Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jena - Searching For Facts

My search for facts was prompted by this post by my friend Eric at Classical Values. I have found a few.

First off let me say that of all the main stream reporters so far Jason Whitlock has actually done his homework.

Now we love Mychal Bell, the star of the 2006 Jena (La.) High School football team, the teenage boy who has sat in jail since December for his role in a six-on-one beatdown of a fellow student.

Thursday, thousands of us, proud African-Americans, expressed our devotion to and desire to see justice for the “Jena Six,” the half-dozen black students who knocked unconscious, kicked and stomped a white classmate.

Jesse Jackson compared Thursday’s rallies in Jena to the protests and marches that used to take place in cities like Selma, Ala., in the 1960s. Al Sharpton claimed Thursday’s peaceful demonstrations were to highlight racial inequities in the criminal justice system.

Jesse and Al, as they’re prone to do, served a kernel of truth stacked on a mountain of lies.

There are undeniable racial and economic inequities in our criminal justice system, and from afar the “Jena Six” rallies certainly looked and felt like the righteous protests of the 1960s.

But the reality is Thursday’s protests are just another sign that we remain deeply locked in denial about the path we need to travel today for true American liberation, equality and power in the new millennium.
He has way more. RTWT.

Althouse complains that she can't seem to get a straight story from the Big Liars Media. Yep. The Narrative has taken over and there is not much truth to be found.

So let me start with the nooses that are supposed to be an ignored hate crime. This seems like a credible report from a local:
The square at Jena High School has been known for the center of school spirit and/or pranks for many years. I've seen everything from "funerals" of opponent football teams to the tree and surrounding area covered with toilet tissue. Jena High School is known for themed activities surrounding football games. This particular week, JHS was playing a team in which the mascot is Cowboys! Hence, the nooses in the tree..."hang'em high!" Not for one moment did the thought of racism cross my mind or the majority of the others. It was football season. We were playing the cowboys. The kids, girls and boys, wore boots to school and had a western themed pep rally! Nooses = cowboys and horse theives in my world. Maybe I've watched too much Gunsmoke, but racism was not even a thought. Due to the reaction of ADULTS in the black community, not the kids at the school, the boys were suspended. The entire punishment for those boys was never published because of the confidentiality of the issue. However, the boys were suspended. They and
their families were required to go to counseling. The boys had hours of community service. The boys and their families continue to receive threatening phone calls, but yet no one has addressed that issue.
It seems like an excessive punishment for excessive school spirit. There is more. RTWT

Eddie Thompson, a pastor in Jena, seems to have been ambushed by the drive by media.
The truth is no longer important. Jena is officially the poster child for prejudice and bigotry in the south. America found a perfect, flawless lamb to be offered on its national altar of racism. Practically drooling with anticipation, reporters and professional race-crusaders poured into the small southern town of Jena, where the country accents are as thick as the pines that cover the rolling hills of central Louisiana. With such severe charges placed upon the six black students known as the “Jena Six,” the logical conclusion was “racism.” Any inconvenient facts that contradict that conclusion have been dismissed in an Orwellian attempt to shape this story into “Mississippi Burning” revisited. The “Jena Six” can thank their lucky stars that it was a white student and not a bulldog they are accused of beating then stomping on December 4, 2006. Otherwise, PETA and the national media may have pounced on them with the same vitriol afforded Michael Vick. Instead, Jena certainly has a color problem now: black and white and yellow—prejudice, bigotry, and slanted journalism.

My name is Eddie Thompson. I am the white pastor referenced by Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune in his article that forced the story of the “Jena Six” onto the national stage. On December 8, 2006, when I wrote my article concerning racism in Jena Louisiana I believed that perhaps the biggest obstacle to our town’s prosperous future was the ignorance of prejudice and bigotry. I am now convinced that the biggest enemy to our future as a whole community has become the misinformation, lies, and prejudice of a national media that refuses to seek out the truth concerning the events of last fall. My evolution forces me to voice the concerns of the majority of our town who believe that any interview or statement given to the media will simply be twisted and mangled to support the forgone conclusion that we are nothing but country hicks, rednecks, who have no compassion on the minorities in our community. Most of the white community would not be content with me being such a mouthpiece for their perspective, but since they won’t speak, I’ll do my best to speak for them. The following are questions and statements I’ve heard privately from the white community:
Yep. The Narrative has taken over.

