The Jena Six Through the Looking Glass
Race; Posted on: 2007-09-26 00:32:39 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
The shoe on the other foot
By Steve Sailer
Last Thursday in the small Louisiana town of Jena, the Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton led a march of thousands of protestors chanting "Jail the Jena Six!"
The demonstrators and the press had come from all over the country to condemn the savage racist attack of December 4, 2006, in which a black high school student was jumped from behind, knocked unconscious, and then kicked and punched by six white football players until they were dragged off their supine victim.
"Phrases like 'stomped him badly,' 'stepped on his face,' 'knocked out cold on the ground,' and 'slammed his head on the concrete beam' were used by the students in their statements," wrote reporter Abbey Brown in "Documents Give Details of Fight," a June 11, 2007 article in the local Alexandria-Pineville Town Talk.
On Thursday, the two ministers demanded that hate crime charges be added to the indictments against the six muscular white athletes accused of beating black student Justin Barker senseless. "Why in the world isn't this being called a hate crime?" asked Sharpton. "Given the long series of racial incidents in Jena, this was clearly a racially-motivated attack."
The black leaders denounced District Attorney Reed Walter's decision to reduce the main charge from second-degree attempted murder to second-degree aggravated battery. They implied that only bias could account for his leniency toward the white athletes. "These six football stars might well have killed this poor boy if they hadn't finally been stopped," said Jackson. "Let the jury decide whether it was attempted murder or not."
The Rev. Jackson blamed school authorities for not disciplining their star white players for earlier crimes. He pointed out that the only one of the football players so far to be tried and convicted, fullback/linebacker Mychal Bell, had been accustomed to running amok off the field because of preferential treatment he enjoyed due to his athletic stardom. In the twelve months leading up to the attack on Barker, Bell had scored 18 touchdowns and been convicted of four crimes, two of them violent. Capping off the junior's busy year, on December 17, 2006, Bell was named All-State while he was sitting in his jail cell.
Jackson quoted Brown's August 25 article "Bell denied bond due to criminal history:"
"… Bell was placed on probation until his 18th birthday -- Jan. 18, 2008 -- after an incident of battery on Dec. 25, 2005. After being placed on probation, he was adjudicated of three other crimes, the two in September and another charge of criminal damage to property that occurred on July 25, 2006."
The Rev. Jackson noted that Brown's article showed that school officials were negligent in reining in their violent star:
"Mack Fowler, Jena High's football coach at the time, said that … he discovered that while he was punishing his players, the school 'wasn't doing anything' to them. Fowler said he decided then that he was going to do the same thing the school did—nothing."
Discriminating on Bell's behalf paid off on the football field. Brown wrote:
"Bell was adjudicated—the juvenile equivalent to a conviction—of battery Sept. 2 and criminal damage to property Sept. 3 … A few days later, on Sept. 8, Bell rushed 12 times for 108 yards and scored three touchdowns—one of the best performances of the year for the standout athlete."
The Rev. Sharpton argued that the youngest of the attackers, Jesse Ray Beard, should have been charged as an adult. "Instead, he is frolicking on the football field right now!"
Brown reported in "'Jena Six' all ran together -- on the field and off:"
"Since returning to school, Beard has shined as one of the Jena Giants' star players on the football field. … He had 91 yards rushing and scored the game-winning touchdown Friday night in the Giants' 12-6 overtime win over Iowa."
Both civil rights organizers agreed that … oh, wait … No … hmmhmmh …
Look, this is kind of embarrassing for me. I'm not sure how to explain this … Okay, here goes:
I just realized that this article I've been writing is about an "alternate universe" in which the six football players were white and their victim was black.
In our universe, though, the attackers were black and the youth was white.
News Source: Vdare