Return to Jena

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So, now that I am off my hiatus, I noticed there has been quite a bit going on out there. This story naturally caught my eye.

Being from Louisiana, the Jena 6 story really hit me hard in all of its different aspects. Given the nature of what occurred there, it's no surprise that the entire incident caught national attention. Thousands marched, blogged, and protested to give the teens justice and it was awarded.

However, it seems that some of the boys are still getting into trouble. Apparently one of them was caught stealing last week and later shot himself. So, obviously all those efforts to free the young men was a complete waste of time.

Right?

Wrong.

I fail to see how the continuing struggles of these young men takes away from those protests. Sorry, but any place that has students hanging nooses and a "white tree" needs to be exposed and rallied against. Period.

The DA in the case was on a power trip and wanted to send a message of fear to not just the Jena 6, but the entire black community of that town. The message was that we can have "white trees" and nooses all we want, but if you people step out of line I'm gonna throw your asses in jail for as long as I can.

It was wrong. The protests accomplished what they were supposed to accomplish and that was shining a light on an injustice. No one should feel like they did the wrong thing here. The subsequent mistakes of some of the young men is unfortunate but doesn't take away from the need to protest those issues.

What the mistakes do show is our community is still struggling to nurture our young men. We marched in and helped give these kids a second chance and then we.... Well, I don't know what happened next, but apparently it wasn't enough. Time and time again we march in to help kids when they are in trouble with the "system." However, we don't do enough once we get them out or to keep them from getting in trouble to begin with. Until we do, we'll keep seeing our young men blow their second chances.

submit to reddit