Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jena 6 - Justice For All

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Well, the Jena 6 controversy seems to be surprising a lot of people. Why?

It certainly wasn't a surprise to me.

We've deluded ourselves into believing that discrimination no longer exists in our world.

Well, guess what people. It does. And before you Canadians out there get all self-righteous, it's not just an American problem. It exists here in Canada too and is just as malicious.

Now before anyone starts screaming about reverse discrimination, I don't agree with what the black kids did. It was clearly wrong and they shouldn't have done it. I'm just putting it in context.

The fact that it occurred to a group of white kids to establish a white tree, tells us that discrimination exists.
The fact that it occurred to a group of white kids to commit a Hate crime by hanging nooses on the tree, tells us it exists.
The fact that the community came down extremely hard on the black kids, by 1) exaggerating the victims injuries and 2) charging these kids with attempted murder tells us it exists.
The fact that the School administration just brushed both the "White" tree and the nooses, off as a prank, tells us it exists.

What are the claims that the black community are making?

If a white kid does something it's brushed off as a prank and they are given a slap on the wrist.
FACT: The administration ignored the fact that the white kids had set up a "White" tree where other kids were not allowed to go for quite a long time.
FACT: When the black kids objected to this, the white kids responded by hanging nooses from the tree. By any rational definition a Hate crime.
FACT: This was brushed off as a "prank" and the white kids were given a slap on wrist.

If a black kid does something they are charged under the fullest extent of the law.
FACT: The white victim of the beating and his parents claim that he was beaten to within an "inch" of his life.
FACT: He was released from the hospital after two hours and attended a social event immediately after.
FACT: Attempted murder charges reflect the fullest extent of the law. The charge was changed but it was still more serious and involved defining the kids' white runners as lethal weapons???

The charges could have been simple assault, or the school could have chosen to intervene anytime, and in such a way that justice was served, in an effort to prevent this reaction by the black kids.

My question is: Why didn't the school intervene immediately? Did it not occur to them that the creation of a "White" tree would provoke the black kids, particularly when it had nooses hanging from it? Just like it would provoke Jewish kids if swastikas were found hanging from the tree.

Or, Perhaps they simply didn't care ... until a white kid was injured.

The very clear message they are sending here, is that it's okay for the white kids to commit Hate crimes, but it's not okay for the black kids to have a problem with it.

The Jena 6 have the right to equal treatment under the law and in the school system. This is a legislated legal right.

In my opinion, all the kids, black and white should be properly disciplined by the school for their behavior.

However, it's the School Board and the Town who should be charged for:

1) Allowing a Hate Crime to occur and not acting on it.

2) With Assault since they were the ones who created the conditions for the assault to occur.

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