The Associated Press reports that a Louisiana appeals court has overturned the conviction of Mychal Bell, the first defendant in the Jena 6 case.
Don’t get excited. It’s not over. The kid may not even get out of jail.
It turns out that because Bell was only 16 at the time of the fight that resulted in his being charged with five other black Jena High School students in the beating of a white student, he should not have been tried as an adult.
The other 5 guys who were ever so much older and wiser, (they were 17, certainly an age when one should be held accountable for murder for a school yard fight, after all) will face adult charges – they will not get the “lucky break” Bell got.
One has to wonder at the timing of the appeals court decision. As the AP report notes:
Civil rights leaders, including the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, had been planning a rally in support of the teens for the day Bell was to have been sentenced.
Given the proclivities of those involved in the whole Jena mess, one has to wonder of some “good old boy” maneuvering isn’t taking place. Let’s think about it:
– this appeals court decision defuses (at least to a degree) some of the energy and explosiveness from the Sharpton/Jackson related rally;
– Bell is still at the mercy of a parish district attorney who can recharge him before he can clear the doors of the jail where he’s being held – but, of course, he’s a football star (running back)coveted by LSU, so there’s a chance he’ll walk so he can run;
– even if Bell does somehow miraculously escape the clutches of the D.A., the other 5 boys will face the same crippling charges he did and have their lives ruined for fighting back (albeit none too wisely) against what was clearly a racist hate crime that went largely unpunished – bet the farm on this;
– if by some miracle the Jena 6 get some semblance of just treatment at the hands of the legal system, (unlike the Scottsboro Boys, pictured above), there are always the local good old boys who find the examples of men like those who murdered Emmett Till just too admirable not to emulate them.
As my grandfather used to say, “If they keep messing around, somebody’s gonna end up dead.”
Let’s hope that for once my grandfather’s aphorism might be wrong….
Unf—ingbelievable. Thanks, JIm.
I was having a conversation with a white lady here who used to be in middle management with IBM. She
Poor little ones…..six on one is alright and morally legal, as long as it is six blacks against one white???? If it was six whites against one black, would Al and pals rant and rave in support of the six whites. Or, would it be justice served for beating up on one person?????? Wonder who the real racists are now????
Hey CL, let’s not muddle things by trying to pretend people are saying things they aren’t saying, huh? The BIG issue is why a public school and a city police and justice system have two sets of rules – one for blacks and one for whites.
Are the Jena 6 guilty of beating up a white kid? If so, it’s impossible to argue that it would have happened had officials acted appropriately when nooses started getting flung over trees in a disgustingly 1950s attempt at racial intimidation.
I’m a law-abiding white guy, but put me in a situation where something like that is aimed at me and those I care about, and let the law make clear that it will NOT protect me, you might find I’m capable of some bad behavior, too.
C.L.: The “real racists” as you would term them are those who created a situation where black students felt they had no rights or recourse other than violence – which set them up for the sort of “justice” promised to them by the LaSalle Parish D.A.
The racism in Jena, La, is systemic – and only confronting it can allow these kids to get any kind of justice. And justice is what any American has a right to. Justice should be color blind….In Jena, La, it isn’t.
That’s what all the fuss is about.
RESPONSE TO SS, IF IT WERE 6 WHITE BOYS ON ONE BLACK BOY IT WOULD BE STILL BE A RACIST MATTER. BECAUSE THE BLACK BOY GOT BEAT UP! BEFORE THOSE SLAVERY DAYS THEY USED HANG WITCHES TOO!
RG: Ummm, thanks for clearing that up.
I just think that things have gone too far. they are sentencing 6 black highschool boys 24 years in prison for a fight. There are fights in schools everyday and you dont see cop cars picking up children from school for fighting. thats why this is a racial matter. All these politicians can say this is a matter of right and wrong but they know the truth. this is 2007 people. if you are still a racist or if you are still ethnocentristic then you need to wake up and realize that you’re wasting your time because while you’re saying i don’t like him because he’s black,white,lation,asian or whatever your life is passing by.Life is too short for all this stupidity. Come on people it’s 2007. We need to get it together!!!!!