geoffrey gauchet

The Jena 6


I'm sure by now everyone's heard the story of the Jena 6. If you haven't, google it and you'll find 100s of blogs and news sites discussing it.

What I don't get is why everyone—and by that I mean the literally thousands who have trekked to Jena, LA—is rallying behind the 6 teenagers. As I understand the story, a couple of black students wanted to sit under a tree at school where white kids usually sat. The black kids sat there and the next day, three nooses were hung in the tree. What's insane here at this point in the story is that there still are people who are this racist and would hang nooses to send a message. The principal wrote it off as a school yard prank. The kids that hung the nooses should have been at the least given detention, but probably suspended for a while. There's no excuse for doing something like that.

Flash forward a few months later and six black kids (the Jena 6) beat the crap out of this one white kid and put him in the hospital. From what I've read, he was released the next day. There has been no evidence that the white kid was even linked to the noose hangings.

So now, thousands of people are creating this supposed "civil rights movement of the 21st century" and staple visitor Al Sharpton is out there. They want the six kids freed and the charges dropped.

How is six kids beating the shit out of one student a good thing? Let's say the white kid hung one of the nooses. I could understand the rage and wanting to beta the kid up, but, let's do the math: six on one. Then, let's also note that the nooses caused no physical harm. This kid got put in the hospital. If he hung the nooses, yeah, he probably should've gotten has ass whooped, but that also doesn't mean that six kids needed to do it and put him in the hospital.

According to this article the DA didn't charge the white kids who hung the nooses because "he could find no Louisiana law under which they could be charged." That's the short and skinny of this situation. The white kids didn't break the law. The black kids did. End of story. Now, if the kid was involved in the noose hangings, as I've mentioned already, I could let a little ass whooping slide because, let's face it, the kid probably deserved it after pulling a stunt like that. Racism is fucking worthless. But I cannot support the violence the Jena 6 bestowed upon him. Besides, the kids all pretty much had previous criminal records. They're probably a group of punk kids who, undoubtedly get pelted with racism on a regular basis because of a stigma of racism in the part of the state, but let's ask Martin Luther King, Jr.'s opinion on solving civil rights issues with violence. Would he really be happy that these boys beat up another human being? I submit that he would not.

Which is why it pisses me off that Martin Luther King III, MLK, Jr.'s son, is in Jena at the rally supporting the Six. MLK promoted fighting for your rights and striving to be equal members of the human race. But did he ever advocate violence? No, he didn't. And as a result, these kids broke the law, harmed a fellow human being, and should be punished accordingly. The white students should have been punished at the school, but they were not. That calls for meetings with the principal and teachers and super intendant and whomever else is linked to the school and can issue disciplinary action. It doesnotcall for beating the fuck out of someone. There's no room for vigilante justice in any society.

Update: The media does a lot to sensationalize stories and make them follow the path they want. The Jena Six story is no different. After having read this article I still stand by the fact that the white kids needed a harsher punishment (even though they were isolated for a month and given a two week in-school suspension). And i failed to mention earlier that I don't think the Jena Six should be hit with Second Degree murder. That's insane. But there should be some punishment for their actions. I still stand by the fact that whomever hung the nooses should have gotten a ass beating, but, those administering the beating should be prepared to accept the consequences. Crime can't be solved with crime.

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