Craig Franklin and Jena

Alan Bean of the advocacy group Friends of Justice responds to Craig Franklin's article about the Jena 6 (blogged by Nick yesterday) here. I'm not sure why much of the blogosphere is pronouncing Franklin's take on the case to be definitive. Much of his piece consists of little more than denials from the public officials accused of wrongdoing in the first place. Hardly surprising. Franklin is also clearly a partisan for the town, the school, and the town officials, just as Bean is clearly a partisan for the Jena 6. I guess it boils down to which of the two you find more convincing.

Advocates for the Jena 6 did clearly make some mistakes. Not disclosing Mychal Ball's prior criminal record while holding him up as a victim of injustice was one big one. So was the ensuing effort to make the six black youths look like heroes, which I think a lot of critics rightly saw through.

But that doesn't mean there aren't problems in Jena, or that the town's black residents were wrong to see the case as confirmation of a two-tiered system of justice. Nor does it mean Franklin's account of events leading up to the lunchroom beating ought to be believed over Bean's (especially given that the latter's account has been corroborated by other journalists).

I should note that it was Bean who first introduced me to another case in Louisiana that I'll be writing about in a future issue of our magazine. Thus far, my reporting has confirmed most of what he told me about the case, with a couple of exceptions. It has also confirmed much of the sentiment bubbling over in Jena.

As for Franklin, I find his description of Jena a bit too idyllic to be believed. He writes:

Jena is a wonderful place to live for both whites and blacks. The media's distortion and outright lies concerning the case have given this rural Louisiana town a label it doesn't deserve.

[...]

As with the Duke Lacrosse case, the truth about Jena will eventually be known. But the town of Jena isn't expecting any apologies from the media. They will probably never admit their error and have already moved on to the next "big" story. Meanwhile in Jena, residents are getting back to their regular routines, where friends are friends regardless of race. Just as it has been all along.

"All along?"  Really?

As recently as the early 1990s, LaSalle Parish (where Jena is located) voted for white supremacist and former Klan leader David Duke by a two-to-one margin. In fact, they gave him that margin twice—for governor, and for U.S. Senator. In 1996, the parish again gave Duke the majority of its votes for U.S. Senator.

The parish is reliably and overwhelmingly Republican, save for the odd anomaly of the 2003 gubernatorial election. In 2003, the parish gave Democrat Kathleen Blanco 60 percent of its vote over Republican Bobby Jindal. Jindal also happened to be the GOP's first non-white nominee for governor. The next year, the parish went 80 percent for George W. Bush in the presidential election. Curious, that.

Oh, and then there's the matter of the mayor of Jena sitting down for an interview with the leader of a white supremacist organization last month.

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  • ||

    You know race relations must be absolutely A #1 in Jena, because Craig Franklin still thinks "I have black friends" is a compelling argument.

  • ||

    There is a lot of speculation here. It seems to be the correct position is 'we don't know the whole story.'

  • VM||

    And, joe, Craig F. believes that this is a real site! Srsly! He does. Someone told me who knows this guy who dated this girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night told me.

  • ||

    Darn, and here I was all set to move to LaSalle Parish to take advantage of all the economic opportunities.

    Do you suppose the French would agree to take back the Louisiana part of the Louisiana Purchase?

  • ||

    "As for Franklin, I find his description of Jena a bit too idyllic to be believed."

    Why don't you go down and visit the place Radley? I don't know what the truth is either but I have never been to Jena. I think most of the problem with this story is that the media has not bothered to go down there and talk to people and do basic reporting. Instead, they have taken the word of activists and government officials about what the facts are. I don't see how anyone could comment on what really happened in say the nose incident without going down and talking to the students and school officials involved.

    Something happened in Jena. This is not rocket science. Yeah, there are conflicting stories, but that is what reporters do; talk to people with various views and figure out what happened. That doesn't seem to be happening here. It is just another example of the media shirking its basic responsibility to society. I don't know why it is that with all of the allegedly smart people in the media why no one has gone down there spent a few days and some time talking to the people in that town and written a straight forward account of what happened and what didn't happen.

  • ||

    "I'm not sure why much of the blogosphere is pronouncing Franklin's take on the case to be definitive."

    You may want to check Wikipedia and Snopes then.

  • Radley Balko||

    John,

    Last July, I spent about 5 days in a town 90 minutes south of Jena. But I haven't actually been to Jena, and don't plan to go. Mostly because I'm working on other stories.

    But plenty of reporters have been there, including Howard Witt, the Chicago Tribune reporter who first broke the story nationally. He spent a week there, before the story blew up. And his account is quite a bit different than Franklin's.

  • ||

    I don't often agree with John, but I have noticed one thing: I can't remember seeing, hearing, or reading a single statement about race relations in Jena from any black person who actually lives there.

  • Episiarch||

    This whole thing is a load of shit because it's racially charged and fits into way too many people's narratives depending how you spin it. Therefore I don't trust anybody's reporting on this at all. If Radley had gone there personally and then reported, I might believe that, because I have a good idea of where his narratives are coming from.

    But the rest? Fuck it. I have better things to do than trying to figure out who is lying in Jena. Probably everyone.

  • Abdul||

    Since when is a district voting Republican evidence of racism? when David Duke is that republican, I understand. But voting for George W in 2004 has racist overtones?

  • ||

    In 2003, the parish gave Democrat Kathleen Blanco 60 percent of its vote over Republican Bobby Jindal. Jindal also happened to be the GOP's first non-white nominee for governor. The next year, the parish went 80 percent for George W. Bush in the presidential election. Curious, that.

    And this last weekend, LaSalle Parish went for Jindal with almost 4x the votes given his nearest competitor. What does that have to do with the Jena 6? http://www400.sos.louisiana.gov:8090/cgibin/?rqstyp=elcmp&rqsdta=10200710012919

  • ||

    Abdul,

    I think the point of the voting patterns analysis was to note the remarkable support Blanco picked up when she ran against a conservative Republican who wasn't white.

  • ||

    Radley, is "I'm not sure why much of the blogosphere is pronouncing Franklin's take on the case to be definitive" code for "holy shit, sometimes Reason readers freak me out when you throw them some red meat"? H&R commenters jumped all over that thing the other day, and the way some people behave when you tell them what they want to hear was ugly

  • ||

    Having worked as a high school teacher, I buy Bean's account over Franklin's. I am sure he has a detail or two wrong, but actions have motivations. In HS males, they are often about saving face. Saving face often involves someone else losing face, which leads to a spiral. Sounds like what happened here.

    For the kids, race is only a factor here to the extent that cliques at the school are race based. If this had been jocks against stomps (do they still call the cowboys that?), the events would have unfolded in a very similar fashion.

    The adults in charge, however, don't seem to have appreciated the racial dimension...and it seems those in charge were largely white.

  • GILMORE||

    Jack -

    Im not sure it was all that bad

    but i have the same caveats for franklins review that balko has. Im not sure any of it makes much of a difference. I think the noose issue was probably played up because it made good visuals for news makers. but to take his characterizations of racial comity in Jena at face value would be a mistake

  • ||

    ...save for the odd anomaly of the 2003 gubernatorial election.



    Was that the election where Kathleen Blanco's campaign ran ads which pretty clearly said "Vote for the nice white lady and not that darkskinned fellow"?

    Jindal also happened to be the GOP's first non-white nominee for governor.



    Yep, I guess that's the one.

  • ||

    Jindal also happened to be the GOP's first non-white nominee for governor.



    Well except for the one they ran back during Reconstruction. They learned a lesson from that outstandingly successful period, didn't they?

