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1000s Rally In Jena To Support Hate Crime

From a delighted Associated Press:

This photo released by the LaSalle Parish District Attorney’s Office shows Justin Barker in the hospital after he was beaten on Dec. 4, 2006 in Jena, La. Barker was treated and released from the hospital.

Thousands rally in La. to support Jena 6

By MARY FOSTER, Associated Press Writer

JENA, La. – Traffic jammed the two-lane road leading into the tiny town of Jena early Thursday as thousands of demonstrators gathered in support of six black teens initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said it could be the beginning of the 21st century’s civil rights movement, one that would challenge disparities in the justice system.

“You cannot have justice meted out based on who you are rather than what you did,” Sharpton told CBS’s “The Early Show” Thursday

“This is the most blatant example of disparity in the justice system that we’ve seen,” Sharpton said Thursday. “You can’t have two standards of justice. We didn’t bring race in it, those that hung the nooses brought the race into it.”

District Attorney Reed Walters, breaking a long public silence, denied Wednesday that racism was involved.

He said he didn’t prosecute the students accused of hanging the nooses because he could find no Louisiana law under which they could be charged. “I cannot overemphasize what a villainous act that was. The people that did it should be ashamed of what they unleashed on this town,” Walters said.

In the beating case, he said, four of the defendants were of adult age under Louisiana law and the only juvenile charged as an adult, Mychal Bell, had a prior criminal record

Bell, 16 at the time of the attack, is the only one of the “Jena Six” to be tried so far. He was convicted on an aggravated second-degree battery count that could have sent him to prison for 15 years, but the conviction was overturned last week when a state appeals court said he should not have been tried as an adult.

Thursday’s protest had been planned to coincide with Bell’s sentencing, but organizers decided to press ahead even after the conviction was thrown out. Bell remains in jail while prosecutors prepare an appeal. He has been unable to meet the $90,000 bond.

“We all have family members about the age of these guys. We said it could have been one of them. We wanted to try to do something,” said Angela Merrick, 36, of Atlanta, who drove with three friends from Atlanta to protest the treatment of the “Jena Six”.

The rally was heavily promoted on black Web sites, blogs, radio and publications.

Students came from schools across the region, including historically black colleges like Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Howard University, Hampton University and Southern University.

Tina Cheatham missed the civil rights marches at Selma, Montgomery and Little Rock, but she had no intention of missing another brush with history. The 24-year-old Georgia Southern University graduate drove all night to reach tiny Jena in central Louisiana.

“It was a good chance to be part of something historic since I wasn’t around for the civil rights movement. This is kind of the 21st century version of it,” she said

In Jena, with only 3,500 residents, some residents worried about safety. Hotels were booked from as far away as Natchez, Miss., to Alexandria, La.

Red Cross officials manned first aid stations near the local courthouse and had water and snacks on hand. Portable toilets and flashing street signs to aid in traffic direction were in place. At the courthouse troopers chatted amiably with each other and with demonstrators who began showing up well before dawn.

Sharpton, who helped organize the protest, met Bell at the courthouse Wednesday morning. He said Bell is heartened by the show of support and wants to make sure it stays peaceful.

He doesn’t want anything done that would disparage his name — no violence, not even a negative word,” Sharpton said.

Thousands? Once again one suspects these numbers will not be visible to any camera or human eye — apart from our watchdog media.

Andrea Blalock, left, checks out a shirt for her husband Thomas Blalock, both from Stockbridge, Ga. as they prepare for a march in support of the Jena 6 in Jena, La., Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007. Hundreds of people dressed in black, from college students to veterans of the civil rights movements, boarded buses bound for Jena and a rally Thursday in support of six black teenagers who were initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate.

It will just be the usual suspects, including of course, the Solon Mr. Sharpton:

“You cannot have justice meted out based on who you are rather than what you did,” Sharpton told CBS’s “The Early Show” Thursday.

I agree. And to that end I would suggest Mr. Sharpton be tried and punished to the fullest extent of the law for his numerous past crimes.

But isn’t it funny how the details behind this case are slowly trickling out.

[District Attorney Reed Walters] said he didn’t prosecute the students accused of hanging the nooses because he could find no Louisiana law under which they could be charged…

In the beating case, he said, four of the defendants were of adult age under Louisiana law and the only juvenile charged as an adult, Mychal Bell, had a prior criminal record.

Of course our watchdog media has never bothered to report any of this. (Nor that the “nooses” seem to have had nothing to do with the beating, which occurred months later.)

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the other professional race baiters behind this “grassroots uprising” clearly are not able to cope with turns of events:

Thursday’s protest had been planned to coincide with Bell’s sentencing, but organizers decided to press ahead even after the conviction was thrown out.

Since the buses had been contracted, the rent-a-mob hired and the lunches and cigarettes bought, they had to go through with it.

Besides, what else do they have to do?

Red Cross officials manned first aid stations near the local courthouse and had water and snacks on hand.

Does the Red Cross cater all such demonstrations? If so, when did they start? If not, why this one?

The Red Cross is a quasi-government organization. Your tax dollars are paying for this. 

But of course it is for a good cause. Picking at the scabs of non-existent racial wounds is always a good thing.

Still, given that these black kids tried to kill a white boy because of his race, why aren’t the protestors demanding stiffer penalties because it was a “hate crime”?

(Of course this is a rhetorical question. We all know blacks can’t commit hate crimes.)

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, September 20th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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