad that this has to happen: that these wounds black people all over, not just Americans, have tried to close are being rudely ripped open again.

    It’s just sickening.

  16. BrevisMus says:

    (Saladin, you said in your post you wondered whether you should be throwing stones, so I believe that Anita Marie & Blackamazon were telling you to go ahead and just throw/toss them!)

  17. Chase says:

    Racism Anonymous

    Moderator: Alabama, we would like to start with you, if you could please stand and introduce yourself?

    State of Alabama: Hi, my name is Alabama. I have read the Twelve Steps as defined by Racism Anonymous. I understand the first step to recovery is to admit your shortcomings and I am ready to do that. I am a racist.

    Moderator: Thank you Alabama. Arkansas, you’re next.

    State of Arkansas: Hi, my name is Arkansas and I am a racist.

    Moderator: Let’s move down the line a bit to the State of Louisiana. Could you please stand and introduce yourself?

    State of Louisiana: Hi, due to the ongoing case of the Jena Six I wish to plead the 5th.

    Moderator: Excuse me, but this is not a courtroom Louisiana, you are not on trial.

    State of Louisiana: I know I am not on trial, but I am closely related to Mississippi and their actions and their history has become our actions and our history.

    Moderator: Okay, if the rest of you don’t mind, I’d like to skip over to Mississippi. Mississippi, could you please stand and introduce yourself?

    State of Mississippi: Hi, I’m really not supposed to be here. The judge ordered me to come and said if I didn’t I could go to jail.

    Moderator: Please, Mississippi the rest of us have seen the many reports of you on the news, it is extremely important to your recovery, as well as Louisiana, if you could admit your shortcomings.

    State of Mississippi: I ain’t got none!

    Moderator: Okay, if you could please go back and read the Twelve Steps as defined by Racism Anonymous and we will come back to you after all the other states are done introducing themselves.

    There is a quizzical look on the State of Mississippi’s face. The moderators notices this and hesitantly ask: “Mississippi, you can read… can’t you?”

  18. therealpotato says:

    Nice one, Chase!

    Here’s a sympathetic article on the Jena Six… this makes my head want to explode.

  19. b. medusa says:

    i’m so glad to see you post on this, though not about the anger it has caused you. i guess having been born before jim crow went in the closet left me with a certain amount of “yeah, and why are you shocked” when it comes to blatant racism, even of this magnitude. @ the same time, i wish y’all never had to see any of what i did.

    soon i’ll be rambling about trips down south w/ packed lunches because of segregation & sundown towns, so before i do, please visit my blog & get the DOJ petition banner. there are also links in the 8/30 post to the “bloggers for justice”, who blogged that day to bring greater media attention (& the link to FAIR’s site for media contacts).

  20. Changeseeker says:

    I blogged on this during the summer, too, but I’ve been outside the blogosphere for the past five or six weeks, in the process of actually moving to Louisiana and getting settled in. With the way I felt about this situation, I didn’t know if I should hit the state line with a knife in my teeth or what.

    It bothers me that people in general nationally have been outraged about Michael Vicks’ treatment of dogs, while shaking their heads ruefully and shrugging over the treatment of the Jena Six. And for the record, they didn’t almost kill the kid. The victim went to the emergency room for a couple of hours and was released.

    I’m glad to see this is still being covered on the blogs, even if the national media has proven once again where it stands on issues related to institutionalized oppression against people of color.

  21. DemiOrator says:

    I’m still furious about this situation. I’m pissed at the national press who have mostly left it alone. I’m astonished how much virulent racist crap still festers today. However, I’m not surprised. I’m originally from New Orleans and I’m white. I left there in my teen years in the 1970s and one reason I never really wanted to go back to live there was because of the entrenched racism that just overwhelmed me. I didn’t have a clue at that time of how I could oppose or counter it.

    Then a story like this comes along and I’m right back there in my head, wishing I’d stayed and tried to make a difference. Would I have made a difference? I don’t know. Of course, now I’m realizing I haven’t blogged about the Jena Six either. Perhaps now is the time to do it. Thanks for the wake up.