  • ||

    Abdul,
    Voting heavily Republican isn't evidence of racism. Voting heavily Republican in every election except for the one where the Republican isn't white is a potential signal of racism.

    This is assuming the non-white candidate isn't horrible. From what I've read about Jindal and the success he's had thusfar indicate he's not horrible.

  • ||

    a,
    Jindal got 54% statewide and 55% in LaSalle Parrish. Wouldn't you expect a Parrish that usually polls 70-80% Republican to go have a significantly higher vote percentage for the only Republican candidate than the state on average. Your numbers are right in line w/ the rest of the state, which is not indicative of the past. Kinda fishy, eh?

  • ||

    Good for you that you have been there Radley. My complaint is that everyone seems to have an agenda and then look for facts that fit that narrative. We started off with the national media breaking this story and the narrative was racist small town oppresses black people. God knows they love that narrative. Then when some of the facts didn't fit that narrative the conservative blogsphere got into the act with their narrative which is that the mainstream media is a bunch of snotty, elitist, liberal assholes who lie about every story to push their agenda. Then you enter the fray with your agenda about over the top prosecutors. Throughout all of that, I have never once seen a real objective look at the facts in the case. Maybe those articles you give do that. I will be very curious to see. I don't buy the post modern view that the facts are what we make them. I fully believe that if someone went down there and talked to people with the sole purpose of figuring out what happened rather than in hopes of finding facts to fit their preconceived narrative, we could get at most of the truth in this.

    As far as you going down there, what was your impression of the place? I don't care that some of the whackjobs voted for David Duke. I would like to know what the atmosphere was like and how the people actually treated each other. The media reports make the place sound like South Boston during the busing riots. Is that true? If it is, I would think it would have been pretty obvious.

  • ||

    Several black students felt sufficiently motivated to walk over and sit under the "white tree" in order to fight back against what they perceived as school-sanctioned segregation.

    Let's say their nuts. Let's say there never was any formal or informal understanding of what were "white" and "black" areas at the school. Let's assume the nooses that were put up the next day were homages to "Lonesome Dove."

    The fact that those students felt that way and took that actions is pretty strong evidence that Mr. Franklin is wrong when he proclaims his town to be so thoroughly free of racial tensions.

  • ||

    Jason Whitlock also did a good job of debunking some of the myths spread by supporters of the Jena 6:

    http://www.kansascity.com/273/story/296701.html

  • ||

    The vote for David Duke was 2:1, John. If we assume that Duke got roughly 0 votes from black people, that puts the white vote for him at, what? 80%? 90% The term "whack-jobs" implies a fringe status that doesn't seem to apply here.

  • ||

    I haven't been to Jena, but I've been to other parts of rural Louisiana, and it certainly didn't seem like a smoldering tinderbox. If you went there, I suspect you'd find that most of the people there are too busy trying to eke out their marginal living in a dying economy to worry about what "the other race" is doing. If a strong bias exists, I'm going to guess it's against the northern black activists and yankee reporters who descended on their town. Folks in those parts don't seem really fond of outsiders with superiority complexes.

  • ||

    Lingering racial tensions, gradually disappearing as everywhere in the south, is an inevitability that is absolutely immaterial to the facts of the case. And the basic facts of the case that seem most pertinent are really quite simple and not that numerous.

    The most important, it seems to me, is the motive behind the nooses.

    Franklin says the nooses were not intended as racial, and describes a plausible alternative motive that came out in the immediate investigation.

    If you read the timeline at the Jena Times, the Franklin family's weekly, the details of response by officials and by the town in the weeks and months after fit very well into that scenario. It is an either artfully constructed fiction, or a straightforward description of a potentially alarming but substantively trivial event quickly metamorphosing into something worse in a few minds because of local media (a newspaper 40 miles away, at first, then TV) accompanied by word of mouth.

    What disturbs me most about Mr. Balko and some commenters is the frantic need to prove a town racist to fit some preconceptions.

  • ||

    Craig Franklin, truth-telling journalist, couldn't identify one "media myth" that favored the prosecution? Not one?

    'Kay.

    If a strong bias exists, I'm going to guess it's against the northern black activists and yankee reporters who descended on their town. Folks in those parts don't seem really fond of outsiders with superiority complexes. Funny, I just got the strangest feeling of deja vu.

  • ||

    Whether or not your town is racist, you shouldn't be walking around free after ambushing someone, knocking him unconscious, and then kicking him in the head repeatedly.

  • Episiarch||

    Funny, I just got the strangest feeling of deja vu.

    What, that you are an outsider with a superiority complex? Does that apply to Jena or the reason comment boards?

  • ||

    Wait wait wait a second.

    School assemblies are segregated? Today? In 2007, when a school assembly is called in Jena, Lousianna, the black students sit on side of the auditorium and the white students sit on the other?

    Lest this gets dismissed as yet another "media myth" by the defenders of Jena's honor, the prosecutor has defended himself from the charge that he was threatening students by insisting that he was looking towards the "white section" when the made the threat. So, apparently, this is an undisputed fact.

    I don't think Craig Franklin defines "good race relations" in precisely the same manner as those of us reading this blog.

  • ||

    I think the complex in question here is a Defense Complex, Episiarch.

    And no, I'm not going to say that segregation is ok.

    I suppose I'm terrible person for both holding that opinion and daring to live north of the Mason Dixon Line.

  • ||

    talk about picking the worst heroes...

  • ||

    Alan Bean himself says, in the article to which you link, that the Franklins run a first-class weekly newspaper, yet can't keep from the disdain when he disagrees with something.

    While Bean offers some decent though not irrefutable thoughts on the inherent logic problems of the alternative noose explanations, he also says that he has no doubt that the white students would have felt remorse if the full symbolic impact of the nooses was explained to them.

    And yet a bit later, back on attack mode with regard to the statements of the prosecutor Reed Walters, he says Walters knew he was in the gymnasium because of some black students and parents being outraged that the noose incident was being treated as a "childish prank" rather than a hate crime.

    I'd say Mr. Bean evidently accepts the view that it was a childish prank, or at least closer to that than a hate crime. In fact he says it outright: it wasn't a hate crime, in his opinion.

    And since he doesn't respond he evidently is accepting as fact the punishment Franklin describes: "not a three-day suspension, but rather nine days at an alternative facility followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court, and evaluation by licensed mental-health professionals."

    In short; I'd say the punishment as described - which does in itself offer evidence of the media's inaccurate and distorting reporting - fits the incident as he sees it. So what's his basic beef with Franklin? And Mr. Balko, what's your basic beef with the notion that this was a situation responded to about as fairly as could be done, and in a way that certainly does not prove overwhelming racism in the town?

  • ||

    Don't read the link from Alan Bean, Episiarch! Heavens no, don't do that!

    And just so we understand each other, I'm going to speak out against racial oppression and backwards-assed efforts to preserve the culture of Jim Crow, wherever they occur.

    Go ahead, try to make me feel bad about that. Just try.

  • ||

    I think we should settle this with a Balko vs Mangu-Ward jello wrestling match.

  • ||

    School assemblies are segregated? Today? In 2007, when a school assembly is called in Jena, Lousianna, the black students sit on side of the auditorium and the white students sit on the other?

    Was it assigned that way, or was it voluntary? If the students decide to only socialize with peers of their same race by their own choice is that problematic?


    And no, I'm not going to say that segregation is ok.

    I once had a conversation with 2 black co-workers who both felt that desegregation has hurt the black community because it allowed the smarter/sucessful blacks within the community to "flee" the neighborhood and go to the white areas, schools, etc and leave only the least successful ones behind, thus dooming the "black areas" doomed to failure since the people with means didn't do anything for or give anything back to the community. It was a very interesting point of view. (Although I didn't and still don't agree with it. It's one thing to want/expect people to give back to their community, but quite another to have the government enforce it)

  • ||

    ChicagoTom,

    How about if the white students "decide to socialize with their racial peers," and "everyone else" just sits "wherever? Shiny happy people having fun?

