Well, here’s some good news for the Jena 6, if it’s true.
I was listening to the Michael Baisden Show and he mentioned that Oprah’s people were reaching out to the families of the Jena 6 to do a show.
Oh happy day!
While it’s a shame that Oprah would have to be the only conduit to get what’s happening in Jena, Louisiana out to the world, thank God for Oprah. Maybe now the country’s attention can focus from stupid wealthy quarterback’s who have made it and had the misfortune to risk it all and get caught fighting dogs to Black people still suffering blatant outright racism at the hands of white people. I know it’s not a popular subject, but nevertheless, it’s still happening, even in 2007.
A little background for those that do not know, the Jena 6 are six Black students who face the possibility of going to prison for many, many years because of a schoolyard fight. Almost a year, in the small town of Jena, Louisiana a group of Black students sat under a “whites-only” tree in the schoolyard. Apparently, this upset some of the white students who on the next day put up nooses hanging from the tree.
Soon after the nooses were hung, most of the 93 Black students (out of a total student enrollment of 546) at Jena High School stood together under the tree, in a courageous act of protest. After this, a school assembly was called where a white district attorney told the Black students to keep their mouths shut about the nooses. He told them if he heard anything else about it, he “can make their lives go away with the stroke of his pen.”
This eventually led to a fight that sent one white student to the hospital and six Black students to jail and that’s when all hell broke loose.
The Jena 6 are Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (16) and an unidentified minor. All were expelled from school, arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder. Bail was set so high — between $70,000 and $138,000 — that the they were left in prison for months as families went deep into debt to release them.
First, it’s not breaking news that racism against Black people is alive and well in America. It never went anywhere. The cloaks were just replaced with three-piece suits, uniforms, and black gowns. Hello!
Now, given the seriousness of what’s going on in Jena, do you really think that we need to be investing our time into saving a fallen quarterback?
These kids are facing hefty prison terms if convicted, not to mention the psychological damage that is being done to them throughout this whole ordeal. Could you imagine spending the rest of your life in prison for someone else’s racist behavior?
Looking at what’s going on in Jena just reiterates the rampant racism against Blacks that still exists. Our attention should be focused on Jena and sending resources there, including ourselves to protest.
All these rappers with their bling bling and our civil rights leaders and organizations should be mobilizing around these young men to see that they are acquitted and released immediately. There’s no reason why this shouldn’t be the focus of every Black civil rights organization from coast to coast.
While there have been a few articles on the Jena and tons of posts online, this story is still relatively under the radar. Hopefully with Oprah’s “Midas touch” that will all change and this story will become the focus of the nation garnering so much attention and criticism that these young men will be freed immediately.
Until then, we’ll watch and see and march in solidarity.
More information on the Jena 6 and what you can do to help can be found by clicking here.