  22. Michael says:

    Fox News had a great piece on this. This morning. Al Sharpton was on the show, but he sounded like he didn’t know the facts of the case…..very confusing. But at least it was getting some press….

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  25. Chase says:

    Racism has become one of the most easily recognized discriminatory practices in America. Yet, it is one of the most denied biases to exist.

    Racism has also become the most straightforward discriminatory practice to deal with, if those who are being discriminated against were well grounded. Meaning, grounded in their history, their personal history, the history of their community, the history of their county or parish and the history of their country.

    When I first read the story about the Jena Six, I read something about a shoe was used as a “deadly weapon”. And, the all-white jury agreed that the shoes Bell was wearing were “deadly weapons”.

    Here, is where I believe racism has become easy to deal with, when you are well grounded. You see, a racist has no argument against whether he is a racist or not. There exist no opposite to a racist. Either you are, or you’re not. However, racists try to interject other factors to explain their actions of being racist; like a shoe is a “deadly weapon” when in fact their senseless beliefs are the “deadly weapon”.

    Assuming the shoe is a “deadly weapon”, then NIKE or the other shoemaker, should be held accountable for manufacturing deadly weapons and not footwear. Now that this case has become a part of our judicial history, it is squarely noted that shoe manufacturer is a weapons dealer and should be recognized as such.

    Therefore, the shoe manufacturer should be called to testify. And, once that happens, their highly qualified lawyers will prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, their shoes are not “deadly weapons”. Those lawyers will prove how ignorant the jury has been in claiming their shoes are “deadly weapons”.

    A settlement will be reached, hush money will be paid and this racist jury will have to defend themselves against the shoe corporation’s highly paid and well-qualified lawyers. The shoe corporation will not want to lose it’s reputation in the state of Louisiana, or the rest of the country for that matter for making “deadly weapons”.

    Will this work? It is certainly worth a try, considering racism has become more recognizable than greed these days.

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  28. MIKE says:

    again when we march on sept 20th .. do not spend one hot dime in lasalle parish .. bring your own gas, food and drinks. do not let these people profit off thier own injustice. if you can’t march support these young men by wearing black tee’s and explain why to anyone who ask.
    the public defender is just as guilty for not defending the six properly. he gave them to reed walters on a silver platter. both attorneys should be disbarred and sued separately from lasalle parish. see you on the 20th .. love my folk

  29. Chase says:

    Thanks Mike!

  30. Chase says:

    Please watch this:

    This is paramount! Listen to the level of anger in Mos Def’s voice and the passion surrounding this issue. This kind of American justice has to end. Regardless of the outcome, these kids should not have gone through this. Imagine the numbers who simply didn’t have the resources the Jena Six have. Imagine the numbers of those locked away prior to the internet? It’s staggering, I’m sure.

    When watching the video, please excuse Bill’s shallowness in bringing up OJ.

  31. Brandi says:

    What are you talking about? This HAS been getting national news. There are worse cases that involve black attackers and white victims that hardly got a line in the local paper, but you don’t see anyone being up in arms about it. At least this is getting a decent amount of press. You’re just upset that it’s not written in the front pages of every single newspaper/magazine or announced on every news station every ten minutes? Give me a break, please.

  32. the angry black woman says:

    um, excuse me PRINCESS Brandi, but the point is that the Jena Six situation hasn’t received the same level of rabid attention that Michael Vick and his sad treatment of dogs did. Not that what Vick did isn’t wrong, but my goodness… dog fighting vs. a miscarriage of justice? i think I can safely say one is more important than the other. yes, the Jena Six have gotten some national coverage. but damn, the media in this country sure knows what to be up in arms about, doesn’t it? That senator is NOT GAY, so let’s talk about ti every day for a solid two weeks. Every. Day. Oh no, some white boys were falsely accused of race! let’s talk about ti every day even when it’s over! We’ll keep bringing it up because it’s important when white boys are falsely accused. How long did it take the national news to even mention the Jena Six? And how many news stories have been done on them? Has it been mentioned every day? have the details of the trail, the prosecution, the families, and situation that led up to it been picked over and examined from every angle and debated by yahoos on my tv? no. Not that news coverage should always be this way, but the lopsidedness chafes. If there was ever something for the media to obsess over, it should be this. Instead, we get to hear about who’s NOT GAY every day.