    How about if 90% of the white students "decide to socialize with their peers," and everyone else goes along to avoid making trouble - the avoidance of public spectacles that violate the standards set down by the majority being a not-wholly-unheard-of behavior among high school students.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    If you ever post a comment about taxation levels or land use controls in Massachusetts, I'm going to argue with you on the merits of what you write.

    I don't really care where you live.

  • ||

    Where I work there will be tables of only Indian, Laotian/Thai, Black, or Mexican Americans. The people running the company must be racist, right? And there must be a lot of racial tension too? Of course the answer to that is "bullshit" and "bullshit".

    It does make me oh so angry these racist people sit in their little racist circles speaking some language other than English. I'm calling in the local media.

  • Janis Gore||

    What's missing from the narrative everywhere is "who burned Jena High School"?

  • ||

    School assemblies are segregated? Today? In 2007,

    Geez, joe, on "progressive" campuses across the country we see all kind of segregation, all of it more or less voluntary, but much of it sponsored or supported by the administration in the name of multiculturalism or some such. Are you trying to tell me the country's colleges are rife with racism?

  • ||

    I'm not even going to bother to refute the notion that a family or group of friends getting a table for six is the same thing as a school full of students being seated at an assembly.

    I'm just going to let it sit there, as a monument to how hard people will strain to deny the existence of racial issues.

    In light of Mr. Franklin's editorial, it seems a fitting monument.

  • ||

    I don't know how long it's been since some of you have been to a school assembly, but people don't get to pick and choose where they sit. Normally, they have homeroom classes sit together. So no one is choosing to "simply" self-segregate, unless school assemblies have RADICALLY changed since I was in high school.

  • ||

    Where I work there will be tables of only Indian, Laotian/Thai, Black, or Mexican Americans. The people running the company must be racist, right? And there must be a lot of racial tension too? Of course the answer to that is "bullshit" and "bullshit".

    bigbigslacker,
    Really? People in your company sit like that? That's not healthy*. In my company, there's a mix of races and if people segregate themselves, it's by department.

    * I'm not saying it's racist, but wow.

  • ||

    RC Dean,

    I defy you to name one auditorium, classroom, or other public space on a college campus that has a white section and a black section.

    One. Come on. Prove me wrong.

    A white section. A black section. Not "a knot of white kids there, a knot of black kids there, a mixed group down front." A white section, and a black section. Just like the courtyard at Jena High School, btw, if you bother to read the link.

  • ||

    How about if the white students "decide to socialize with their racial peers," and "everyone else" just sits "wherever? Shiny happy people having fun?

    How about if 90% of the white students "decide to socialize with their peers," and everyone else goes along to avoid making trouble - the avoidance of public spectacles that violate the standards set down by the majority being a not-wholly-unheard-of behavior among high school students.


    joe, your comment suggests you find it hard to believe black high school students would choose to sit with other African Americans when given the option to sit next to white students instead. Am I reading you right? Because Chicago Tom asked if segregation was alright if it reflected the choice of all the individuals involved, and you side-stepped the question completely.

  • ||

    It's not unusual at all to see self-segregation in the workplace or in public places, to some degree. People end up having a group of friends, and for reasons of common experience, neighborhood, of whatever, people are more likely to end up with most of their friends being of the same group. Especially for people in a minority group, the experience of being "the only black guy in the department" can be an area of commonality around which social bonds can form. And if the handful of black people in a company all sit together at lunch, guess what that means from whom the white people will sit with? None of this indicates racist intent among anyone in the company.

    But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about large bodies of both black and white students, and a segregationist norm so entrenched that the auditorium and courtyard are both commonly understood to have white and black sections, and - and this is the most important part - the violation of those standards by black kids who disapprove is a noteworthy event.

    I don't see what straining to find an example of when self-segregation is ok adds to this discussion.

  • ||

    parse,

    You are not reading me right - or, at least, I didn't express myself clearly enough. I think my 1:36 comment clarifies my thoughts.

  • Episiarch||

    joe, maybe you should google "Black Student Union". Here is some text from the one at the U of Washington:

    BSU has general assemble meetings every Wednesday at 6pm*. We meet in the Black Room of the Ethnic Cultural Center.

    I now look forward to your sputtering defense of how this is somehow not segregated.

  • ||

    I don't think you have to defend the strict imposition of segregation, like having areas where black people can and cannot sit, even if the segregation is socially rather than legally imposed, in order to consider it normal and harmless for the six Indian dudes at the computer company to eat lunch together.

  • ||

    "But that doesn't mean there aren't problems in Jena, or that the town's black residents were wrong to see the case as confirmation of a two-tiered system of justice."

    Ever been to the south? I have. Took the back roads on a motorcycle. The racism is amazing! And a person can tell the color of a town's inhabitants without even seeing one. The housing stock / infrastructure tells it all. Nice houses and shiny gas stations -- white folks. Dilapidated houses, gas stations out of business -- Black town. Alabama is the worst. I wouldn't let my dog shit there.

  • Episiarch||

    And just so we understand each other, I'm going to speak out against racial oppression and backwards-assed efforts to preserve the culture of Jim Crow, wherever they occur.

    Right, because you've been there and you know that there has, in fact, been discrimination. You're not just assuming that because you are an outsider with a superiority complex, right?

  • ||

    How about if the white students "decide to socialize with their racial peers," and "everyone else" just sits "wherever? Shiny happy people having fun?

    Yeah, how about it? What exactly is the problem? And what exactly is the solution? Should the school go around saying "uhmm you people need to insert some color into your clique?"

    I don't even get what your point is? That freedom of association is bad?


    How about if 90% of the white students "decide to socialize with their peers," and everyone else goes along to avoid making trouble - the avoidance of public spectacles that violate the standards set down by the majority being a not-wholly-unheard-of behavior among high school students

    Again how about it? This goes on in life all the time. Does it suck sometimes? Yes. But, what is your proposed solution? To legislate diversity amongst peer groups and social circles?

  • Biff||

    "You know race relations must be absolutely A #1 in Jena, because Craig Franklin still thinks "I have black friends" is a compelling argument."

    Jo wins the thread.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    The Black Student Union is not public. It is a limited-membership organization. Or course it is segregated. Did you see that word "public?" Here, let me quote myself, for your edification: I defy you to name one auditorium, classroom, or other public space on a college campus that has a white section and a black section.

    But that's not what we're talking about here - we're talking about students in a public school, called together in an assembly, where there are white and black sections.

    No sputtering. No trouble at all.

  • ||

    The assertion that black and white students set in segregated sections during the assembly that featured an address by prosecutor Walter Reed is a blogger fanstasy. It's purpose is to support the allegation that Reed pointed to the black students when he delivered his warning. Jena High School teachers and students say the races were intermingled throughout the auditorium and that Reed addressed his remarks to the student body as a whole.

  • ||

    How about if 90% of the white students "decide to socialize with their peers," and everyone else goes along to avoid making trouble ..

    What exactly do you mean by "goes along". Does someone else have a right to dictate to me who I can or who I must socialize with? What kind of "trouble" with regards to who someone chooses to socialize with?

    If someone wants to only surrounds themseleves with people like themselves, it may be a bad decision and an indication of a character flaw in my opinion, but isn't that their right?

    Doesn't freedom mean the right to be wrong?

