Need your support to help stop innocent Black kids from going to jail?
Last fall in Jena, Louisiana, the day after two Black high school students sat beneath the "white tree" on their campus, nooses were hung from the tree. When the superintendent dismissed the nooses as a "prank," more Black students sat under the tree in protest. The District Attorney then came to the school accompanied by the town's police and demanded that the students end their protest, telling them, "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy... I can take away your lives with a stroke of my pen."1
A series of white-on-black incidents of violence followed, and the DA did nothing. But when a white student was beaten up in a schoolyard fight, the DA responded by charging six black students with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
It's a story that reads like one from the Jim Crow era, when judges, lawyers and all-white juries used the justice system to keep blacks in "their place"--but it's happening today. The families of these young men are fighting back, but the odds are stacked against them. Together, we can make sure their story is told, that this becomes an issue for the Governor of Louisiana, and that justice is provided for the Jena 6. It starts now. Please add your voice:
The noose-hanging incident and the DA's visit to the school set the stage for everything that followed. Racial tension escalated over the next couple of months, and on November 30, the main academic building of Jena High School was burned down in an unsolved fire. Later the same weekend, a black student was beaten up by white students at a party. The next day, black students at a convenience store were threatened by a young white man with a shotgun. They wrestled the gun from him and ran away. While no charges were filed against the white man, the students were arrested for the theft of the gun.2
That Monday at school, a white student, who had been a vocal supporter of the students who hung the nooses, taunted the black student who was beaten up at the off-campus party and allegedly called several black students "******." After lunch, he was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. He was taken to the hospital but was released and was well enough to go to a social event that evening.3
Six Black Jena High students, Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor, were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. Bail was set so high -- between $70,000 and $138,000 -- that the boys were left in prison for months as families went deep into debt to release them.4
The first trial ended last month, and Mychal Bell, who has been in prison since December, was convicted of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery (both felonies) by an all-white jury in a trial where his public defender called no witnesses. During his trial, Mychal's parents were ordered not to speak to the media and the court prohibited protests from taking place near the courtroom or where the judge could see them.
Mychal is scheduled to be sentenced on July 31st, and could go to jail for 22 years.5 Theo Shaw's trial is next. He will finally make bail this week.
The Jena Six are lucky to have parents and loved ones who are fighting tooth and nail to free them. They have been threatened but they are standing strong. We know that if the families have to go it alone, their sons will be a long time coming home. They will lose precious years to Jena's outrageous attempt to maintain a racist status quo. But if we act now, we can make a difference.
Please add your voice to the voices of these families in Jena, and help bring Mychal, Theo, Robert, Carwin, and Bryant home. By clicking below, you can demand that Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco get involved to make sure that justice is served for Mychal Bell, and that DA Reed Walters drop the charges against the 5 boys who have not yet gone to trial.
Thank You and Peace,
-- James, Van, Gabriel, Clarissa, and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
July 17th, 2007
1. "Injustice in Jena as Nooses Hang From the ‘White Tree,'" truthout, July 3, 2007
2. "Racial demons rear heads," Chicago Tribune, May 20, 2007
3. See reference #1.
4. See reference #1.
5. "'Jena Six' defendant convicted," Town Talk, June 29, 2007
NPR: Searching for Justice in Jena 6 Case (streaming audio)
Democracy Now! - The case of the Jena Six ...
Too Sense: Free The Jena Six Now
While Seated: Jena Six
Nooses, attacks and jail for black students in Jena Louisiana
Justice In Jena, by Jordan Flaherty
shericomes - if you knew how to read, it said that a series of white on black violence happened, but when 6 Blacks did the same (which 2 wrongs don't make a right) they were arrested. Nothing happened to the white kids the did violence to the Blacks.
thanks PsyMai, and to those that don't understand where I'm coming from, it's not that I'm saying that they were right for jumping that kid, but to get charged for attempted homocide and conspiracy to commit murder is just plain wrong. What about the students that hung the nooses and attacked the Black kids? None of them got charged for anything not even the obvious, hate crime.
Please get your stats right. According to the Hate Crime Stats of 2005 conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice — Federal Bureau of Investigation
Release Date: October 2006
An analysis of available race data for the 6,804 known hate crime offenders revealed that:
60.5 percent were white.
19.9 percent were black.
12.3 percent were unknown.
5.2 percent were groups made up of individuals of various races (multiple races, group).
1.1 percent of known offenders were American Indian/Alaskan Native.
0.9 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander.
Fort T - it seems that you can't read either. If you read it right yourself, you would have noticed that these Black kids were already jumped and attacked by White kids themselves. Yes it was cowardly for them to jump the lone White boy but for none of the White kids that beat them up were arrested and charged, it's about justice. And if justice can't be served to all, then it can't just be served to some. That's my point. Being charged with assult and battery, fine I can live with that, but attempted murder??? That's crazy.
Thanks Clark E please go to http://www.colorofchange.org/jena/?id=2310-147793
Also please note, no one was beaten almost to dealth. The younge white man that was beaten was released the same day from the hospital and went to a social event later that evening. Please read the article more carefully before answering. Thanks!
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
My sista you best believe I'm going to copy and paste this whole story on a Black Blog and have them join in!
I will also send this to family and friends ok! I got your back! Don't even trip! Hopefully that scary *** Govenor will do something. THIS IS TERRIBLE!!!!!!
They don't understand what we go through and too many are blind and do not want to face reality that WE are still fighting.
- contesLv 43 years ago
i became purely reading this text before its so unhappy. issues like this are expected to ensue in 1947 not 2007. journalists are coming from places as some distance far flung from Australia just to pass to that small city to hide the tale. One Australian reporter stated "i don't understand, why is the Unites States is the only united states of america shifting backwards while it includes race relatives." I oftentimes ask your self that too.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Robert Shelton, or if that even is his real name, is too much of a p*ssy to show his real face. He has to hide it behind some hideous green Halloween-like costume.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Please tell me how I can help you in any way. Children mean the world to me and I would do everything in my power to see that they are treated fair and with respect. And as far as Robert Shelton goes, you are a horriable person and you deserve to rot in hell. May god have mercy on your soul.
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- 1 decade ago
It's obvious your bigoted bias is clouding your reading comprehension. This kid was put into a hospital from a viscous assault. "6 on 1" is not a "fight" unless you're willing to admit that it takes six Blacks to equal one White. Two wrongs don't make a right, they could have taken the high road and approached this in a civilized fashion instead they reacted in a thuggish way thus reinforcing the belief that Blacks equal violence. Allowing them to walk from this charge would be a hate crime in itself, words can be exchanged though they hurt and scar they do not put healthy people in hospitals, violence is not the answer, didn't MLK preach this?
- Rudy RLv 51 decade ago
Guilty of being Black. Guilty of being in Louisiana. Innocent of all charges.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
how can i help
thats sad innocent people going to jail
plz email me or im me lilrugrat818
tell me how i can help
- 1 decade ago
another incident where blaks assault a lone white. You are so worried about justice? then why don't you do something about the constant attacks against white by blaks? 90% of all violent interracial crime is committed by blaks against whites, what do you have to say about that? remember the 3 white girls who were nearly beaten to death by a mob of blaks on halloween in long beach? were the hell were you then????? you are nothing but hypocrite white guilt blak apologists
I know what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would say about 6 young black men beating a person, he would say "don't do that" and he would say "put them in jail"
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Lock em up and throw away the key
- 1 decade ago
From your story, it sounds like the worst violence was done by blacks and that is why they are in trouble.