    So, princess, *you* give me a break.

  33. Ico says:

    I think the news has picked up on it a bit since ABW’s post, but at the time she wrote it I hadn’t heard much at all. I brought it up in a class of politically progressive students and teachers and not a single one of them had heard anything about it, either. It definitely wasn’t in the news enough.

  34. Angel H. says:

    Shorter Brandi: “You Nigras better be glad you’re getting any mention at all!”

    This mess has been going on since last fall and it’s just now getting national coverage. So, yeah. They’re a little late.

  35. the angry black woman says:

    meanwhile, I am STILL hearing about the fraking Duke Lacrosse players! At least once a week. Oh, that horrible miscarriage of justice! And yet, none of them were convicted of anything and i have to hear about their pain and suffering.


    I’m angry.

  36. Pamela says:

    The Duke Lacrosse players were totally innocent and were being discriminated against because they were rich white boys. That is true unadulterated racism.

    These so called “Jena six” are guilty of almost beating a white kid to death. They snuck up behind him, suckered punched him in the back of the head, then when he was down on the ground knocked out, the cowardly “Jena six” kicked and stomped him in the head. He could have died and he could have had permanent brain damage or worse.
    But, you do not care what these “Jena 6” did to this kid, because he is WHITE. You are the racists.

    If this would have been six white boys on 1 black kid, you racist blacks would have been screaming for them to be put to death.

    So, in your racist minds, it is totally okay for a so called person of color to do whatever they want to a white person, just because they are white.

    Racism is never going to die, until both sides let it die,
    blacks and whites alike.

  37. Mica says:


    Guess you didn’t hear about those WHITE students beating up one of the Jena Six a couple of days before this fight. What happened to them? Hey, how about the White man who waved a gun at the black students. What happened to him? The problem is that this is UNFAIR and UNEQUAL treatment under the law. That’s the issue! Can your racist mind understand that? Hey, how many innocent black men have been released after years in prison? What happened to the Duke boys was not right but at least they weren’t convicted and sent to prison for years for something they didn’t do.

  38. Ico says:

    Pamela, “almost beating a white kid to death”?

    Seriously, READ THE NEWS. According to the Washington Post:

    “The white 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 ring ceremony later that night.”

    That doesn’t sound like the kind of assault that should lead to the ridiculous sentences that the prosecution was trying to get for those kids. And if you’re going to punish them with two decades in prison, better treat the white kids who beat up one of their number the same way. Why aren’t *they* facing decades long prison sentences?

  39. the angry black woman says:

    Dear Pamela,

    First of all, you have your facts completely wrong. Second of all, this is your first warning, as per The Rules. Don’t know The Rules? Look at the top of the blog, there’s a link there. one more post like that and I’m putting you on moderation.

    The white kid that was supposedly beat SO badly that eh could have had brain damage? I think if his injuries were that bad they would have kept him in the emergency room longer than three hours. if he was so hurt, he wouldn’t have been able to attend school sports games and joke with his friends.

    Far be it from me to say that beating someone is a solution to anything, but when you’re provoked, you’re provoked. this case wouldn’t be so bad if, as Mica mentioned, the white kids who beat up the black kid were treated the same way. Since they were not, it’s an obvious case of unequal punishment. And that’s not just kinda racist, that’s totally racist.

    racism will die when people like you die. :)

  40. Rose says:

    It hurts my heart so much. I have been ignorant and thought that these days were leaving us. The same day I heard about this I stated to myself omg it must because they are in the south. Well as it happens that same day my son was called a nig*er on the way home from school. He is only 11. He asked me why did they do that? I just cried I teach my son that GOD is love and that is what we are so spread around. What goes around comes around. I am still upset and I am wearing all black today. I did not know about the green but I will go home and change at lunch. This is such a sad sad story. I just wish everyone remebered what i grew up with: It does not matter the color of our skin because we all bleed red.