  • ||

    The town is about 85% white, according to the "facts about Jena" page which seems ot have some kind of relationship with the Jena Times, but unless proven otherwise I'll accept it as basically accurate.

    http://jenala.net/AboutJena.html

    In short, assuming the racial mix of the town holds for the school in large part, white students don't have to do a damn thing to sit with each other.

    I'm not blaming black students for sitting with each other, if that's in fact the substance of the "segregation," as I suspect. I'm saying that the local manifestation of the national reality of races sitting with each other would, here, primarily involve actions by black students. Unless you can provide any evidence of white students forcing black people not to sit with them.

    Speaking of which, the racial composition affects the idea of the "whites only tree," too.

    It sounds, to me, like the tree was the most desirable spot to gather, being shaded. Most students went there. Most students were white. The black students, if they as one would expect were often/sometimes looking to congregate, would have, of necessity, been forced to do it somewhere else. Not forced by white people; forced by geometry.

    The resulting reality - whites get the shade - could easily be both largely innocuous and the source of some nervous attention by the students. Which by the way provides a backdrop to the possibility of the black student's question at the assembly being a joke, an edgy joke. (Mr. Bean claims to see no possible rationale for a joke. He's not trying very hard.)

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    You're not just assuming that because you are an outsider with a superiority complex, right?

    No, I'm basing my opinion on the facts. Remember facts, Episiarch? Those things I kept bringing up, about trees and nooses and courtyards and auditoriums, and which you haven't made a single reference too?

    You probably don't. The races of the people involved, the locaton of Jena, and the location of my home are clearly all the facts you need to make up your mind.

  • Episiarch||

    The Black Student Union is not public.

    Really? The "Black Room" in a university-owned building called the "Ethnic Cultural Center" isn't public? The various "Ethnic" clubs paid for the building?

    Please continue, I require more amusement.

  • ||

    ChicagoTom,

    First of all, you shouldn't let the question "What does joe propose to do about x?" play such a large role in your judgement. X's existence, and value, are completely independent of what somebody might want to do about them.

    What exactly do you mean by "goes along". I mean, sit where they are expected to sit, and don't rock the boat.

    As for your questions, I'm not sure I can explain to you why racial segregation is problematic. It's one of those things you get, or you don't. Reading American history and meditating on what, freedom of association, influences race relations in our society is a good way to start to get it.

    I'm sorry if that sounds condescending, but you're sitting here asking how someone could possibly see anything wrong with there being white-only areas which black people face consequences for entering.

  • Episiarch||

    No, I'm basing my opinion on the facts. Remember facts, Episiarch? Those things I kept bringing up, about trees and nooses and courtyards and auditoriums, and which you haven't made a single reference too?

    You mean the supposed events that have taken place that nobody can agree on, which is part of the point of this post?

    I guess when joe picks the version of events that he prefers, they automatically become facts. Good thing you've been there and checked for yourself!

  • ||

    Episiarch

    Playing dumb about the meaning of public isn't going to save your ass.

  • ||

    I don't know what to think about the rest of it, but there is no way in hell I am buying that anyone who is actually conscious ( unless white folks down there are genetically predisposed to have very low IQs) really has NO clue that nooses have something to do with lynching blacks.

    Lonesome Dove? Give me a break. I am in my late 20s and that came out when I was a kid- so at least they are aware of something that happened before they were born, I guess.

    Maybe ( doubtful) the noose incident had nothing to do with race, but I see no way anyone could be completely ignorant of the appearance.

    I have never been "down there" but I have experienced and witnessed a lot of racism in the Mid Atlantic region where people seem to be more enlightened on the surface- and I have a hard time believing things are just grand between white and black folks "down there."

  • ||

    Joe: neither you nor Mr. Bean have provided one bit of evidence that there are some kind of evidently formal white and black sections at assemblies.

    You're being inundated with opinions that if it is true in any sense at all it is in an informal sense, and reflective of a reality almost everywhere in the country.

    Why do you keep clinging to the segregation idea - without even addressing these alternative ideas, that is? Is your nobleness so critical to you?

    Or is it your contention that his kind of informal "segregation," a highly common phenomenon, is somehow enough for you to label this town as suffering under Jim Crow?

  • ||

    Oh, look, somebody getting pwned is trying to turn this into a Joe Is Mean thread. Again.

  • ||

    I defy you to name one auditorium, classroom, or other public space on a college campus that has a white section and a black section.

    My college did. It wasn't enforced or labeled, but there were certain parts of the cafeteria where certain ethnic and racial groups tended to congregate.

    Being Greek, I tended to hang out at the Greek section of the cafeteria when I was on break/lunch. Even within the greek (ethnic, not fraternity ) community there was segrgation. The Greeks-Americans didn't usually sit with the Greeks who were from Greece and only in the states to go to college.

    The same dynamic was in play with other races as well.

    Sure you could go anywhere or sit anywhere you wanted, but people were in fact self-segregating by whom they wanted to be around and where they felt most comfortable.

  • Balthazar||

    "I once had a conversation with 2 black co-workers who both felt that desegregation has hurt the black community because it allowed the smarter/sucessful blacks within the community to "flee" the neighborhood and go to the white areas, schools, etc and leave only the least successful ones behind, thus dooming the "black areas" doomed to failure since the people with means didn't do anything for or give anything back to the community. It was a very interesting point of view."

    I suggest you study the history of the Shaw neighborhood in D.C.

  • Episiarch||

    Playing dumb about the meaning of public isn't going to save your ass.

    "Maintained for or used by the people or community: a public park."

  • ||

    Paul S.,

    Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that there aren't white and black sections in the auditorium - just for the sake of argument.

    Look upthread at how many people are working so hard to insist that there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    But yes, I am claiming that the expectation of racial segregation as the social norm is, all by itself, a bad thing. There will always be consequences, especially in a high school, for people who step outside the social norm. Do you really think it's value-neutral from that conformist dynamic to back up racial segregation? Do you think that, maybe, someone experiencing and responding to those consequences could turn into a problem?

  • Janis Gore||

    I think Episiarch is right. He was right in the last post.

    No number of journalists can get the truth now.

  • Episiarch||

    Oh, look, somebody getting pwned is trying to turn this into a Joe Is Mean thread. Again.

    Yes! joe starts with his inevitable victory claims, and we are still under about 70 posts. Drink!

    joe, your victories are just like your "facts"--you just claim them to be true, and for you, they are. Presto!

  • ||

    ChicagoTom,

    I would say that multiple groups each choosing to interact with other of the same groups - 15 different tables with 15 different groups in a cafeteria - where the groups are all of pretty much equal social status is quite a different dynamic than the existence of white and black areas in the American South. That's the jock table, that's the Greek table, that the Greek-American table, that's the African-American table. Vs. That's where the white people sit, that's where the black people sit.

    There's baggage, and that baggage gives actions meaning that they might not have in other contexts.

  • ||

    As for your questions, I'm not sure I can explain to you why racial segregation is problematic. It's one of those things you get, or you don't. Reading American history and meditating on what, freedom of association, influences race relations in our society is a good way to start to get it.

    Joe I get it just fine. You don't get it, or you are being purposely obtuse.

    Enforced segregation is not the same as voluntary self-segregation. If people want to hold racist beliefs or if they don't want to socialize with members of other races, that is their right.

    I'm sorry if that sounds condescending, but you're sitting here asking how someone could possibly see anything wrong with there being white-only areas which black people face consequences for entering.

