Friday, September 21, 2007

A shadow of the past

Story:" The cause of Thursday's demonstrations dates to August 2006, when a black Jena High School student asked the principal whether blacks could sit under a shade tree that was a frequent gathering place for whites. He was told yes. But nooses appeared in the tree the next day. Three white students were suspended but not criminally prosecuted. LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters said this week he could find no state law covering the act....

The noose incident was followed by fights between blacks and whites, culminating in December's attack on white student Justin Barker, who was knocked unconscious. According to court testimony, his face was swollen and bloodied, but he was able to attend a school function that same night.

Six black teens were arrested. Five were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder—charges that have since been reduced for four of them. The sixth was booked as a juvenile on sealed charges.
"I believe in people standing up for what's right," said resident Ricky Coleman, 46, who is white. "What bothers me is this town being labeled racist. I'm not racist."

Mychal Bell, now 17, is the only one of the defendants to be tried. He was convicted of aggravated second-degree battery, but his conviction was tossed out last week by a state appeals court that said Bell, who was 16 at the time of the beating, could not be tried as an adult on that charge.

He remained in jail pending an appeal by prosecutors. An appellate court on Thursday ordered a hearing to be held within three days on his request for release. The other five defendants are free on bond.

A group of about a dozen white residents and black demonstrators engaged in an animated but not angry exchange during the march. Whites asked blacks if they were aware of Bell's criminal record. Blacks replied that Jena High administrators mishandled the incidents."

This is shameful. Comparing this kind of march, where there is almost no issue at stake, to the marches for freedom that were led by Dr. King, is simply reprehensible. The fire, the passion, and the justice of what they wanted, indeed, deserved, is undeniable.
But this? This is nothing but old lions trying to recover some of their lost glory, and a bunch of college kids trying to make themselves as important in their eyes as their parents are in the eyes of others. But defending a couple of kids with a criminal record after they assault other students, there's no honor in that.

If this was a group of white people protesting somewhere else, say, the Duke Lacrosse trial...
It'd be a revival of a clan. But this? No, this is just a civil rights march!


Anonymous said...

Interesting how racism always only works one way. Also interesting are those two cats, espcially kitty with the helmet. So let me congradulate you on interesting post.

Spectacled Skeptic

Palm boy said...

Thank you, I do try.

Lillgw said...

I think Sharpton and Jackson ruin their own causes these days. The 60's this is not but it is still an interesting story and it is certainly about race. Before the media got involved (which was inevitable) there was a good chance one of these kids getting at least 5 years. The victim wasn't even really hurt (not requiring medical attention which is usually a minimum for attempted murder). In all the fighting leading up to this event not one of the white kids was even arrested or fined for assault or any other crime. At one of the other fights a white student pulled a gun. One of the black students wrestled it away from him. That black student was arrested and charged with theft of the gun while no punishment went to the student who pulled a gun (where normally that is assault with a deadly weapon).

Palm boy said...

The reverends do ruin their cause, but I don't think this case is so much about rascism as it is about stupid youngsters.

I hadn't read the part about the gun.