  41. Pamela says:

    He had blood coming out of his ears and eyes. They are in jail, for attempted murder. Had no one stopped them, they would have killed him. That was clearly their intent.

    Have you ever been beaten about the head or knocked out cold, just from one punch? Well, I have at the hands of an abusive husband. When your head receives a punch or blow from one side, the brain hits the other side of the skull,
    thus causing damage, as if from two blows. Just one blow to the head can be catastrophic, let alone ten or twenty. Ten blows to the head, equal twenty.

    The black kid that was beaten up, from what I have gathered, by one, one white kid, not six. He should not have been attacked, but it does not even come close to what the “Jena 6” did to the one white kid.

    The only time violence should be tolerated, is if you are in immediate danger of physical attack. That would be self-defense.

    In a civilized society, physical violence has no place. Now, had these “Jena 6” been rushed or physically attacked by this one white kid, then well, that would be different. But, he did not. All the witnesses say, he was attacked from behind
    and then jumped, after he was knocked out. Doesn’t sound like a fair fight to me or self defense.

    They did not give this one white kid a fair fight, but now you are demanding they get fair treatment..

    About the white kid with the gun, that he pulled on the black kids. Well, as sources go, I was told he pulled the gun when he found the black kids stealing his property. Now, whether that is true, one would have to do more investigation. But, I doubt any of you know, any more than I do. The difference is, you are willing to jump to conclusions, that the black kids were innocent in that situation, too.

    The black kids had every right to sit under the tree in the courtyard, as much as the white kids. The black kids had a right to protest, if they were not being given equal treatment.

    The nooses that were put in the tree, were put there by a couple of white kids in the school. A few white kids, not all.
    I believe I was told they were punished. The nooses in the tree should not have been tolerated, but I do believe they were punished. You do not believe they were punished enough. Now, you think the black kids are being punished, too much. Are you seriously comparing the nooses in the tree, to the severe physical assault on the white kid? No comparison.

    The problem with your public support of these “Jena 6” is that it seems you are supporting their right to stomp a white kid, just because he is white.

    If these black children are receiving undue punishment, it is right for you to ask for a second look at the proceedings.

    What the public is outraged by, and it is not just white people, is that you appear to have no sympathy for the white kid, they could have easily murdered.

    Yes, being knocked out and then kicked and stomped on the head, can result in death. It has in thousands and
    thousands of instances. One blow, especially to the back of the head, can kill a person.

    Have these “Jena 6” even apologized to the white kid? Do they even feel any remorse? Do they, their parents and the black community actually believe their attack on this one white kid is okay? Justin Barker did not physically attack these black kids. They had no excuse to physically attack him.

    My father sexually and physically assaulted me from the ages of 4 to 9. Should I hate all men? Does it give me the right to physically attack all men?

    My mom allowed my father to do what he did. Should I hate all women? Does it give me the right to physically attack all

    Two Italian men raped me when I was eighteen. You get the point. I would hope.

    Nooses in the tree is not a physical attack. Knocking someone out cold, from behind, then six assailants repeatedly stomping and kicking that someone in the head, is more than just a physical attack. It is attempted murder.

  42. the angry black woman says:

    Dear Pamela,

    Until you’re a black person and until you, as a black person, have been confronted with a noose overtly intended as a message for you, I kindly invite you to shut up on that subject. Because if you don’t understand how serious such a thing is, I have no time for you.

    Secondly, you accuse us of not knowing the facts of this case, but it sounds like you don’t, either. You “heard from someone” some stuff, and so you think you know. I’d like to know how much of your information comes from a single source and how much comes from hearsay. That’s an important thing, because anyone who accepts what they’re told from a single source or from hearsay should never be taken seriously, because the bullshit is flowing like the river Nile.