    You aren't being condescending. you are being dishonest. I asked a simple question. Was the segregation at the assembly enforced, or is it based on the preferences of the people. You seem to be taking the position that there is no difference. But there is. I agree that no one should be punished for sitting in the wrong section, but that is very different than saying "people shouldn't be choosing to sit in sections where they are surrounded by people they want to be surrounded by"

    Look upthread at how many people are working so hard to insist that there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with people choosing to self segregate. It's only a problem if people are enforcing that segregation on others against their will. You seem to be ignoring that distinction, but it is a very important one.

    If you sit a lunch table with me and I get up and move cuz I don't want to sit with you that is A-OK. If I tell you to get up and go sit elsewhere that is a problem. And if the school turns a blind eye that is an even bigger problem.

  • ||

    Are you going to post anything other than Bad Joe Bad Joe?

    Experience suggests not.

  • kunt||

    pwned? What does that mean?

  • ||

    I would say that multiple groups each choosing to interact with other of the same groups - 15 different tables with 15 different groups in a cafeteria - where the groups are all of pretty much equal social status is quite a different dynamic than the existence of white and black areas in the American South. That's the jock table, that's the Greek table, that the Greek-American table, that's the African-American table. Vs. That's where the white people sit, that's where the black people sit.

    That's an awful lot of hair splitting.
    Even in the former case (the 15 groups/15 tables) I would argue that the groups do not in fact have the same "social status". Each group tends to consider themselves superior to other groups.

    I don't see a difference between the two examples assuming it's voluntary and there are no consequences for doing what you want.

    People tend to have a natural tendency to surround themselves with people like themselves. WHy do you think frats are so popular?

  • ||

    ChicagoTom,

    Enforced segregation is not the same as voluntary self-segregation. It is the same in some ways, and different in other ways. Within the category "voluntary self-segregation," there can be many different things going on. BTW, didja see what happened when a black kid made a point of sitting under the white tree? Voluntary is supposed to mean the absence of enforcement, right?

    If people want to hold racist beliefs or if they don't want to socialize with members of other races, then those people are fucknuts. And if a local journalists looks at people doing that and declares that everything is just hunky-dory, then he's a fucknut. David Duke was well within his rights to run the campaign he did. That doesn't make him any less of a fucknut.

    Was the segregation at the assembly enforced, or is it based on the preferences of the people. I understand this point perfectly. That's what I was trying to get at with my "90% of white kids" example. The fact that there isn't formal, government imposition of the segregation doesn't mean that the individuals involved are all choosing segregation in an uncoercive environment.

    I agree that no one should be punished for sitting in the wrong section That's the thing - I'm not sure you do. I certainly appreciate that you think no one should be OFFICIALLY OR LEGALLY punished for sitting the wrong section, but I've yet to see you plainly state that it is wrong for people to be cast as troublemakers in the eyes of their classmates or even teachers for violating socially-imposed racial segregation.

    If you sit a lunch table with me and I get up and move cuz I don't want to sit with you that is A-OK.

    I know we don't have web cams, but let's pretend: look me in the eye and tell me "If you sit down at a lunch tble with me and I get up and move cuz I don't want to sit with niggers that is A-OK." I don't think you will. I don't think you believe that. I think, on some level, you realize there is an issue here other than the use of government or physical force.

  • ||

    I'm not even going to bother to refute the notion that a family or group of friends getting a table for six is the same thing as a school full of students being seated at an assembly.

    I'm just going to let it sit there, as a monument to how hard people will strain to deny the existence of racial issues.



    Joe, you are so marvelously full of shit that I am awed, truly awed.

  • Episiarch||

    Are you going to post anything other than Bad Joe Bad Joe?

    I guess pointing out that you take whatever version of events you prefer and claim that to be "fact" is posting "Bad joe Bad joe".

    Seeing as you seem to equate any criticism of your methodology as "Bad joe Bad joe", I guess that, to you, all my posts are "Bad joe Bad joe".

    And then you can dismiss them! That is very convenient.

  • ||

    One other point, Chi-Tom:

    Even if there is not government- or private-sector force brought to bear, initially, to maintain a segregationist order, I don't trust things will remain that way.

    I think segregation - as the term is used to describe a set if inter-racial social customs we know so well from the history books - will ultimately result in the use of force to mantain it, because it is always and everywhere an expression of power relations, and people end up using force in situations where unequal power relations are being maintained, either to overturn it or to maintain it.

    I think I have a pretty good body of history to point to to back up this belief.

  • Janis Gore||

    Look, we're talking about a little logging town fifty miles down the road west.

    Whether they drove out the Negroes or the Negroes left of their own accord, there are three feeder schools into the high school, two are white and one is integrated. Mind we're talking about a town where 12 to 15% are black.

  • ||

    Oh, and in the cast of the Greek table, the Greek-American table, and the Catholic Holy Roller table, there is not the dynamic of unequal power relations that exists when we're talking about black/white segregation.

    That's what makes them so much less worrisome in my eyes - though I'd still hope that the barriers to interaction weren't too high or too omnipresent.

  • ||

    It justt lovet myt tst todayt don'tt It?

  • JoeMorgan||

    When white Gentiles discriminate they are called "supremacists," "neo-Nazis," and "racists" by pretend egalitarians.

    All healthy races discriminate when in their ethnic interests, whether they are part of an ancient race or a relatively newly created race.

    Name one Jew or nonwhite that does not discriminate based upon race or ethnicity?

  • Janis Gore||

    Don't miss my point. The kids would stay together.

  • Stan Jones||

    We meet in the Black Room of the Ethnic Cultural Center.



    FWIW, I have always wanted to hold a rally hier.

  • ||

    In other news, I'm going to make some predictions about the media and their reporting on the California wildfires:

    I don't think I'm going to see a single story about mythical corpses of murder victims being stacked up in Qualcom Stadium.

    I don't think I'm going to see a single news report of roving bands of San Diegan gang rapists violating and murdering people who've taken shelter there.

    I don't think I'm going to see a single pundit proclaim that the people who's sought shelter there are incapable of taking care of themselves because of their inferior culture.

    I don't think the totally non-racist author of the Bell Curve is going to write an editorial in the New York Times, pointing to non-existant crimes and the need to take shelter in a stadium as proof that people in Southern California have something wrong with them. Heck, I don't think he'll even compare them to "animals let out of their cages."

    On the other hand, I don't think an single story about law enforcement officials using firearms to force people fleeing the disaster to turn back is going to come out.

    I guess I'm just an optimist that way.

  • ||

    Joe:

    "Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that there aren't white and black sections in the auditorium - just for the sake of argument."

    Well, I'll accept it for more than that, as I hope you actually do too since there is not one bit of evidence for anything like a formal segregation system. Someone assuming, as you may, that there must be such a system would make me question his association with a little thing called reality, but whatever.

    "But yes, I am claiming that the expectation"

    Huh? Observation = expectation and therefore racist acquiescence? Hm. Go write a paper.

    "of racial segregation as the social norm is, all by itself, a bad thing. There will always be consequences, especially in a high school, for people who step outside the social norm.
    Do you really think it's value-neutral from that conformist dynamic to back up racial segregation?"

    I guess not, as long as we're entering into sophomore-year discussion time. Myself, I haven't said there's nothing wrong with voluntary segregation. Although I am closer to that position than yours, that it represents some kind of dark racism.

    My point is: it's everywhere, it's almost entirely voluntary, and its presence in Jena would be utterly unsurprising and indicate absolutely nothing about the responses to the various crimes being likely racist.

    "Do you think that, maybe, someone experiencing and responding to those consequences could turn into a problem?"

    Yes, I do. It's life and life only. Although even Mr. Bean's account makes it clear that the large majority of white students had absolutely no problem with the later "sit-in" by black students under the tree.

