Friday, September 21, 2007

The Jena six

I consider myself, usually, rather well informed. I try to keep up with the news, especially when it is of a political nature, or when it has a political dimension. But this issue of the "Jena six" blew in last week from, it appeared to me, nowhere.

It is clear that it didn't come from nowhere --- but it is equally clear that the mainstream media has been more interested in covering, say, the tribulations of Paris than the trials of Jena.

As near as I can follow, the events went roughly as follows: a young african american student at the school in Jena asked some caucasian students about sitting under a tree, a tree which the white students typically reserved for themselves. A little while later, days, not weeks, nooses appeared hanging from the tree. This sparked conflicts: for those not aware of the symbolism in the US, especially the deep South, of nooses hanging from trees, please, go read up on it.
A little while later there was a schoolyard brawl, which left a white boy unconscious, although he was up and about later in the day, and out partying that evening.

Six african american students were charged, five of them as adults: the five charged as adults were charged with attempted murder. One of them went to trial and was convicted. By an all white jury. Subsequently, an appeals court overturned the conviction, stating that he should not have been charged as an adult.

It feels like we are living back in the middle of the last century here. The biggest difference I see between this case and something in the 1950's is that in the 50's they would have had to rely on the Supreme Court to right the wrong: now this level of justice has filtered down to the appellate courts.

But where has the national media been on this issue? Covering Simpson, Hilton, Spears?

Update: see this article.

Yours, disgusted,
N.

6 comments:

Rebecca Taunton said...

Isn't it sad that stories on Britney are seen to be higher status than this one.

I can't believe that things like this still occur in the US. It's disheartening to say the least. But at least someone must have seen sense by overturning the conviction.

Anonymous said...

Excellent take on this story here.
http://averagebro.blogspot.com/2007/09/averagebro-blogs-live-from-jena-la.html

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hiya, Breadbox!! My turn to have Michele send me to you.

I've been hearing about the Jena 6 -- mostly online, though. Which is why I've pretty much stopped watching the news once the local weather's over.

This is really a sick story, isn't it? If we can look past someone's drunk driving or bad parenting, both of which are actually quite important, why can't we look past something as trivial as the color of a person's skin?

I just don't get that.

Awareness said...

Like you, the story seeped into my periphery sometime on thursday.....and I had the same question......where was this story?? The MSM should be ashamed to drop the ball on covering stuff like this AND for not being there to be a part of monitoring it.

It is crazy and it does feel like a step back into the middle of the last century. Makes you wonder if racism and all it's disgusting vibes are simmering just under the cover of the lawn.

It's still very alive and well and spreading hate.......
.
oh, I hear Britney was charged with drunk driving? It must be a prerequisite to get into some dumb no talent girl club? I hope she finds Jesus real soon

Reflekshins said...

a sad tribute indeed to all of those who have sacrificed so much to advance us by leaps and bounds.

two steps forward, one step back
hopefully we can get forward momentum back again

shoeaddict said...

An all white jury- yes, because the black people called for jury duty did not show up. THAT doesn't show up in the media