    Also, not to dismiss your experience, but bringing up your physical and sexual abuse when, honestly, there isn’t much call for it, tells me that you’re doing so in order to bolster your argument. You can’t argue with a woman who was abused by her husband and father and mother and Italian men!! Sacred Cows! Nope, sorry honey. You get no points for bringing that up. I’m sure you’ll say you weren’t trying to “score points” but, sadly, it looks exactly like you were. Maybe you should watch that in the future.

    Again, if the boy was so greatly in danger, physically, he wouldn’t have been released from the hospital. He went to a school function later int he day. He was fine. If a shoe is a deadly weapon and every assault is attempted murder, then there really ought to be a lot more people in jail at the moment. And yet, there are not. I’d like some evidence from you regarding just how badly the white kid was beaten. Do you have medical records? Pictures? Do you have eyewitness accounts from the fight itself? Or are you, again, going on hearsay and what you imagine happened? I’m willing to bet it’s the latter.

    You certainly have had some horrible things happen to you in life. And hey, if those things caused you to hate all men or all mothers or all husbands or even all Italians, well… I actually wouldn’t blame you. PTSD is a reality. And I have known enough women and men who’ve suffered physical and sexual abuse to know that they have every right to their fear and anger, should they hold on to it. Just because you are able to move on from these things 9and use them to win arguments!) doesn’t mean that everyone everywhere has to be just like you. Everyone has their own hangups and their own hot buttons and their own pain. If you can’t find it in yourself to respect other people’s pain, then I suggest you leave the human race, because we’ve had just about enough of people like you.

  43. Imani says:

    I agree with Pamela on some of her accounts and I do not believe that the Jena Six case should be held as a racial matter. Before anyone says anything I am a black woman and wholly understand the weight that three nooses on a “white only” tree means. However, two wrongs don’t make a right and it was said by different news sources that the noose incident was almost a year ago. How do you use something that happened in the past to justify what happens in the future? The Jena Six boys are not the victims here, the white boy is because he was attacked because of his skin color. Are you denying the fact that The Jena Six boys did assault him intentionally? They had no reason to attack that poor boy except because of the fact that they were mad someone of his race did the same to one of their own. Why should their cases be dropped if, no matter how minor Justin’s bruises may be, they still intentionally beat him up? Would you be asking for their cases to be dropped if the tables were turned and it was a black boy who was assaulted at the hands of six white boys? What if the races weren’t black and white at all, would you still be angry and wanting to fight with this much passion? It seems to me that the black community cannot seem to get past black and white and focus on the right and wrong. So I pose a questionto you, who really is the racist here?

  44. the angry black woman says:

    Imani, I think you’re missing an important point. White kids DID attack some of the black kids in question. the noose incident was the first volley in several instances that happened a year ago, yes. The arrests were made almost a year ago. it’s not as if the six boys “attempted murder” yesterday afternoon. One of the points of my posting this is that the national media did not pay attention to this until recently (and begrudgingly, too) but the actual drama has been going on for MONTHS.

    Also, if the while kids who, not incidentally, assaulted black kids in the school in pretty much the same way had also been charged with attempted murder, there wouldn’t be as much outcry. It’s unequal justice. The DA declined to charge the white assaulters AT ALL but charged these boys with attempted murder.

    This matter is very much a racial matter. You being a black woman doesn’t mean your opinion holds any more or less weight than anyone else.

  45. the angry black woman says:

    Also, I wouldn’t need to fight with such passion if a bunch of white people assaulted one black person. At least, I wouldn’t have to fight hard for the WHITES involved since white people have an advantage and, as we have seen recently, it takes a fight to make sure they get the punishment they deserve.

  46. Imani says:

    There is actually an incident with 6 white people who tortured a 20 year old black woman. Have you heard of this?
    Here is a Wahsington Post site you can see it on:
    These whites are being punished and it seems like they have no ADVANTAGE at all. Why wasn’t this blown up in the media, there were more white people in it than black.
    Oh, and to clear up the attempted murder/ second degree murder charges, at least one of their cases was dropped down to aggravated assault, this is what I agree with, not the murder charges.