    By the way, an unacknowledged potential undercurrent of Bean's breathless though nearly substance-free "alternate" version is that any white student anger resulting from the rising black protests may have had to do with anger at being called racist: not anger at blacks daring to sit under a tree.

  • ||

    Joe, what world do you live in?

    The vast (and as it turned out largely inaccurate) reporting of the crime problems in New Orleans was a manifestation of the mainstream liberally-oriented media portraying a federal uncaring response to the plight of black people.

    The racist or near-racist or semi-arguably-racist interpretations of those basically inaccurate stories, to the extent they existed, were a different phenmenon, done in response. The myth creation was a liberal-media mistake, based on the urge to portray the Bush admin as aboslutely incompetent and racist.

    I mean come on. Let's at least get our basic theories straight.

  • ||

    Once you say that racial dynamics between black people and white people in rural areas of the south are the same thing as dynamics between different groups in multi-racial society, it becomes difficult to read the rest with a straight face.

    Or to take your assertion that there most certainly was not any segregation in the school as anything but wishful thinking.

    And while we're getting our basic theories straight, you might want to get out your iron, if you're going to include National Review's Charles Murray in your anti-Bush Liberal Media cabal.

  • ||

    You know, I predicted this at the time, and wrote a comment to that effect:

    The disputed stories that tended to back up a right-wing narrative about Katrina - hordes of rampaging Negroes, bodies and poo all over the Superdome, the National Guard having to fight their way in - were going to be disproven.

    The disputed stories that tended to back up a left-wing narrative about Katrina - incompetance in the administration, people without food and water in the Convention Center, sheriffs from abutting parishes using force to drive back people fleeing the disaster - were going to be largely proven true.

    And the righties are going to conflate both groups of stories, pretend they'd all been disproven, and blame the Bush-hating liberal media.

    3-3. Not too bad.

  • Episiarch||

    Once you say that racial dynamics between black people and white people in rural areas of the south are the same thing as dynamics between different groups in multi-racial society, it becomes difficult to read the rest with a straight face.

    joe, I have to know--have you ever been down south? Ever lived there? Transferring planes in Atlanta or driving through to Florida doesn't count.

    Because you sure seem to know a lot about current racial dynamics down there. Since I haven't spent any real time down there, I don't presume to, but that's just me.

  • ||

    Joe, again: your assumption that there was formal segregation reveals you as not too bright, or way, way insufficiently skeptical of your own worldview.

    Your evident view that anyone suspicious of that idea is just plain stupid is, well, just plain stupid.

  • ||

    Joe,

    I went to a progressive college in Cambridge, MA.

    In it there was dorm section (public campus space), that was populated only by black students. They intentionally kept it that way, by exclusing students of any other race from living there.

    Here is a link.

    http://web.mit.edu/chocolate-city/www/bros.html

  • ||

    "The disputed stories that tended to back up a left-wing narrative about Katrina - incompetance in the administration, people without food and water in the Convention Center, sheriffs from abutting parishes using force to drive back people fleeing the disaster - were going to be largely proven true."

    I think the "not too bright" narrative regarding Joe is gathering steam.

    Joe: are you even aware of the alternative conservative intepretations of those events, and of how those intepretations have gone largely unnoticed?

    And are you simply going to ignore the idea, the plain fact as I see it, that arch-conservatives in this country repsonsible for the reporting of the exaggerated horrors? That they were part of the mainstream-press-generated meta-story of W-caused social breakdown?

  • Janis Gore||

    Johm Mellencamp of Indiana was so concerned that he created a new song for Jena, Louisiana.

    The last bastion of the KKK is an Indiana, .

    Look at home.

  • ||

    "arch conservatives WERE NOT responsible." Left two words out. Shoot.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Yes. And, once again, your entire presence on this thread has consisted of telling me I'm a bad person who shouldn't say things.

  • ||

    joe, when you speak of a "segregationist norm" as opposed to voluntary self-segregation, you are assuming your conclusion.

    Now, if the coutnry is rife with segregationist norms, what is it when the actual school administration aiding and abetting actual racial segregation?

  • ||

    Oh, Paul S., you misunderstand. I didn't say "anyone" who doubted that the auditorium was segregated was dumb; just you. And not because you doubted that fact, but because...tell you what, I'm not going to repeat it, I'll let you look back at the comment and puzzle it out yourself.

  • ||

    lannychiu,

    Once again, the question of "public" matters here. In a public housing complex, each of the units is "public" in the sense of owned by the public. Nonetheless, a residential unit is "private," in the sense that it is for the private use of some group of people.

    This is quite a difference from a place that is "open to the public," in the sense of the public being allowed to use it all together, and then segregating those who enter by race.

    Now, the segregated dorms you mention raise another whole set of issues, but we could eat up several threads just on that.

  • Episiarch||

    So in your logic, joe:

    criticze joe => is saying joe is bad person => bad people shouldn't say things => people who criticize joe are trying to stop him from talking => people who try to stop others from talking are bad =========>>> anyone who criticizes joe is a bad, censorious person.

    Neat. Not only do you have a superiority complex, you have a persecution complex too. I bet you have a Napolean complex as well, for the trifecta!

  • ||

    I won't bother. You're typical, and a fool, and a dangerous one at that, only because of your numbers.

    You insult and sneer, and never accompany it with honest substance.

    Any actual evidence of formal segregation? Any? Hello?

  • ||

    Go get laid, that's my advice.

  • ||

    Paul S,

    Stop being an obnoxious dick, write in a civil tone, or I will go from responding in kind to just ignoring you.

    Joe: are you even aware of the alternative conservative intepretations of those events, and of how those intepretations have gone largely unnoticed?

    Yes, post-facto ones. The problem is, it wasn't the "interpretation" of the events that was disputed at the time, but the facts on the ground. The "rampaging hordes of negroes" stories and the "bodies of murder victims piled up at the Superdome" stories were widely believed by conservatives, because they backed up their preconceptions, and turned out to be completely false.

    Compare this to the stories about people trapped without water at the Convention Center (Mike Chertoff yelled at Jim Lehrer on the air to "stop spreading rumors" when he told him about that), or about armed police from an abutting country driving fleeing people off the bridge to keep them out of their jurisdiction. Those stories were widely believed by liberals, because they backed up a liberal narrative (and were reported by eyewitnesses, but let's not dwell on that) and dismissed by conservatives, and turned out to be accurate.

  • ||

    joe, when you speak of a "segregationist norm" as opposed to voluntary self-segregation, you are assuming your conclusion.

    Well, if this is a chicken-egg argument about the roots of segregation in Lousianna culture, I'm pretty comfortable standing pat with "not the voluntary choice of black people."

    Now, if the coutnry is rife with segregationist norms, what is it when the actual school administration aiding and abetting actual racial segregation?


    That would bad, if it was actually happening. Please tell me that you aren't describing efforts to increase the racial diversity of campuses as "segregation."

  • ||

    Oh, look, another Episiarch comment about my personality.

    If I just send you an autgraphed poster to hang over your bed, will you stop interrupting us grownups?

    What was this thread about, again? Ginger Rogers or something?

  • Episiarch||

    Stop being an obnoxious dick, write in a civil tone, or I will go from responding in kind to just ignoring you.

    I know this isn't directed at me, but the Internet Tough Guy tone is hilarious. OH NOES JOE MIGHT IGNORE YOU

  • ||

    "stop being an obnoxious dick."

    You're projecting.

  • ||

    Joe,

    The units are not "Residential" they are owned by the university and rented/leased to students for some defined period.

    They are "Public" in the sense that I as a student of the university have some right to live in them. Further, the school had a shortage of dorm space, which was much more economical than expensive Boston/Cambridge rents. Allocating a useful asset (access to cheap housing) to people based on race seems very pernicious.

