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> The Jena Six
culturehandy
post Sep 27 2007, 01:32 PM
Post #21


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girlygirlgag, I totally agree that one needs to face the consequences of actions, I was merely saying that we don't know the whole situation. I remember what else I was going to say, vigilante justice is what this has come to, and two wrongs certainly don't make a right.


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girlygirlgag
post Sep 27 2007, 01:25 PM
Post #22


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I have gremlins.


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pepper
post Sep 27 2007, 01:24 PM
Post #23







wow, you really, Really meant that, didn't you? wink.gif
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girlygirlgag
post Sep 27 2007, 01:14 PM
Post #24


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boop


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girlygirlgag
post Sep 27 2007, 01:14 PM
Post #25


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beep


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girlygirlgag
post Sep 27 2007, 01:13 PM
Post #26


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I never said that Mr bell should be punished as severely as he has been, but he committed a crime and he needs to face the consequences, and he has done it before. To throw out the, "Well so and so did it and they did not get in trouble" becomes inconsequential, because he did it too, knowing it is illegal, and he got busted.

I understand that white kids in the burbs get away with a hell of a lot more crap than black kids in the hood. I know this is the situation here, considering the kids who hung the nooses are not in jail on hate crime charges, like they should be. This school needs to be held accountable for not taking appropriate action against that assault.

BUT, there is a personal choice to participate in certain behaviors, to act like these kids are not in control of how they act in a situation is ludicrious. These kids stooped down to that level and they should not have. There is a choice, a person has control as to which way they are going to choose. I have sympathy in that this DA, and town needs a serious wake up call and the DA needs to piss up a rope and resign.

I have sympathy for the students, who are not acting like complete idiots, who have to suffer through these injustices and keep their heads up without resorting to illegal behavior, ON ALL SIDES of this situation. I have sympathy for the six who have suffered a punishment that did not fit the crime, and I have sympathy for a the asshole kid that got jumped by a group of other kids.

This is an ugly situation and it highlights what there still needs to be done in the American justice system, to make it fair for everybody. But to insinuate that beating a person up is ever acceptable, goes against making the system fair. To state that it is okay for some people to either judge or harass a person based on their color, because it has been done to them, goes against all senses of fairness.

is it frustrating? Yes. But, things have to be balanced for them to work.


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sixelacat
post Sep 27 2007, 01:11 PM
Post #27


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What treehugger said. smile.gif eta: and pepper! guess I'm just not typing fast enough today!

I would also add that over time it changes the meaning of the word for everyone. Since language is organic and ever-evolving, reclaiming words like dyke and queer as a community pushes their evolution in a more positive direction, which over time benefits everyone. And while any word can be used as an insult through context/inflection, reclaiming certain words can help remove their inherent negativity. Does that make sense?





This post has been edited by sixelacat: Sep 27 2007, 01:18 PM


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culturehandy
post Sep 27 2007, 01:07 PM
Post #28


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In regards to how the media is handling this. We all know that the media likes to sensationalize things. Media has a bias (NPR vs. Fox), and media outlets are all over issues that show how the issue of race is handled. People are obsessed with the concept of race and when there is an instance, particulalry in an area that has a history of division, then of course there will be a frenzy. My question is, if the media had not reported on this, would the turnout have been the same? The media, of course, has brought an important issue to light here, and that is what matters.

As for priors, we don't know what happened in these priors. We were not a fly on the wall and it is inappropriate to judge someone based on this. Would you all think differently of me if I told you that I was charged with assauly causing bodily harm (a serious criminal offence in Canada)? You don't know the details of what happened in my situation, just as we don't know the circumstances of Mr. Bell.

As for the lack of action taken when nooses were hanged from a tree. That is disgusting and I would have reacted as well. If someone pulled a gun on me, you can bet that I'd start some shit. After recovering from being shit fucking scared. Does anyone see a problem with someone under 18 having a gun????

No one will ever know what went on here. Yes there is obvious injustice here and yes something needs to be done. It is also sad that instances of unfairness in the justice system exist everywhere. In Canada, it is the First Nations population that is marginalized and people are quick to blame crime on those of First Nations ansestry. The phenomenon of blaming those who are at a disadvantage (any disadvantage, no matter who put them there) is not one that is restricted to the U.S. alone.

I understand that when a crime is committed action must be taken, however, one cannot ignore the facts, as the DA did in this particular case. (and countless others, I imagine). What is worse is that some people feel powerless to do anything about this.

As for using a derogatory word in a positive sense, it is taking power back from the one who is trying to oppress you.