  47. the angry black woman says:

    I did hear about the 6 white folks who tortured the black woman. I haven’t posted about it yet. Thankfully, in that case, the media spotlight was on it immediately, and therefore the authorities were more likely to do what is right.

    I knew about the second link as well. What’s your point?

  48. lee summers says:

    Blck wmn shld spnd thr tm n smthng mr sfl,f y hv nythng t b ngr bt t shld b yr wrthlss blck mn f tht s wht y wnt t cll thm. Blck mn n ths cntr r n jl bcs th cn fllws rls nd r lws f r sct nt bcs f wht stnd p nd b mn nd ccpt th blm fr yr ctns.Blck wmn ccpt lss frm th blck mn tht s wh y gt lss, y r lwys mkng xcss fr thm. gss tht s wh blck wmn n m cmps r dtng nl wht mn th r trnng thr bck n thr n knd whch s gd thng bcs tht s gng t lv lrg pl f ft wht grls tht wht gys wnt dt fr th blck mn.

  49. Pamela says:

    Ever hear of the Wichita Massacre’s? No, I am sure you have not, it was only whites that were tortured and murdered by blacks.

    Blacks commit atrocities and hate crimes against whites everyday, that you never hear about.

    Never. It is not reverse discrimination, it is just plain old racism.

    The only difference between white on black racism and black on white, is that any racism towards a white person is politically correct and okay.

  50. the angry black woman says:

    Well, Pamela, why don;t you then start a blog about all of these atrocities no one ever hears about? I’m sure you’ll enjoy enlightening us. But until you provide some kind of proof (like 3 independent sources citing the HUGE WAVE of black on white hate crimes) I’m going to have to pass on thinking that you are correct. You’re free to prove me wrong. However, do so elsewhere, because this thread isn’t about that. That’s your second warning. once more and I moderate you.

    lee summers, this is an ignorance-free zone. And I AM moderating you as well as taking away your vowels.

  51. Ico says:

    I think people are missing the point about the Jena Six. It’s not that they shouldn’t be punished for assaulting the kid, which is how a lot of people seem to be reading the support for them. They did gang up on him and beat him up; that is a crime and they deserve punishment for it. Of course. I absolutely believe what they did was wrong.

    The support for them is about the fact that they are being punished with excessive severity while white people’s crimes around the same time and place were not being punished at all. And THAT is the problem. That the treatment is shockingly unequal.

  52. Imani says:

    So are you saying that they should get off scott free because the white people got off scott free or that they should find the white people and also charge them with attempted murder?

  53. the angry black woman says:

    If the DA won’t charge all of the white students involved in assaulting, threatening, pulling a gun on, and perpetrating a hate crime on the black students, then the black students shouldn’t be charged, either. You can’t dispense “justice” unfairly. And since it’s been many, many months since these incidents and no evidence has been collected and witnesses are completely biased, it doesn’t look like the DA will charge those white students, so he should drop the charges against the black students. He should also be fired and disgraced like the Duke Lacrosse prosecutor was. If the DA can’t be counted on to do his job (which is to make sure that people who commit a crime are brought to justice) then he shouldn’t be in his job. Now you may say “oh, it’s not right to let them go if they did something wrong!” I will answer that it’s not right to keep them in jail if Mayberry justice hasn’t been applied fairly. There have been plenty of times in the history of this country when folks who did something wrong were released from jail because of police or prosecutorial misconduct. That’s how the American justice system works. If the authorities do wrong by you, even if you commit a crime, then you get to go free. That system is in place to keep the authorities from doing the wrong thing to do the “right” thing. If the authorities insist on doing the wrong thing, then it’s on their heads when someone is let go.

  54. Ico says:

    Letting six kids go who beat up another kid does seem problematic to me, but I think ABW is right. Ideally everyone should be charged for the crimes they committed, but that’s not going to happen. What absolutely should be upheld is the principle of equal treatment under the law. If white kids go free for assault, so do black kids.

