Thursday, September 20, 2007

Controversial Topic

Well I really had not planned on interrupting my I.VAC. but I was inspired to write this after something I heard at work last night. Many employees were wearing purple and black ribbons. Another associate who was passing them out asked me if I wanted one, well I am not the type to just blindly support something I don't know about, so I wanted to know what the ribbon was for. Another co-worker asked me if I had heard about the 6 black teenagers in Louisiana who were on trial for beating a white student, and was looking to face sentences of 20 to more years in jail. These students are dubbed as the Jena 6 . I don't watch the news as much as I used to (too much negativity and biased sources) so I told her oddly enough I had not. I had only just recently found out about another case in West Virginia, where a young black woman was held captive for a week, tortured, sexually assaulted, and maliciously wounded, through another blogger. So I was somewhat familiar with that story, but had not heard of the Jena 6 . Many protesters, majority of whom are black have gone to Louisiana to demonstrate against what many are calling a disparity in the law. I don't want to go into too much detail as you can read the basic background info by clicking on the keywords in this post. But the gist of it is this: black students sat under a tree that was coined as the "white tree" where mainly white students sat, and the next day 3 nooses were hung on the tree. When the principal recommended that the students responsible be expelled, the school board overturned it calling it a "harmless prank" and the local prosecutor said they were too young to be charged with a hate crime. This led to a series of riffs between the white and black students, and in the end of all this, a white student was beat up by several black students and sent to the hospital. He was treated and sent home that day, and later attended his highschool's Ring Dance. The black students were later charged with assault, and then it was increased to attempted second degree murder a charge of which incited many people to object to the severity of the possible punishment. On the first day of the trial for one of the boys (Mychal Bell) the prosecutor reduced the charges to aggravated second degree battery-a charge of which requires the use of a deadly weapon; the shoes were argued to be the deadly weapon-this charge can still carry a sentence of 22 years. He was found guilty, by an all white jury, one of which was the friend of the victims father. This sparked even further outcry from the public and Mychal Bell was given new attorneys and a chance to make an appeal. A protest led by Al Sharpton, is taking place in Louisiana....................................................... Now in the case of the West Virgina woman, Megan Williams , in which she was subjected to far greater atrocities, and was more than likely eventually going to be killed by her tormentors, police and FBI are "investigating" if this was a hate crime; even though the victim gave a statement that, one of the accused said "this is what we do to niggers around here."

  • My issues
  1. What is there to investigate? Clearly the West Virginia case is not only a sick crime, but a racial one as well. There is no question about it. It seems to appear that when ever there is a crime concerning a white defendant, the justice system goes to great lengths to make sure that the accused are not being tried for anything extra and are being fairly treated, but in the case of non-whites, it seems everything that could possibly be thrown at them, is. These people who did this to Megan Williams; whom all have prior criminal records-Frankie Brewster was charged with 1st degree murder in 1994, and after pleading guilty to manslaughter, served only 5 years in prison, deserve to be denied freedom for many, many years to come. Are these people going to be given their just desserts? Even though this case is still new, I do not believe they will really get what they deserve. In the end they will probably be freed earlier than they should be, as was the case with Frankie Brewster.
  2. In the case of the kids in Louisiana, it is because of the prejudices and favoritism that was given by the school board that helped escalate the whole situation. If the school board had supported the Principal's original ruling, or at the very least gave the boys who hung the nooses more than 3 days in-school suspension, then it would have helped a little to cool the tensions between the students. Several Black students even went to the school board to try and discuss the matter, but were refused the chance, because the school board felt that it had handled the matter adequately. Also, since when does hanging nooses from a tree, after black students "crossed the line" and sat under the tree, constitute as a prank? I wonder if say for example, this school had a significant amount of middle eastern kids in its student body, and a few of them decided to wear t-shirts with the twin towers, showing the planes crashing into them and a big smiley face on the shirt, saying we support amateur pilots, or something bizarre like that, would this be considered just a silly prank? Of course not! These students would be reprimanded with much more than 3 days of in-school suspension.
  3. While I agree the black teenagers should be punished for beating up the white teenager, I think it is clearly a case of racism. In highschool kids get into scuffles all the time, and hardly ever is it treated with such severity. I have even witnessed, in middle school no less, where students have beat up other students, with the same type of force kicking etc. this involved a multitude of races, and not necessarily a race thing, per se and these students may have suffered expulsion, and detention time, but never to be charged as adults for attempted murder. That is absolutely absurd. I do not, and I am quite sure many people would agree, believe that this is a case of attempted murder. They beat him up (just as some of the black students had been beat up by some whites); were they wrong? yes. Did they attempt to murder him? I seriously do not believe so.

Overall does racism still exist in America? I think so, heck it still exists around the world. What I hope is that the number of non-racists can outweigh the number of racist people in the world, so we can have a little more harmony...

  • Note: please take the survey and watch this video at Youtube which shows how Fox News once again establishes themselves as a discreditable news source.

1 comment:

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