Eddie also had this to say about athletic privilege:
The “Jena Six” have repeatedly been held up as heroes by much of the race-based community and called “innocent students” by the national media. Some of these students have reputations in Jena for intimidating and sometimes beating other students. They have vandalized and destroyed both school property and community property. Some of the Jena Six have been involved in crimes not only in LaSalle Parish but also in surrounding parishes. For the most part, coaches and other adults have prevented them from being held accountable for the reign of terror they have presided over in Jena. Despite intervention by adults wanting to give them chances due their athletic potential, most of the Jena Six have extensive juvenile records. Yet their parents keep insisting that their children have never been in trouble before. These boys did not receive prejudicial treatment but received preferential treatment until things got out of hand.
He has more. Much more. RTWT.

Here is a time line that gives the barest outline of events. They seem to be missing a lot of nuance. I have already provided some. I'm probably missing things. However, we are at least getting a little closer to the "truth" which is ultimately unknowable. A complete dissertation on epistemology is for another day.

The Naked Emperor, a former resident of Jena has a few words. Among them:
Was charging the alleged assailants racist? I find no evidence of it. If a victim chooses to press charges, and there is sufficient evidence to support those charges, it is the duty of the District Attorney to file said charges. That is a matter of law.

At one point, the alleged assailants were charged with attempted murder. Even a cursatory glance at the situation shows those charges to be unwarranted, and they were not pressed. But there does seem to be enough evidence to bring the current charges.

And are the alleged assailants guilty? I have no clue. That's a matter of fact, not law, for a jury to decide.

And while we are on the subject of the jury, one of the assailants has already been tried. Much has been made of the fact that the jury was all white. But of the 150 people receiving jury summons, only 50 showed up, and there were no blacks in that number. Sorry, but lack of performance of civic duty is not the DA's fault.
Man The Narrative is just falling apart. I hate it when that happens.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

1 comment:

papertiger said...

The most telling part of this story to me, the family of the Mychal Bell haven't bailed him out. This says something about young Mychal's character, something more then thousands of strangers pouring into town to jump on the Selma revisited bandwagon.

Simon, I have noticed something here in multi culti Cal.
Let me tell you a little story to illustraite.
Back when the Latino's were marching and calling on the day without Mexicans protests, while walking to the store I encountered a lone Latino fellow. Usually this would involve a simple nod or "howyadoin?", "Finethanks" sort of exchange. Not this night.
My latin friend went out of his way to engage me making a point of telling me that "we are both white."
I thought the thing very odd at the time, but reflecting on it and the reaction of most latinos I dealt with during those days, the pattern was universal.
Californian latino's - ie the people who have lived here forever - we're a little bit embarassed of the hoopla being raised for the benefit of illegal Mexicans.
They felt the need to appologise, even if it wasn't expressed overtly.

Contrast with today and this Jena event and it's effect on the temprament of black people. Yesterday, I am out getting the morning paper and a blackman in his mid fifties is walking past. I said "howyadoin" which is customary.
The guy gives me the stink eye and spits.
OK that's just one guy, maybe he had a bad day or something, and it wasn't personal.
A while later I am riding my bike past another black guy walking. The guy when he sets an eye on me puffs up his chest and as I pass he shifts his shoulder as if he were getting ready to take a swing at me. I didn't know either of these two guys from Adam.
This is just two vignettes. I might go out to explore the phenomena further.
Maybe it's a conjuring of my overactive imagination, but the contrast between the reaction of Hispanics and blacks to percieved racism, as I observed them in my world, are very stark.