F C

|| Home Page | Welcome | Contents | Staff | Support Us ||

 

Date posted:10/10/07
Community/activist

Blame It on the Man

by Kevin Bell

 

By now most of you now know the story of the Jena 6. Robert Bailey Jr., Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Bryant Purvis, Jesse Ray Beard, and Theo Shaw The story of six black teens from Jena, Louisiana who attacked a white teen, Justin Baker,  for hanging a noose on the schools "white tree". The white kid who hung the noose received a school suspension but the Jena Six are facing up to 22 years. The justification for such harsh penalty is due to the unfair six to one ratio fight Baker faced, where he was severely beaten into a coma. If Baker was as badly beaten as alleged how did he manage to make it to a school event hours after the attack? I hate to sound like that black guy who blames "The Man" for everything but it's really hard to not feel that way given the details.

There are conflicting stories from but here is what both sides have agreed happened. Five of the six members of the Jena 6 attempted to get into a party at Fair Barn on December 1, 2006. They were not allowed in and a physical confrontation took place. The next day, December 2, 2006, a white student who had attended the party ran into Bailey and some of his friends at a local convenience store. While it is unclear who was the aggressor it is known that the white student produced a shotgun from the back of his truck. Bailey stated that he and his friends wrestled the gun away and fled the scene. Bailey and two of his friends were charged with theft of a firearm, second degree assault, robbery and disturbing the peace. While the white student received no charges. Quite frankly those charges are complete nonsense. And dare I say bullshit? If a guy pointed a shotgun at me, I’d have two options:

   a.) Get my liver blown out onto the cement.

 Or

  B.) Try to take the gun from this crazy white boy and run for my life.

Obviously Bell chose the wiser choice. And as far as the theft of a firearm charge and the robbery charge. Isn’t that kind of doubling up? If you charge me with theft of a firearm we all know it was a robbery. You don’t need a second charge you numskull.

Mychal Bell has been the only one to go to trial and it’s not because the others won’t going to be tried. They will. They have all received charges. I think that Mychal Bell was the only one to be tried so far because the Jena legal system wants to make sure that they get it just right. They don’t want to be divided between six cases at once. Jena is a small town with a small legal system and they want to pull their resources together to make sure that Bell gets convicted. And it worked because he did get convicted. But if you look at the circumstances Bell didn't stand a chance. His family didn't have the money to hire a lawyer so they got a court appointed lawyer, Louis Scott. This lawyer gets his check from the Justice Department of Jena. He knows that Jena wants Bell in the can. Do you think he would risk his job by actually doing his job and getting Bell off the hook? No. Of course not. In fact his lawyer suggested that Bell take a plea bargain. A plea bargain is for people who are guilty but don't want to risk being convicted with harsher prison time. Attorneys are supposed to assume that their client is innocent unless the client acknowledges being guilty. Bell has not claimed anything other than innocence. If you Mr. Scott are doing your job and assuming that Bell is innocent; why would you suggest him a plea bargain? Mychal Bell the youngest of the Jena 6 was convicted but not sentenced on . This conviction was overturned due to the fact that Jena tried him as an adult when he is a minor. Even after the overturn Jena kept Bell in custody for ten months. He was released on $45,000 bail on September 28, 2007.

The town librarian has stated that “kids play practical jokes. We don’t have a race problem in here in Jena.” OH REALLY? In the 1991 Louisiana Gubernational elections David Duke received 32% of the vote with 491,342 votes; coming in second only to Edwin Edwards who received 34% of the vote. This would be the same David Duke who founded the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan in Louisiana. 65.39% of Louisiana is white. We can pretty much assume that everyone who voted for the Klansman was white. David Duke received 491,342 votes. That means there are 491,342 white racists in Louisiana. There were 1,381,625 people living in Louisiana at the time. Which means that mathematically 1 in 3 people in Louisiana was a white racist. If that trend has continued to present day there are 1,589,274 white racists in Louisiana. I know there were a lot of numbers reread it again. Let it soak in. As you can see it is not just Jena but rather the entire state that is racist. So yes Ms. Naive Lying Librarian Lady; Jena DOES have race problems. And by the way lets not call it “race problems”. Race problems is a toned down way of saying racism. Which brings me to my final point. Now that I have established that Louisiana is racist, I now say this:

It is not only Louisiana that is racist but the entire country we live in that is racist. Now up here in New York it is kept hidden better but did we all forget Sean Bell?  You should ask yourself how far have we really come after all these years? Are we really reformed? Or do we just smile say good morning but in the back of our reptilian brains think “nigger”?  Its a shame it took the Jena 6 incident to slap us awake to the fact that we are the same. Must we always learn the hard way?

 

|| Home Page | Welcome | Contents | Staff ||

Back to the top

editor@harlemlive.org