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August 29, 2007


Jack Adams

Comments about the fact that, despite almost 150 years having passed, there is still racial hatred between blacks and whites in the South (as well as the North), ignores the fact that people (of whatever skin color) are NOT born prejudiced against those whose skin color differs from theirs. This is learned behavior. Most likely it comes from parents and other relatives, but this attitude can (and is, slowly, very slowly) be overcome by teachers, clergy and others who can influence the thoughts and opinions of children. It is very unfortunate that too many of these authority figures (police, judges, etc) in a small town can not move beyond their personal prejudices which no longer have validity. Thus, justice is perverted. That is the shame, and the lesson that needs to be learned from Jena.
Jack Adams, Houston, TX


M. Simon,

Yes, I would suppose it is possible the Jena 6 were just thugs - that's why I questioned whether they were justifiable or not in believing that a violent attack was the way they should respond to racial taunts. I also suppose it's quite possible that they were not just thugs and that their engaging in one of many fights that broke out among students had something to do with the fact that they attend a school at which there was something known as "a white tree" that only white students could sit under and in which nooses were hung - a racially charged, hatred-motivated action for which the white students were given a slap on the wrist - the day after a black student (who felt the need to ask the school administration for "permission" to do so) sat under it.

But back to the actual point of my comment: Why ban the teeshirts? Whether or not the 6 involved in this fight should be "freed", whether or not they were mere thugs, whether or not they should have been prosecuted as adults, whether or not there is continuing racism in this society that leads to differential prosecution and punishment of thugs who are black versus thugs who are white - Why stop talking about that? Is it just too difficult? Is it just too appalling that nearly a century and a half after legal slavery was dismantled, we still hear about towns like Jena?

Or maybe you think the kids with the teeshirts were just thugs. In which case, I can see there's no point.

M. Simon


Do you suppose they were just thugs?


Hi I wish to support the Jena 6, anyone knows where tee shirts can be purchased from.

jack adams

It is not bad enough that Louisiana has been labeled as stupid over hurricane Katrina, now we are known for the Jena six. If the nine punks, black and white would have been taught better behavior at home, none of this would be going on. Just once I'd like my home state to be known for it's achievments, not it.s failures. The news media are only creating more racial tension in our schools.This has to stop NOW.


What is happening in this community looks to me like a microcosm (albeit a highly dramatic one) of just some of what is wrong with our national discourse today:
- that the Jena 6 felt (justifiably or not) that the only way to express their anger about racist comments by a white student was to resort to violence
- that the racial tension in this town is so high that school officials believe (justifiably or not) that wearing a tee-shirt could be tantamount to "shouting fire in a crowded theatre", sufficient to warrant this intrusion on students' free speech rights (which, despite Morse v. Frederick, even high school students still retain in some fashion).
We seem to missing an important learning moment here - a chance to engage a whole community in a real discourse about the underlying events, about responses to racism that are not violent. If the kids can't wear a tee-shirt - and then, hopefully, have a deeper conversation about what's going on - what does that teach them about the appropriate ways to participate in a democratic society?

Donald S. Jean-Jacques

This is justice at its worst most people will not say this is a race issue but if you really read the actions that brought this case into the courts you will see that it is a race issue and the feds need to get involved in this matter. When things like this happen in our "great country" it really puts a mind set in the minds of some minorities(African-Americans) that were still not free it this country and that the efforts of our most notable African American civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Black Panthers and Rosa Parks etc.... were for nothing, it saddens me to see a day like this come upon us. The justice system in Jena, LA or in the south in general needs to really be re-examined and a new justice system needs to be put in place because as you can see the people that are running some of these southern states such as the police, DA's and judges still have the racism of back in the days running through their veins.


Black bloggers around the world are engaged in a Day of Blogging for Justice on August 30th. We want justice for the Jena 6. If the mainstream media won't cover this event ... then we must do so ourselves by any means necessary.

peace, Villager

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