Friday, September 28, 2007

So What Do I Think About The Jena Six?

I delve into politics a good bit on this blog. I hope my silence on the whole Jena Six situation has not been misconstrued as just wanting to ignore it. I really wanted to get all the facts. Many people, after looking at a million blogs and breathless news reports I have read, did not do that.

First let me say I am not big Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton fans. The last three times they have come to Louisiana they have left a major bad taste in my mouth. There seems to be precious little about their visits that promote "healing" and "discussion" but seem to be pretty much a massive PR machine for them.

It is not Nirvana on race relations down here 24/7. However, the portrait that is portrayed is not always accurate either. It is far better than what you are seeing on TV.

Let me say as to my views let me link two people. First I pretty much echo what Cajun Conservative is saying here at his post K.I.S.S. Observations About Jena. He is pretty blunt but I think he ison to the problems.

Also let me point out what Drell's Descants who is from Louisiana and Anglican and a Prison Minister and a lawyer had to say. He posted a link to what the District Attorney for that Parish had to say here at District Attorney Reed Walters: Justice In Jena.

Let me say as a Former Louisiana lawyer I pretty much agree with what the DA is saying . He is right. If someone can tell me where the DA is wrong here I would like to know. As I saw Mr Sharpton with the Defendant last night on the news this part of Mr Reed's statement really rung true:
Last week, a reporter asked me whether, if I had it to do over, I would do anything differently. I didn’t think of it at the time, but the answer is yes. I would have done a better job of explaining that the offenses of Dec. 4, 2006, did not stem from a “schoolyard fight” as it has been commonly described in the news media and by critics.

Conjure the image of schoolboys fighting: they exchange words, clench fists, throw punches, wrestle in the dirt until classmates or teachers pull them apart. Of course that would not be aggravated second-degree battery, which is what the attackers are now charged with. (Five of the defendants were originally charged with attempted second-degree murder.) But that’s not what happened at Jena High School.

The victim in this crime, who has been all but forgotten amid the focus on the defendants, was a young man named Justin Barker, who was not involved in the nooses incident three months earlier. According to all the credible evidence I am aware of, after lunch, he walked to his next class. As he passed through the gymnasium door to the outside, he was blindsided and knocked unconscious by a vicious blow to the head thrown by Mychal Bell. While lying on the ground unaware of what was happening to him, he was brutally kicked by at least six people.

Imagine you were walking down a city street, and someone leapt from behind a tree and hit you so hard that you fell to the sidewalk unconscious. Would you later describe that as a fight?

Only the intervention of an uninvolved student protected Mr. Barker from severe injury or death. There was serious bodily harm inflicted with a dangerous weapon — the definition of aggravated second-degree battery. Mr. Bell’s conviction on that charge as an adult has been overturned, but I considered adult status appropriate because of his role as the instigator of the attack, the seriousness of the charge and his prior criminal record

There is really nothing shocking about the DA's actions here. In the end the ADULTS no matter what their race failed. That is pretty sad.

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