    Now it is true that some dorms are segregated for very rational reasons, Freshman dorms so you can all get to meet each other. Grad school dorms, more quite less partying older folks. Perhaps with kids/wives. I can buy those.

    Not that I really care, I lived in a off-campus fraternity.

  • ||

    You consider yourself a grownup? And who exactly is the "us" here you group yourself with?

    Fankly, Joe, a threat to "ignore" my arguments or those of others is pretty darn empty, given that ignoring is precisely, 120% what you've been doing for the entire thread, on substance. Seriously - there may be not a single straightforward, non-sidestepping response in all you've written. Everythign is funnelled into "my adversaries are stridently denying obvious racism."

    Maintaining your tenuous hold on moral superiority: Job #1. The only job. I have run into hundreds like you. I think it's a form of mass hysteria on the left.

    Oh and by the way, I know the left - its good points, its bad points, its best arguments, as an insider - way, way better than you. You're a disgrace to the tradition.

  • ||

    lanny,
    I prefroshed at CC and though it is predominately composed of black students, there are a few latinos in the group. They were really friendly, open guys even though I was not in the in-group culturally or racially.

  • ||

    Mo, I sat with the Asians today (who happen to be all women). People sit down for lunch with their friends. People who speak English as a second language tend to, given a chance, enjoy the company of those that speak the language they are most comfortable with. The Racial aspect of the seating in no way amounts to racist attitudes by the people at the lunch tables. Others do sometimes sit with the group, and are welcome, but there is the natural tendency I noted. Where I work, the racial mix resembles the UN, except we like each other.

  • ||

    "Oh, look, somebody getting pwned is trying to turn this into a Joe Is Mean thread. Again."

    Joe, you are WAY too old to use the term "pwned"! Gonna have to call the "poser" police on you!

  • ||

    Mo,

    That is probably true. Pre-froshing is one thing. But what if you wanted to live there, do you think that would be cool? I am guessing you would get flushed.

  • ||

    lannychiu,

    I understand how dorms work, thanks. And yes, they are "residential."

    I think I made it pretty clear at 4:30 on what basis I could distinguish the two, and also that I found that set-up problematic.

    bigbigslacker,

    I'm hip to you kids with your e-pods and your tea shades.

  • ||

    Paul S., Episiarch,

    You're right. I'm just terrible. You should just totally not respond to anything I write from now on. On this thread and on all future threats, just totally ignore me. Pretend I'm not here, pretend I didn't write anything, don't even read my comments. And certainly, don't write anything to me.

    Oh boy, would that ever get my goat. You should both totally start doing that. And really, really try to stick to it. That would totally show me.

  • ||

    JOE said: "The fact that those students felt that way and took that actions is pretty strong evidence that Mr. Franklin is wrong when he proclaims his town to be so thoroughly free of racial tensions."

    Oh is that so Joe, Bless your Heart!

    well the racial tensions you are trying to pin on white people could have really come from black people and THE NAACP black kkk. One of the six has a mother who is the secretary of the Jena NAACP. Jena never had a NAACP office in their little town of 3,000 before, altho, there is one in the city of Alexandria, and that naacp office WAS very small and not very active.

    Now here comes these displaced Katrina New Orleans victims to their new home in Jena and Alexandria.

    Lordy, they fly Comfederate Flags in their yards!

    Lordy, Lordy, de museum has some Confederate Artifacts.

    We gotta fix this according to NAACP 1991 mandate we can't have no Confederate Battle Flags around.

    Enter the student: Can I sit under the tree?

    Open your eyes these New orleans refugees have been causing trouble on purpose to start something every since they arrived. I can tell you the citizens black and white of Alexandria and Jena have suffered mightily from these imported thugs. Their crime stats went through the roof!

  • ||

    You guys sound like a person can't choose who they want to hang around with or they will be racist. Read "The Constitution in Exile" - and the Declaration of Independence on The God Given Right of ASSOCIATION!

    Look, the word racist is a hoax used by black power and wasn't even in the dictionary until 1948. Its a Marxist word!

    The Noose Boogey Man was invented by blacks and the spin is a black on black crime to muddle their minds and get them to follow the black activist and keep them in line.

    According to the Tuscaloosa Institute there were 1297 white and 3700 black lynchings from 1882-1968 (82 years).

    It's psychological and wreaks havoc on a child's mind.

    IN NEW YORK THEY HAVE DIFFERENT ETHNIC NEIGHBORHOODS ask Sharpton!

  • ||

    Lordy Lordy.

    Dem outside agitators.

  • ||

    In 2005 a similar incident happened in Gaffney, SC except it was 5 white boys that attacked 1 black male walking down the rd. These boys are all now in jail sentenced to 15 years. They too were from 15-18 years old. Jessie Jackson came here and wanted them prosecuted to the full extent of the law and wanted a rally here like he managed to get in LA only for the victim that time. The rally did not happen.

    Why does Jackson support the victim in one incidence and in the other want full prosecution. The only difference is the color of the victims skin in each case. The black victim in SC walked away from the incident, later went to the hospital and was released. He is now also serving time and had prior trouble with the law.

  • ||

    Do you see how the noose has no power or influence unless you empower it?

    WHY empower The Noose Boogey Man, Think, Black KKK!

    Quote from J.J. Johnson, black author at The Sierra Times. (google it)

    "I hope some black person is reading this right now and fuming," he writes in one editorial. "If you think the Confederate flag is insulting to you, you are being used, or as we say it in the hood, you bein' played - for a fool."

    H.K. Edgerton - A Black Man's March Across Dixie

    "My march is a march of heritage, not one of hate, to bring an awareness of the pride we feel. [...] There are folks who look like me who care a lot about Dixie."

    http://www.dixieoutfitters.com/heritage/hke.shtml

    "If every African-American would pick up the Confederate flag," he proclaims, "I would say, 'Free at last, free at last, God almighty, I am free at last.'"

    Sovereign Solutions producer Rich Angell travels to Black Mountain, North Carolina, to meet the legendary H.K. Edgerton.

    This is a 50 min video interview of The Man, H. K. Edgerton of North Carolina. You will be glad you watched it!

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5884282247116339705&hl=en

    Southern Heritage 411 believes that when the real truth is known about the War for Southern Independence, there will be a mutual understanding and a shared bond between the races that will result in improved race relations all over our nation.

    http://www.southernheritage411.com/aboutus.shtml

  • SIV||

    What's missing from the narrative everywhere is "who burned Jena High School"?

    That does seem to be the big hole in the story.
    Kind of like a non-barking dog.

  • SIV||

    Has any reporter asked Jena residents if they think Mychal Bell or his associates torched the school?

  • SIV||

    No one here pointed out Ace Reporter Radley Balko got his name wrong.

    Not disclosing Mychal Ball's prior criminal record

  • Janis Gore||

    SIV, there are reports that it was a one-up kind of gang activity, but given the sorry climate around the whole business, it's hard to say.

    The fire department is standing close.

  • SIV||

    I read in the newspaper's timeline that the school arson is not believed to be related to the noose incident.Nothing else newsworty in Jena seems to be either- except after the fact.

  • Alan Bean||

    Alan Bean checking in. I won't pretend I have read the entire string, but I would like to make a couple of comments.

    First, until Mychal Bell's juvenile record was released at a court hearing this summer, neither I nor anyone else knew anything definitive about it. I checked his file at the courthouse but it didn't contain his juvenile record. I have never held Mychal up as a posterboy for anything, although many supporters have. Mychal's legal team got a little miffed with me when I told a reporter that Mychal was "a bit of a bully," but that was the only comment I ever made about Mychal's history.