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pepper
post Sep 27 2007, 12:56 PM
Post #29







it's not so much about making the people using the word against you feel that it doesn't bother you, that's too passive i think. it's more about Actively reclaiming the word and redefining it so that it has a different meaning not only to you but to society at large. queer, fagot and dyke don't mean what they used to mean. even when used in a derogatory fashion the words just don't have the same kind of impact. i still struggle with the N word however, as do many others. popular usage hasn't dimmed it's extremely negative connotation for me. sure it's insulting to be called cracker, whitey or whatever but it hasn't been used whilst lynching a bunch of us based solely on the colour of our skin. it just doesn't have the same history, the same depth of meaning, the same impact. not by a long shot.
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treehugger
post Sep 27 2007, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE(Mr Pugs @ Sep 27 2007, 01:34 PM) *
What's the purpose of reclaiming the words?


MY take on the reclaiming of words derogatory to your particular "niche" in society, is,

That when a word is so hateful, so derogatory to you, and is constantly being used to be abusive towards you, it's an act of defiance. You feel that if you can somehow convince that abuser that the word doesn't bother you....they will stop using it.

Like if I use the word "cunt". If people think that the word doesn't bother me, they won't use it against me, cause it's ineffective. Now it's stopped being their weapon, and has become MY word.

Anyway...that's my take on the reclamation of derogatory words. It's a way of empowering yourself. Not that it always works, not that it doesn't backfire. It's just my impression of the phenomenon.


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laniethezany
post Sep 27 2007, 12:36 PM
Post #31


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The problem with looking at this situation in isolation is that there are decades of history that go into why things are the way they are in a given town, not to mention in the American criminal "justice" system.

There has been mention of the Black citizens of Jena who didn't show up when summoned for jury duty. But if you live in a town like this where there is such blatant racial bias in the application of the law, it would be very easy to become disillusioned with the system and see no point in showing up for jury duty.

Also, the presence of a few potential Black jurors would not have guaranteed that any would have been appointed to actually sit on the jury. The process of selecting jury members includes a chance for each side's lawyer(s) to ask questions of the potential jurors to identify any who should be removed for cause. (They know one of the parties, they have a financial stake in the case, preconceived ideas as to guilt or innocence, etc.) Each side also gets a number of peremptory challenges where you can strike a jury member for any or no reason. There are Supreme Court rulings saying that a lawyer can't use these challenges to remove a juror because of protected class status (race, sex, religion, ethnicity, age, disability, or veteran status), but it's fairly easy to get around that even in a court where there isn't this kind of nonsense going on. All the lawyer has to do is articulate some other reason that the juror was stricken, and unless the judge finds no basis to believe the lawyer, that person is out.

There has also been talk of Mychal Bell's priors. Well, look at the people who are charged with applying the law in this town. There are all kinds of statistics that show how Black youth are far more likely to be charged with crimes when engaging in identical behavior to white kids. Once charged, they are much more likely to be convicted and sentenced more harshly. (This spirals into ongoing issues with huge racial differentials in the prison population, spurred on by "three strikes" laws and other factors like mandatory minimums, but that's a topic for another post.)

The plight of the Jena Six is a particularly glaring example of the type of injustice that goes on all the time in America. While there are certainly groups calling for the charges to be dropped, I don't think anyone is saying that assault is OK. But Mychal Bell has already spent almost 10 months in jail. It's not like he's getting off with no punishment whatsoever.

The National Lawyers Guild (a seriously kick-ass organization) has a statement on the situation that sums this all up better than I have. You can read it here: http://nlg.org/news/index.php?entry=entry070924-114458
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Mr Pugs
post Sep 27 2007, 12:17 PM
Post #32


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QUOTE(pepper @ Sep 27 2007, 01:04 PM) *
for the same reason that the gay community has reclaimed the words queer, fagot, and dyke.

What's the purpose of reclaiming the words?
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girlygirlgag
post Sep 27 2007, 12:09 PM
Post #33


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There is also the position in the gay and lesbian community who think it is wrong to use that kimd of language, as well as persons of color who find the "N" word offensive.

I think the word "bitch" is offensive and I hate when people use it.

I never think it is okay to use deroguatory language.

I think that Jena is home to a bunch of punk teenagers, white and black. This school has made grave errors on not treating the situations that lead up to this as seriously as they should and this DA shoudl resign.

However, the people who beat this kid up, or stood around egging on the attackers, should be punished as well. Like, doing community service, etc, IF they have no priors.


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pepper
post Sep 27 2007, 11:47 AM
Post #34







for the same reason that the gay community has reclaimed the words queer, fagot, and dyke.
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Mr Pugs
post Sep 27 2007, 11:03 AM
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"one represents the ugliest hatred this country has had to offer?" this i whole heartedly agree with. one cannot really be racially slurred against as a white person, it's a flimsy little insult by comparison.

