Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Jena High School Fire Apparently Not Related To Racial Tensions

I never understood why my fellow Jena 6 supporters made an issue of the high school fire. I never saw how their being arson, without knowing who did it or without any threat attached to it, proved anything about the racial strife. I never understood what the logic was that would assume that racists would burn their own high school as retaliation against Black people.

That’s why in my extensive writing on the Jena 6 I’ve never mentioned it; unless it may have appeared in a larger block quote about other issues, but that is it. I just never saw what there having be an arson had to do with anything. Actually, I was afraid if anything some black students might have done it in a misguided protest against the school's defacto discrimination and light handedness in dealing with the noose hangers.

From the mug shots I’ve seen it was actually a racially cooperative effort; with both Black and White suspects. Maybe there’s hope for Jena after all. If we can commit crime together, maybe, just maybe we can learn to live together :P

AP Photo via

Arrests made in Jena High arson case
Motive was to get rid of bad grades, shut down the school
Abbey Brown
The (Alexandria) Town Talk

JENA - Eight people, including three juveniles, will be charged with arson in connection with the fire that destroyed the main building of Jena High School in November 2006, authorities said today.

The motivation for the fire wasn't racial, as many suspected, but was to get rid of bad grades and shut down the school, said LaSalle Parish Sheriff-elect Scott Franklin, who is CEO of the Sheriff's Office.

The arson is not connected to the Jena Six case, none of the six defendants in that case are suspects in the arson, and the arson was not racially motivated, Franklin said. The group of suspects in the arson case is racially diverse.
An undercover narcotics operation led to information about the suspects in the school arson, Franklin said during a 1 p.m. press conference today at the LaSalle Parish Courthouse.

All of the arson suspects are males. Three Jena men have been arrested, and two more men are being sought. The other three suspects are juveniles.
Four of the eight suspects were students at Jena High School at the time of the fire, and two are currently students at the school, Franklin said.
The three adults arrested are Marcus Lee, 20, Joshua McGee, 18, and Dakota Graham, 19, all of Jena, according to Franklin.

The names of the other two adult suspects have not been released because they have not yet been arrested. The names of the juveniles are not being released.

For more read here