    On the other hand, Radley is certainly right that some Jena 6 supporters are far too eager to portray the Jena 6 as paper saints and to demonize the white folks in Jena. Jena wears the legacy of Southern racism like an albatross; but that doesn't mean they are mean, nasty, hateful people. Quite the contrary; most of them are extremely gracious when they aren't being called the biggest racists in America.

    I have tried to avoid smearing or lionizing any of the students involved in this story. The transgressions of adults like Reed Walters and School Superintendent Roy Breithaupt are a much larger concern. I do not hate these men; but they created a toxic social situation by abusing the authority vested in them and I don't think anyone should go to prison with a felony conviction as a result.

    Finally, those confused by the lack of attention to the fire are smack on target. Although I have no idea who struck the match, the fire at Alma Mater created a collective case of post traumatic stress syndrome. Read the Jena Times from last September and you will get a feel for the atmosphere. The prosecutorial over-reaction can be partially tied to this chaotic and stressful environment.

  • ||

    Once you say that racial dynamics between black people and white people in rural areas of the south are the same thing as dynamics between different groups in multi-racial society, it becomes difficult to read the rest with a straight face.



    Joe, what the fuck does a short, fat, Irish-Wop from Bahstan know about the "rural south"?

  • ||

    Because of well-organized disaster preparedness planning at the state and regional levels and drills that are continually performed, California is considered the gold standard of emergency response. After devastating fires in 2003, San Diego County invested in the automated reverse 911 system, which this week urged San Diego County residents to evacuate. And Californians have something that Louisianans, in particular those in New Orleans, didn't have when they needed it most: leadership, in this case from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the San Diego mayor on down. That there have been just five fatalities in an inferno that has burned an area twice the size of New York City shows what can result from clear and coordinated leadership.



    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/24/AR2007102402334.html
    WaPo's comparison of Katrina and the California fires... Joe, you should read the whole thing, you are mentioned in the first sentence of the third paragraph.

  • ||

    A common assertion is that members of the Jena Six are being harshly prosecuted because they are black. However, in a 2005 case similar to the Jena Six beating, five white South Carolina teenagers who beat up a black teenager were charged and convicted of "second-degree lynching and assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature." (There was no actual lynching involved. Second-degree lynching is defined by South Carolina law as any act of violence on another person by a mob when death does not occur. A mob is considered two or more people whose purpose and intent is committing an act of violence on another person.) Like the Jena Six, the white teenagers kicked the victim, 16-year-old Isaiah Clyburn, as he lay on the ground. The attack left the black youth "on the roadside bruised and bloodied from the attack."
    The white teenagers received the following sentences: One, who prosecutors said was the person most responsible for the attack, was sentenced to 18 years suspended to six years and 400 hours of public service. Two were sentenced to 15 years suspended to three years and 300 hours of public service. And one was sentenced to 15 years suspended to 30 months and 300 hours of community service. A sixth co-defendant, Amy Woody, 17, of was also charged with 2nd-degree lynching even though she did not take part in the beating.
    The South Carolina incident was an obvious hate crime. The white teenagers, who used racial slurs, singled out Clyburn simply because he was black. However, the white youths were not charged with a hate crime; they were charge and convicted only for the physical assault. The Jena Six beating also has obvious racial elements. According to witness statements, members of the Jena Six used racial slurs. According to witness statements, at the onset of the attack, "There's that that white [expletive deleted] who's been running his mouth." If Jena Six had been white and had said, "There's that that black (expletive deleted] who's been running his mouth," the federal government probably would have filed hate crime charges. The Justice Department considered filing hate crime charges against the white teenagers who hung the nooses even though no violence was involved.

  • ||

    I have lived in south Alabama and south Mississippi nearly half my life on and off since the 60's. The myth of racial harmony in small towns in the deep south tends to implode when the genteel white leadership percieves that the coloreds have strayed outside the boundaries of acceptable social interaction.
    The black kids that sat under the "whites'" tree clearly had broken the "rules."
    No, I don't agree with this, but see it in nearly all aspects of society here still.
    The only blacks in the white baptist and methodist churches here are the janitors and the old women doing daycare of infants.
    lynching now is done economically, socially, and judicially. This is due to law enforcement being hesitant to allow real lynching.
    The old attitudes are alive and thriving down here. They are just implemented in a much less visible manner.

  • ||

    Well, if this is a chicken-egg argument about the roots of segregation in Lousianna culture, I'm pretty comfortable standing pat with "not the voluntary choice of black people."

    joe, do you really want to take the position that black people lack the agency and capacity to choose to associate with one another? Really?

    Please tell me that you aren't describing efforts to increase the racial diversity of campuses as "segregation."

    For many of these multi-culti idiots, that is exactly what "increasing racial diversity" translates to in practice - balkanized institutions where ethnic groups each have their own turf. The degree to which this is simply encourage or is actually enforced by the school administration varies, of course.

    Regardless, I'm still struggling with why black folks in Jena sitting together are "segregated" but black folks at MIT living together are "increasing racial diversity."

  • ||

    Damn, look at 'em all show up with the same talking point.

    Welcome, totally-independent-commenters-who've-never-posted-before!

    R C Dean,

    joe, do you really want to take the position that black people lack the agency and capacity to choose to associate with one another? Really? No, I'm going to take the position that teenagers of all races are under serious pressure to conform to established social norms, and that this will influence their behavior.

    For many of these multi-culti idiots, that is exactly what "increasing racial diversity" translates to in practice - balkanized institutions where ethnic groups each have their own turf. Sometimes it can come off that way.

    Regardless, I'm still struggling with why black folks in Jena sitting together are "segregated" but black folks at MIT living together are "increasing racial diversity." Keep struggling, then. Maybe you can find someone who thinks that, and ask him.

  • Minion of URKOBOLD||

    Damn, look at 'em all show up with the same talking point.

    Welcome, totally-independent-commenters-who've-never-posted-before!



    HEAD FOR THE HILLS! IT'S AN INVASION OF THE JEAN BART CLONE ARMY!!!!!!!!!!!! BOURNE OF FRANKISH KINGS! MAN YOUR GUNNELS! HAK AWAY AT THEM! RUN AWAY!!!!!!!!!

    [hits self in head with wooden mallet]

  • ||

    [hits self in head with wooden mallet]


    Harder, MoU, harder.

  • ||

    Let me get this straight. The fact that they voted primarily for republicans is racist?

    David Duke primarily identified to a great deal with Democrats in the past and was one until he could not secure any support, not with the Republicans but appropriated certain elements which fit the template.

    As for Franklin, who else is better suited to report than the man who has been reporting the issues there from day one? CNN, MSNBC, or FOX? These people are notorious for swooping down on any city with their tentacles spread outward to grasp the sensationalism and capitalize for rating and ratings only.

    Even worse is when these news channels have an agenda which is always the oftern stated never rarely understood pilgrimage for "justice" and what merits justice? Just about any government run, tax funded, appropriation of tax money, and far fetched always doomed to fail social experimentation.

    Ever wonder why even though these boys were clearly heard yelling about attacking "the white boy" they were never even charged with civil rights violations? Get serious folks...I can tell you about approximately 5-6 recent hate crimes against whites which recieved little to no coverage, never even charged as hate crimes, and just disappeared.

    Wake up and smell the coffee...if your a white man you might as well walk with a target on your chest and a kick me sign on you backside.

  • Commentor||

    The Jena 6 situation is another example of how the Sharpton and Jackson crowds twist the truth (or simply ignore aspects of the truth) to fit their quest for retribution. Sharpton and Jackson -- both idiots -- should be convicted for decietfulness.

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