Yeah, Right

Black high school students in the small, predominantly white town of Jena, Louisiana, fought a group of white students, including one who had a gun. While the school administration recommended the white students be expelled, the school board chose instead to suspend them for three days. The black students were expelled. The original charge was attempted murder (later reduced). One student was convicted and even with reduced charges, faces prison time of up to 22 years.

The white students? They're back in school, going on with their lives like nothing ever happened.

On the eve of the arrival of civil rights protesters, the District Attorney of LaSalle Parish declared today that this case "has nothing to do with race."

To be continued.


Patricia W. said...

Talk about it, Sistah!

bettye griffin said...

Granted, I don't have a full grasp of all the facts here; like what happened between the time when the nooses were hung from "the white tree" and the fight; and if the student who was attacked was one of those who hung the nooses or if this was a fresh threat; if the beaten student actually had the gun or if the gun was a separate incident; etc. But my gut tells me that anytime a black student has to ask permission to sit under a tree because white students congregate there, it isn't a healthy situation. That tells me this is a town accustomed to keeping blacks "in their place," an attitude that has no place in the 21st Century.

It sounds like wrongdoing was done on both sides, but punishment was only metered out to one group, and excessive punishment at that, even if the young man sentenced is a thug. The punishment must fit the crime at hand, with no attention paid to past offenses or race.

This whole thing gives me a mental picture of a big poster drawing of all the town's blacks with an "X" drawn through six of them, like they're being eliminated.

Anyway, now that the networks have picked this story up, we should learn the true facts of the story.

Donna D said...

Hi Bettye,

I did a piece on my blog about this story. I've been working on it for about a week and just finished it up today.

bettye griffin said...

Heading over to your blog now, Donna!

Patricia W. said...

CNN has a special investigative report with Kyra Phillips. 2 hours. If you have a chance to catch it--it was shown Thurs evening following the rally in Jena and again this evening--catch it! Extremely informative. The situation is much worse than we realize.

bettye griffin said...

I missed it, Patricia. We watched Part I of Ken Burns' latest documentary on World War II. Damn, he's good.

This weekend went by incredibly fast. Why is it that when I'm at work the minutes pass like hours, and when I'mm off the hours pass like minutes?

I'll be watching the ongoing developments on the news, including the Lehrer News Hour on PBS, which reported on this story long before the networks picked it up.