Friday, September 21, 2007

Jena 6

I hesitate to write about things without knowing all of the facts, but I am having a hard time understanding the Jena 6 controversy.

This is what I understand about the story. There is a school in Jena, Louisiana where the whites would hang out under a large tree. Last August, several blacks decided to go and hang out under the tree. The next day, some whites had put nooses in the tree. These whites were suspended (I believe there was an initial decision to expel them which was overturned).

In the following months, tensions were very high until December, when a white was beaten unconscious by six blacks. Although beaten severely, he was able to attend a school function that night. The six blacks were originally charged with 2nd degree attempted murder, but those charges have been reduced (I am not sure of the current charges). Whites were never prosecuted in the case.

This week, there was a major protest involving thousands of blacks to support the six blacks charge. The main message seems to be "equal justice".

I understand that our legal system has many flaws. I understand that it is racially biased. But I don't understand how you support six people who beat another person unconscious. What are they protesting? Do they want the accused blacks to be set free, even though no one disputes the beating? Do they want the whites to be charged? OK, I can understand this but I don't understand how you can "support" six people who beat another person unconscious.

Some black leaders are calling this the beginning of a movement to protect criminal rights. Maybe that movement is needed but I don't think these six black kids are the poster children for that movement. They beat a man unconscious which is against the law and they should pay for their punishment. If some white students beat another person, they should be punished also but I'm not sure I understand the cries for "equal justice" in this particular case.

Yes, the whites shouldn't be provoking others, but that doesn't give you the right to beat them unconscious.

Maybe I am missing some facts or just missing the point, but I think it will be hard for the blacks to gain support and sympathy for their cause when no one argues the guilt of the six defendants. With all of the problems in the legal system, it just seems like you could find much more compelling cases with defendants whose rights have clearly been violated. I just don't see it in this particular case.

For those looking for some poker, I played the $320 Poker Stars tourney Wednesday night. I think this is probably my favorite tournament of the week and I am going to make an effort to play it more frequently. There were over 700 entrants making for a nice payday. I flopped top two pair in the 2nd hour and my opponent turned two better pair and my evening was cut short.

For those who missed it, I was on ESPN last week for the WSOP main event. I was playing with Gus Hansen so we were on the feature table. Unfortunately, I just did not have very many interesting hands that day so my appearance on TV is mostly just watching the action. I flopped a boat against Gus on one hand and bluffed him on another hand, but unfortunately he folded both times on the flop costing me my chance at TV glory!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Prejudice is natural in human relations. I think the problem here is equality under the law. This is a fundamental concept of our Republic. So when it appears that the DA did not address this concern publicly at the start, I can understand the outcry. The Public wants to be reassured that justice being done while appearances suggest it is not. I fault the DA for not getting ahead of the problem from the start.