Skip to comments.The Jena Six—and Other Scams
Posted on 02/15/2008 8:55:08 PM PST by Main Street
(S)ome Americans do not understand why the sight of a noose causes such a visceral reaction, declared President Bush to the White House gathering for Black History Month. As the Washington Post rushed to remind us, President Bush was responding to news coverage of such episodes as the Jena Six. But if history is about truth, not myth, that news coverage deserves another look, before the Jena Six enter the history books alongside Emmett Till and the Scottsboro Boys.
By now, most folks know the media story. White students at Jena High in Louisiana hung nooses on a tree to warn black students not to sit under it. After a fistfight over this racist outrage, black kids in the fight were indicted for attempted murder, while the white racists who hung the nooses walked away with a verbal spanking.
Last September, 20,000 traveled to Jena to march against this prosecutorial outrage. Fortunately, however, there are still a few real journalists around. Among them are Craig Franklin, assistant editor of the Jena Times, whose wife teaches at Jena High, and Charlotte Allen, who wrote an extended piece for the Weekly Standard. According to Allen and Franklin, here are the facts and chronology you have been denied by the Mainstream Media.
There never was a whites-only tree at Jena High. Both races sat under it, though whites congregated there. The nooses, or lariats, were the work of three young teens, who got the idea from watching Lonesome Dove on TV, where rustlers are hanged.
Franklin says they were a joke aimed at white friends on the rodeo team. As they were painted in Jena Highs gold and black, Allen reports that the kids said the nooses were directed at a rival schools Western-themed football team.
When school officials confronted them, all were remorseful. All had black friends, and none knew the nooses were offensive to blacks.
Far from being let off, they spent nine days at an alternative facility, followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court and evaluations by licensed mental-health professionals.
They were not prosecuted for a hate crime because none of those who investigated the incident believed they committed a hate crime. Hung on Aug. 31, 2006, the nooses had been taken down instantly. Only a few students ever saw them. Case closed.
September, October and November passed at Jena High with no racial conflict emanating from the noose incident of August.
On Dec. 1, however, Robert Bailey Jr. tried to crash a party at the Fair Barn in Jena. One Justin Sloan, 22, not a student, put a fist in his face. So witnesses and Bailey reported to police. And Sloan was prosecuted for battery.
On Dec. 2, Bailey and two friends jumped a white male entering the Gotta Go grocery. When the latter ran to get a shotgun out of his car, they wrested it from him and took it. So two witnesses at the Gotta Go agreed.
Two days later came the schoolyard fight. Only this was no fight. Black students barricaded an exit to the gym and lay in wait for Justin Barker. As Barker went for another exit, he was struck in the head from behind by Mychal Bell. Multiple witnesses say Barker fell unconscious as a gang of eight or 10 blacks stomped and kicked him in the head. The assistant principal who reached Barker thought he was dead. Barkers emergency room bill ran to more than $5,000.
When the six were arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder, none of them and none of the witnesses mentioned the noose incident. It had had nothing to do with this vicious racist assault.
After the charges were reduced to battery, Bell, tried as an adult, was indeed convicted by an all-white jurybecause no blacks answered the summons to the jury pool. Why was Bell prosecuted as an adult? Because he had four prior convictions for crimes of violence.
After his conviction was overturned, Bell was ordered retried as a juvenile. Rather than face the same 17 witnesses, he pled guilty in December to hitting Barker from behind, slamming his head into a concrete beam and kicking him in the head. Sentenced to 18 months in juvenile detention, he agreed to testify against his co-conspirators.
While some $500,000 has been raised for the Jena Six defense, its whereabouts is unknown. Bailey did pose on the Internet grinning, however, with $100 bills in his mouth. Bells mom is said to be driving a new Jaguar, and Baileys mom a new Beamer. Two other Jena Sixers, Carwin Jones and Bryant Purvis, appeared in rapper attire on Black Entertainment Television as presenters of a Hip-Hop Award.
A week ago, 6-foot, 6-inch Purvis, who had transferred to Hebron High in Carrollton, Texas, was charged with assault, choking a student and ramming his head into a bench.
And thats the Saga of The Jena Six. It belongs right up there with the Rev. Als other classics: Tawana Brawley and the Duke rape case.
Paul Buchanan outdoes Paul Harvey (”the rest of the story”).
I wonder if the alledged adults who raised the flags of panic and racism have the guts to stand up and apologize for their mistake?
I doubt it.
My grandfather (a permanent Bama resident)...commented once...that in his 101 odd years...in the local county that he lived in (from 1888 to 1989)...he’d seen or heard of two total lynchings. Once involved some white “pretender” minister who had taken a number of local married women for pleasures...the other involved some black who had been accused of raping a local white woman. Neither made the local paper...and he doubted that the sheriff in the county knew of either event occurring.
My father, who worked at the DuPont TNT plant in Alabama during WWII, used to tell of an incident which caused him to broaden his view on the topic.
It seems a local white man (known in his community as something of a hot head) went over to the wrong side of town on a Saturday night, it was believed in search of some libidinous variety. He accosted the wrong woman, one whose affections were NOT negotiable. Rejected, he began to raise a fuss. The local African-American male population, already offended that he had insulted a respectable lady in their community, beat him severely, tied him to the back of a pick-up truck, and dragged him back to the “line” separating the white form the black part of town. He did not survive this rough handling.
What surprized my Dad, as he told it, was that the rural, Southran, white men that he worked with did not seem to be the least upset at the incident. These were fellows whose grandfathers had fought for the Confederacy, and gone night-riding with the KKK during Reconstruction. Although unabashedly patriotic, they were also unreconstructed advocates of the Lost Cause. Surely, he thought, the case of a White man lynched by Blacks ought to violate their sense of the Right and Proper. He asked them why they were not angry. “The SOB got what was comin’ to him,” was their considered opinion. “He had no business in ‘Darktown’ in the first place, nor rilin’ up the locals by messin’ with their women. ‘course it was too bad he died, but he was askin’ for trouble, and it found him.”
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems .
I know it’s a scam, but the American people cannot understand all of this. It’s beyond their level.
True. But is it too much to ask that the President does ? ANd that he refrain from calling all the rest of us rascists ?
Depend on Pat to tell the truth at all costs.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.