Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Update on Jena 6

Howling Latina wrote about the Jena 6, a group of black teens facing serious prison time for fighting with some white youths after a ruckus about a school tree for whites-only and a noose that hung from the same tree.

USA Today via Skeptic Brotha explains:

For a year, Jena (pronounced JEEN-uh), a poor mining community of 3,000 people, has been embroiled in racial tensions pitting the black community against white school officials and a white prosecutor. It began last August when a black student asked at an assembly if black students could sit under a tree where white students usually sat. The next day, two nooses hung from the tree.

Black parents were outraged by the symbolism, recalling the mob lynchings of black men. They complained to school officials. District superintendent Roy Breithaupt and the school board gave three-day suspensions to the white students who hung the nooses, overruling the recommendation of then-principal Scott Windham that the students be expelled.

A few weeks later, someone set the high school on fire; and for the next three days, black and white students started fighting "on and off school grounds."

A white man was charged with "simple battery" after he was arrested for hitting a black teen. However, when police arrested six black students for hitting a white teen, the charges were significantly harsher.

The skirmishes culminated with a fight in which the six black teens, star players on Jena’s champion football team, were charged as adults with attempted murder. The white student they’re accused of beating, Justin Barker, 17, was knocked unconscious and suffered cuts and bruises. He was treated at an emergency room but not hospitalized.

A black teen entered a plea agreement and his charges were reduced to aggravated second-degree battery, a felony carrying a maximum of up 15 years in prison. According to the news reports, charges against two other students were also reduced.

Nonetheless, the tell-tale sign of Dixie style justice is revealed when comparing the Jena case against a "case in nearby Bunkie, La., in which three white teens were charged this spring with the minor crime of battery for beating a white teen, who spent three days in the hospital for brain swelling and bleeding."

Battery for whitey and attempted murder for blacks. No wonder blacks think the criminal justice system is stacked against them, for crissakes, it is!

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