Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Jena 6

How does this sort of thing happen in this day & age? Last time I checked it was 2007. These kind of stories really get me fired up and mad! And, if we allow it to happen to them, it can happen to any one of us!

I have been following the story of the "Jena 6", out of Jena, LA, where apparently they forgot about the civil rights movement and that ALL men are created equal!...A few young African American students in the local high school asked the pricipal if they could sit under a large shade tree on campus, an area that is normally where the "white kids" hang out. They were told they could go where ever they wanted, it's a free country.
They next day, there were nooses hanging from that tree.
It was dismissed as a "prank" by the school board. (PRANK? I'm sorry, have you never heard of a HATE CRIME?) After that, more African American students were back under that tree in protest, and the DA showed up accompanied by the police telling them to leave. I guess they forgot it was a free country.
Needless to say, fights broke out, racial tensions rose.....and , after a fight where a white student was hurt, 6 young African American high school students are being charged with attempted murder & conspiracy to commit murder! These are KIDS, in a SCHOOLYARD FIGHT - where I have no doubt they were either jeered into it, or forced to defend themselves. One story came out that said a white student pulled a gun! Where were the police and the DA when that happened?

And, why hasn't this been ALL over the news? I saw a newspaper article, a CNN article on their website, and heard a story on NPR about it....this is HUGE..these young men's civil rights have been violated - this should be on EVERY news channel, and there should be nosy reporters poking around all over that hick town getting some answers!

Here's the excerpt from the website , where you can get further details:

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.

We need to stand up and right this wrong. Justice must be served. Let your voice be heard..LOUDLY!

Please, I encourage you to go to the color of change website and read the story, sign the petitions to have the Dept of Justice Civil Rights Division step in and review the details of this case, and to let the Governer of Louisiana that as Americans we will not stand for this, nor will we allow his District Attorney run amok with his bully tactics or racist attitude.

If you are a blogger, please consider joining in a blog challenge of gathering as many as possible blog posts demanding justice for the Jena 6. All you have to do is write your post and link to the posts written about this by Marisa, Suni , and the color of change site. I'm also going to link Marcus' post about this, and if you want to link me that would be good ! Of course, read their posts as well, this is important stuff going on in our world - educate yourself!

Let's get a Jena 6 Linkathon going here people and DEMAND JUSTICE FOR ALL!


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