    Also… this is pure speculation, but I think it’s worth noting in the case of the Jena Six. Had the white kids who tormented them actually been prosecuted for their crimes, would the assault have happened? They were reacting to a situation in which white crimes committed against them weren’t being addressed. This doesn’t excuse their violence by any means, but it does highlight some of the problems of letting the white aggressors go free while only punishing the black ones.

  55. Mike S. says:

    We have to agree to disagree on the designation of a crime as a “Hate Crime”.
    There is an obvious imbalance in the Law Enfocement and Judicial system that punishes minorities more severely on average than white criminals.

    The goal is to equalize the process.

    By adding an arbritrary factor of trying to determine a defendants state of mind or ‘hate’ at the time of the crime and modify penalties invites the kind of situation we have in Jena.

    Many crimes, not just ones motovated by race are fuled by one form of hate or another.

    It is one wild-card that we need to remove from the judicial process.

  56. CaptainReality says:

    BW: Y sd: “ntl yr blck prsn nd ntl y, s blck prsn, hv bn cnfrntd wth ns vrtl ntndd s mssg fr y” Wht r y, sm knd f rtrd? “ntl y’r blck prsn”!?!?! Hw’s ths: ntl y’r wht prsn, y cn’t cmmnt n th ssrtn tht wht ppl, bth n gnrl, nd ndvdll r nfrl brndd s rcsts b dvsv nts sch s yrslf, nd tht t’s sn s pltcll ncrrct fr s t rspnd. Snds mnnglss, rght? N mr mnnglss thn th rbbsh tht y’r spsng. K, BW. W gt t. Y’r NGR. Y’r BLCK. Y’r WMN. N dmn hnk cn ndrstnd wht ts lk, bcs ll hnkys r vl nd stpd, nd r nbl t d thr thn prsct blcks nd wmn. Hnkys shld sht-p, nd p pnnc fr th sns f thr ncstrs nd fllw hnkys. h m, h m, snc ‘m wht mn, ‘d bst grvl bfr yr stndng lgc. ‘m n th grnd nw, tng drt. Tht’s wht y wnt, sn’t t. Bgtd wrd. Y’r prt f th prblm.

  57. Juan says:

    “Bigoted weirdo. You’re part of the problem.”

    Indeed captain, you are. Thanks for letting us all know that outright. =)

  58. CroMagnon says:


    At the risk of stating the obvious, ABW’s point is that it is impossible to truly feel the symbolic impact of a hangman’s noose tied to a tree, unless you happen to be a black American. In the context of the Jena 6 situation, the meaning behind the noose to a black American is: “We got away with doing this to your people before, and we’re willing to do it to you too, if you don’t behave.” If you are a white American, you have no history of being lynched based on your race. Plus, the implied threat is not directed to you as a white American. So, while you may be able to understand intellectually that someone is being threatened, it is impossible for you to feel personally threatened, the way a black American would, because the threat is not directed at you. It’s so obvious that I’m a little embarrassed having to explain it. But, the problem is that you don’t even acknowledge an intellectual understanding of ABW’s point. Until you do, I don’t see how you can expect to be taken seriously. If I were ABW, I would devowel you until you displayed an understanding of what is really going on, and stopped the personal attacks.

  59. Ico says:

    Captain Reality wrote: “What are you, some kind of retard? “Until you’re a black person”!?!?!”

    Ah, ever the diplomat, Captain…

    Let’s see what other little pearls of wisdom you have dropped for us. I like this one:

    “How’s this: until you’re a white person, you can’t comment on the assertion that white people are unfairly branded as racists by divisive nuts such as yourself, and that it’s seen as politically incorrect for us to respond.”

    Well, *I* can comment on that assertion, and it’s an ignorant bunch of BS. So there. :P

  60. Veda says:

    good, the black kids are going to jail. they beat up another kid. that’s what happens.

  61. Juan says:

    Thank you for posting and thank you for NOT reading any background as to why this is being discussed. Your opinion is quite useful. [/sarcasm]

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