This is the line we keep getting from the ‘status quo of racism’ defenders.
Sure, he’s the purist, most innocent kid that ever lived. He’s such a good kid he got expelled from school 5 months after the fight for brining a gun to school. Now he’s a high school dropout as I understand it.
Their should be some recompense for the butt kicking that was delivered to Mr. Barker, but some recompense does not = anything goes. The charges are way overblown! This is the issue here. The fact that the Jena 6 had to be disciplined is hardly in dispute by anyone. That doesn’t mean any discipline is okay. If somebody steals a piece of candy from the store, that doesn’t make chopping off their hand justified. If someone steals a car, they should be prosecuted, but it doesn’t mean they deserve 50 years in prison. The time should fit the crime. It is also a crime to try to kill an ant with a sledgehammer, metaphorically speaking.
Further, ignoring all the context of the incident, and accepting one sided stories that don’t make sense and don’t fit the facts, is egregious. Reed Walters has presented to date, NO evidence of a conspiracy versus a spontaneous reaction to a verbal racial assault; that was in continuation of at least months of racial intimidation. Such context changes everything. If he has no evidence of conspiracy, why did he charge it in the first place; save he was out to get those kids to put the blacks in their place?
Justin Barker is a punk, a thug, and a race baiter. He instigated and attempted to racially intimidate, and then wants to act as if he had no role in anything.
How can one accept the notion, that Justin Barker neither said nor did a thing to provoke the attack; particularly in contradiction to the black students who say he was with at least one of the noose hangers at the time, taunting with racial slurs the black student who had been beaten by whites at a party.
WHICH MAKES MORE SENSE? Only one story makes ANY sense. If you believe Justin Barker, and the noose hanger that was with him and testified as a witness in court; then Black savages, for no reason whatsoever, plotted to randomly pick a white guy to beat down just for the hell of it; and Justin Barker was these savages unfortunate, innocent target.
First, if you believe they just randomly picked him to beat for no reason; then you believe in the long embedded racist stereotype of small brained marauding black Negroes, who only have the mental capacity for sex and violence.
There is more contexts that shapes this whole issue, and that shows Reed Walters had it out to get somebody Black, particularly the ones at the school interrupting the racial status quo.
When the principal of the school (the only person in Jen who’s done anything right in this situation) recommended the noose hangers be expelled, and the superintendent overruled him and slapped them on the wrist with a measly 3 days IN-SCHOOL suspension; the Black kids protested. Not an organized, formal protest mind you, but simply raised their voices in dismay that the noose hangers where getting off so light for such a deep insult and threat of bodily harm. Because of this, Reed Walters came up to the school, held an assembly, and told the Black kids if they didn’t stop their protest and basically get back in their place, “that he would end their lives with the stroke of a pen”. This shows a clear predisposition on his part – stay in your place nigger or I’m gonna get’ch ya – that was the clear message.
Then, in order to make his aggravated battery charge, once the fight did happen, he had to have aggravating circumstances; such as a deadly weapon. He calls a tennis shoe a deadly weapon. If a tennis shoe is a deadly weapon, then a stack of typing paper is a deadly weapon. This is absurd. It’s clearly and extreme overreach. I submit that it is an ‘I’m going get you anyway I can and make an example out of you’ reach.
This is against the backdrop of an ongoing history and tradition in this country of over charging and overly aggressively prosecuting black people when a white person is the victim (or in many times supposed victim) in racially charged settings.
This situation does not simply exist in a vacuumed.
A suspension and maybe a misdemeanor assault charge may have been appropriate; but 80 to 100 years for teens in a school fight who were provoked by constant racial intimidation, death threats, and beatings they took themselves? Even 15 to 22 years, as if there’s no culpability on the other side? For teenagers? Can YOU imagine living under a constant barrage of threats, abuse, and intimidation? Is it not human nature to react when the final straw hits. When the authorities (here, both school, police, and prosecutors) have shown they will not only not protect you, but that they are satisfied to maintain that status quo. When a white teen threatened black students with a shot gun, and they wrestled it away from him, the black students got charged with theft of a firearm, and the white teen didn’t get prosecuted. Is this not a clear message from the white authorities that we not only don’t care what happens to you; but if you sass a white person we’re going to get you?
People get beat up at school all the time for way less provocation (or just for bullying purposes) than what these kids endured. I’ve seen black students stomped before, and no one went to prison. People get beat up at school all the time for way less provocation (or just for bullying purposes) than what these kids endured. I’ve seen black students stomped before, and no one went to prison. It’s a lie that Barker was beat so bad that he almost died. People who almost die don’t go to social events the same night of such a severe beating; they’re too busy, in the hospital, trying not to die!
Where was the zeal and resilience that Reed Walters exhibits in going after the Jena 6, for prosecuting white kids during months of threats, intimidation, physical violence, and abuse? He scarcely went after anybody white for their barrage upon the black kids (one probation for a similar beating administered to a black kid, where a real weapon, a beer bottle across the head was used). He let an environment of intimidation and ridicules fester, and then went full throttle when the recipients of the hostility finally boiled over and exploded.
This is why there is a battered wife’s syndrome recognized in the courts, because it’s understandably human nature that if someone constantly abuses and berates you, that you can have a breaking point. This is why so many school systems in recent years have adopted no tolerance for bullying policies. But some people want to act like these factors don’t exist in this case. In their eyes, the case is as simple as six Black savages, for no reason whatsoever, out of the thin blue sky, beat a pure, innocent, all American white boy.
Oh by the way, some of the Jena 6 claim they weren’t even the ones in the fight (such as Bryant Purvis), and where not arrested on the spot; they weren’t arrested until the next day. I’ve not seen to date, any evidence from DA Walters proving Purvis, for one, was actually even involved. Forget all the above, it’s possible that some may be out right innocent. But you know something; Purvis was involved in leading the protest, though. You know, the protesting that lead to Reed Walters threat to end their lives with the stroke of his pen. Hmmm, how curious.
Read how Reed Walters felt that the noose hanging was insignificant and was frustrated that black people dare be upset by it, and how he was determined to put a stop to black folks making an issue of it: http://friendsofjustice.wordpress.com/2007/09/08/the-wall-of-shame/
Time line of Jena 6 events: http://www.11alive.com/news/article_news.aspx?storyid=103414
Good Article framing the issue, with a Reed Walter quote of the nooses being an “innocent prank”: http://www.newuniversity.org/showArticle.php?id=6027