I agree with that. The thing that bothers me is the double standard. A racial slur is a racial slur. I don't get offended by getting called a wop or cracker, because they are only words. I feel bad for the person saying it, because they can't get past the ignorant mental hurdle. If the "n" word is so hateful and horrible, why do I hear it all the time in rap music and from urban radio djs?
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girlygirlgag
post Sep 27 2007, 11:03 AM
Post #36


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QUOTE(pepper @ Sep 27 2007, 05:02 PM) *
cannot really be racially slurred against as a white person, it's a flimsy little insult by comparison.


Bullshit.

When I am followed down my street being harassed and my color is called out in that harassment, it is equally threatening. To act like I should take it because I am white, or anyone else, is a double standard and nullifies your position. It is equal rights for everyone, that means everyone should be held accountable to the same level of decorum.


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girlygirlgag
post Sep 27 2007, 10:59 AM
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Knick it off with the "You don't live here" garbage. I live in a city known for race riots, I live in the US. This problem is not strictly LA.

Does it matter if it was 6 or 3? It was not 1 on 1, P E R I O D.

VIOLENCE IS NOT RIGHT AND NEVER JUSTIFIED, stop trying to justify those actions. I don't agree with trumped up murder charges, but it is unlawful for people to seek their own justice through violence.

Maybe I should have my ten year old neice find a group of her friends and jump the girl that through rocks at her and called her a dumb white bitch?

Sound fair?

Grow up, people.


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pepper
post Sep 27 2007, 10:45 AM
Post #38







i know we all feel strongly about this but i see the thread disintegrating into a mud sling if we don't quit with the personal shit people.


"one represents the ugliest hatred this country has had to offer?" this i whole heartedly agree with. one cannot really be racially slurred against as a white person, it's a flimsy little insult by comparison.
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doxy
post Sep 27 2007, 10:07 AM
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"3 black guys "exchange words" with one white guy, who then proceeds to get his gun from his truck. Instead of backing down, they take the gun from him and go home with it. To me it sounds like the white guy was scared of getting jumped, and pulled the gun for protection."
But then--weren't you always going to see it that way?

So Michael Bell beat up some drunk guy who was bothering the people he was with...again, it's better than shooting the idiot.


If you lived here maybe you'd understand why none of those who were black answered their summons to jury duty. Why haven't "they" been interviewed? Again, you don't live here. Two weeks ago some friends of mine visited me from Raleigh and I took them on the Garden District Tour. When I do the tour we end up in the cemetery. This time the grounds keeper was there and offered to show us a couple famous tombs. Along the way he went on to discuss living in the garden district after the hurricane and how he carried a gun the whole time...then suggested that if he were black he'd have been shot, he was certain of it. What bothered me is that he didn't say "black" he said if he were a "n word"....in front of me and my friends. Obviously thinking because we looked white it would be ok. We all shook our heads and left, I turned around and suggested he lose that word when talking to tourist...gives us a bad name. He complained he wasn't being racist about it--right, you were being sincere. Fuck off.

What is begining to bother me is the underlying sentiments on the "6 on 1", as if that was the only way big barker was going to get beaten down. I have a suggestion. How about our lot pay a white male to go to a Common or Mos Def concert just to yell racial rhetoric in the crowd. You think he's going to get hit once? Here's the better question, how many people will have been shockingly offended?
"While it may be true that Barker was saying racial slurs against the six, I don't believe that they weren't giving it back. Is it expected that with superior numbers, the six were saying "please, stop saying that, it hurts my feelings"?"
Use your head.
"There are multiple sources that say even though an investigation ensued, the noose incident did not play a role in this fight."
Have we really become this simple?
"I have had racial slurs yelled at me in the past, is it okay for me to go and beat up someone of that race?"
Does the shame lie with us as a whole never being able to place equal wieght upon each race's respective slur...or is it on the fact that one represents the ugliest hatred this country has had to offer?
So it's a shame we don't feel the bother when being labelled crackers, Mr.Puggie, but then are you to suggest you'd rather have it the other way around (or are there implications we're superior as it'll never bother us to the point of riot)? Gonna go ahead and call it bullshit, ie non-relevant.
After reading most of this I'm begining to wonder why you don't like Delaware?

Well I'm done, it's getting too draining for me to stick with this thread...also cheekily I've been slightly upset with myself to not have come up with what GirlTrouble and Octobersky posted below. Wasn't at me articulate best.

Here's to 4 of the 6, the three chumps who hung the nooses to all be shackled together for some serious community service, chain-gang style.

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Mr Pugs
post Sep 27 2007, 07:52 AM
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I agree pepper that it's nitpicking, but I've heard/read a lot of people saying that it can't be a jury of their peers without black representation. To state in an article that it was an all white jury, without mentioning that they couldn't choose blacks due to none answering the summons, seems like it's adding to the racial aspect of the story. I'm sure that if any showed up, they would have been on the jury.
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