"This country has demonstrated over time that it is not prepared to operate as an integrated society."Look no further then Jena, LA and the case of the Jena 6. The story isn't complicated, but it is interesting how so many details get left out of the telling. Read Listen to me for a minute for a detailed timeline. Friends of Justice has a great post called Why the "liberal" media doesn't get Jena.
And now the white supremacists are riding into town, whipping up the hatred and fear, with their laptops under their sheets, publishing on their web site the phone numbers and addresses of the black teenagers called the Jena 6. White residents of Jena are afraid to openly support these six students. And you gotta love Reed Walters, the lawyer representing the school board. Not only is he the prosecuting district attorney in the case, he brought police to the high school and threatened protesting black students, “I could end your lives with the stroke of a pen.”
I am disturbed by the growing tendency of mainstream journalists to jump from the nooses to Justin Barker’s swollen eyes without mentioning the chain of events that link these graphic and disturbing images. We don’t hear about Reed Walter’s pen. We don’t hear about the fire that destroyed the central academic wing of the High School. We don’t hear about Robert Bailey, Jr. getting attacked at a dance. We don’t hear about a white youth threatening black youth with a shotgun outside the Gotta Go convenience store. We don’t hear about Justin Barker and his buddies talking trash with black students during the lunch hour.
In fact, many journalists have latched onto US Attorney Donald Washington’s bizarre claim that there is no discernible link between the noose incident and the assault on Justin Barker. Anyone familiar with the facts of this story can only gasp in disbelief at this suggestion. But most journalists don’t know the facts. Last Friday, on the LaSalle Parish Courthouse lawn, I told an NBC reporter that they needed to get a person of equal prominence to Donald Washington (Charles Ogletree?) to rebut his allegations. The man was unimpressed. “He’s got access to the evidence,” he replied. “Who else knows as much about the story?”
I told him I had access to all the facts Washington had seen. To prove it, I began rattling off the disturbing undeniable links between the nooses and the swollen eyes. “You’re kidding me,” the man said. “Really?” “Oh my God, I hadn’t heard that.” This is the guy who was helping to shape the story for the NBC Nightly News!
Seems like old times.
UPDATE: It gets worse.
...the leader of a white supremacist group in Mississippi published interviews that he conducted with the mayor of Jena and the white teenager who was attacked and beaten, allegedly by the six black youths. In those interviews, the mayor, Murphy McMillin, praised efforts by pro-white groups to organize counterdemonstrations; the teenager, Justin Barker, urged white readers to "realize what is going on, speak up and speak their mind."The Barker family, the family of the white teenager who was beaten, allegedly by the six black youths, INVITED the leader of a white supremacist group to stay overnight at their home on the eve of last week's protest march.
McMillin has insisted that his town is being unfairly portrayed as racist—an assertion the mayor repeated in an interview with Richard Barrett, the leader of the Nationalist Movement, a white supremacist group based in Learned, Miss., who asked McMillin to "set aside some place for those opposing the colored folks."
"I am not endorsing any demonstrations, but I do appreciate what you are trying to do," Barrett quoted McMillin as saying. "Your moral support means a lot."
Barker's father, David, said his family did not know the nature of Barrett's group when they agreed to be interviewed, adding, "I am not a white supremacist, and neither is my son."
But Barrett said he explained his group and its beliefs to the Barker family, who then invited him to stay overnight at their home on the eve of last week's protest march.
Rev. Jesse Jackson told the Tribune that he had grown so concerned about white extremists' threats against the Jena 6 families and perceived injustices in the town that he called the White House over the weekend to ask for immediate federal intervention. Jackson said the acting head of the U.S. Justice Department's civil right division phoned him Monday to say that the agency had begun investigating the Jena situation.