Jena is on the national radar screen due to a series of incidents reminiscent of great granddaddy’s ole south. From a noose hanging from what is called “The White Tree” (due to the unwritten rule forbidding colored folks from sitting underneath it), the District Attorney giving a firm warning of what happens when “you people” refuse to do what we say -"I can make your lives disappear with a stroke of my pen," a black student being assaulted by a white adult as he entered a predominately white party. After being struck in the face, the young black student was assaulted by white students brandishing beer bottles and was punched and kicked before adults broke up the fight. Are you tired yet?
Things came to a boil when a white student, Justin Barker (later arrested for having a rifle with 13 bullets in his trunk on school property) was attacked by a group of black students. Less than an hour later six black students were arrested and charged with aggravated battery. Not good enough. Due to complaints coming from disgruntled teachers, the District Attorney upped the charges on the six boys to attempted second-degree murder.
Sadly, this story has lacked national press attention. In previous blogs, I compared this travesty of justice to the Duke Lacrosse Rape case, where the press stayed parked in front of the Durham Court house until all the dust in the city made its way to Nebraska. This case proves that the face of those charged makes a difference when it comes to how aggressive editors pursue the story.
In another blog, I chastised Barack Obama for taking too long to get down to Jena to put pressure on the power players to rethink the case. My attack of Obama was based on the ease in which he put his fresh nose into the Duke Lacrosse Rape case. It didn’t take long after being sworn in as Senator for him to write a letter to the state Attorney General about the happenings with that case.
The bottom line is this. On Thursday, September 20, there is no story more important than this one. This is bigger than the case against six boys being railroaded to prison while white boys are overlooked for their role in the conflict. This is about two dissimilar systems of justice in American. There’s the system for the privileged, and there’s the one where JUST US can be found.
Thursday, September 20 is a day of national protest. For those who can’t get on the bus, it’s time to go old school. Wear all black and raise that black power sign. The protest isn’t limited to black people. Anyone who hates what’s taking place in Jena should stand in solidarity by wearing black.
Enough is enough. Let’s go down there and show them who’s their daddy!
Youth, Students, Parents, Labor & Community Activists and allJustice-minded Neighbors who cannot go to Jena, Louisiana to showsupport for the Jena 6 are invited to come out to a:Solidarity RallyThursday; September 20, 20076:00pm at theFruit of Labor World Cultural Center4200 Lake Ridge Drive; Raleigh, NC