The many twists and turns of the Jena Six saga

It’s been a couple of days since I updated my blog, but frankly speaking I didn’t know where to begin. There’s been so many twists and turns, ups and downs that I hardly know where to begin. As you read this post, you may think that I’m rambling. I’m not. I’m just trying to get in all in.

Since the Sept. 20 march, where many estimated about 60,000 or more people gathered in Jena, Mychal Bell remains in jail as the judge has refused to release him. Mychal is robert-bailey.jpgrobert-bailey.jpgheld without any charges in the LaSalle Parish adult jail instead of juvenile detention. Many people who marched on that historic day had faith that Mychal would join them. That was not the case, and I never thought it would be. Just think about it. That would be too much like right, and the powers that be in Jena would not go down in history and let it be said that they did the right thing.

The right thing. What exactly would be right thing be in the case? In my heart and humble opinion, I believe that the Jena Six teens were involved in a fight that day. I believe that they gave the victim, Justin Barker, a beat down that caused him great injuries. Therefore, I believe that the boys deserved to be punished, but on lesser charges that District Attorney Reed Walters has given them.

The local authorities are amazed that we came to Jena and didn’t cause any problems on Thursday, Sept. 20. Police didn’t issue one ticket, one citation. We did leave a lot of trash, which is to be expected. I didn’t like the fact that people trampled the shrubs at the LaSalle Parish Courthouse, but that’s minor compared to what could have happened on that day.

The local authorities are estimating the crowd on that day to be no more than 25,000 people. I beg to differ. I don’t know how one counts that many people but it sure seems like the “official” number is low.


The FBI out of New Orleans is investigating threats the families of the Jena Six are receiving from white supremacists, who posted the names and addresses of the families on a Web site urging their followers to take care of the situation in Jena. I refused to post their threats on this blog, but you get the picture.

According to the local press, Justin Barker’s parents gave an interview to a “reporter” with the nationalist movement because the “reporter” claimed he wanted to tell Justin’s story. They gave the interview, but later said they were “duped” because the “reporter” misled them. I can’t believe out of all of the requests from reputable media outlets, the Barkers would say yes this time. Nevertheless, they did, and the rest is history.

robert-bailey.jpgRobert Bailey’s myspace photo

What should have been a good day for me Saturday turned out to be a day of distress after I saw Robert Bailey’s page. Judge for yourself, but this is not the image we need to see of Bailey and any of the other defendants.

Bailey’s myspace page has since been taken down, but unfortunately I saw it before it was deleted. I took notice of the page after the local press had the story in that day’s paper. The local press insinuated that the money that Bailey is basking in is from the money people are sending to the legal defense fund. I don’t know, and I sure hope that’s not the case. You be the judge of that. It’s too much for me to even begin to wonder.

For all I know this photo could have been taken before this tragedy occurred. However, there were other pictures of Bailey and another teen wearing “Free the Jena Six” T-shirts. Robert presented himself as a “thug” on his page. Maybe, it’s a teen thing that I don’t know about. I hope that’s the case. There’s already too much going on with this case. We don’t need to find out that the money that many people donated  for the legal defense fund is being used for other purposes.

Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and beyond

You may have seen the parents of the Jena Six circling the country making appearances on The Larry King Show, Howard University and Congress. I didn’t get to see The Larry King Show, but I’ve been told Melissa Bell and Marcus Jones, Mychal Bell’s parents, held their own. Also, the Rev. Brian Moran, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church and spokesman for the LaSalle Parish NAACP branch, along with Justin Barker’s parents were expected to be in Los Angeles Monday to appear on the “Dr. Phil’s” talk show. If the Barkers went, this will be the first time that both sides will be in the same place to talk about the issue.

That’s all I have for now. Keep coming back to The Light.

7 Responses

  1. I think if you dig a little deeper you’ll find he is a thug. His black neighbors have been complaining about these boys keying cars, breaking car windows and vandalizing homes. There’s much more to the story than is being told by the press.

    The victims aren’t the Jena 6, but their neighbors and community.

    God bless…

  2. From day one of this whole affair that has become known as the “Jena Six”, I have always stated that these six young black men who attacked Justin Barker needed to be punished, but not punished with the kind of charges that have been levied upon them, and not punished with the kind of harsh sentences that they could possibly receive.

    From what has been published in the news medica about the young men, and especially Mychal Bell, they are not someone’s “little angels”. Mychal was already on probation from an early charge, and that charge was not his first one. Plain and simple, he is a “trouble maker” , and if hadn’t been caught before the big fight where the boys attacked Justin, he probably would have gotten into some more trouble. I can understand him doing one crime, but to have at least three against him at such a early age is dishearting.

    One would ask the question _ “where was his parents when he was getting into trouble”? His father was no where around for almost seven months, and his mother was in/out of his life. Now, all of a sudden, they are back in his life “big time”. I truly hope that it is because they care for and love Mychal because he is their son, and that is what parents are supposed to do, and not because they are in it for the “limelight”.

    As I have stated earlier, everyone needs to let the justice system works, and it can work, and will work, if we have trust in it.
    Sometimes, it is best to take care of one’s own affairs before bringing others in to take care of things for us or others.

    As for as the picture of Robert Bailey with the money in his mouth that appeared in the newspaper, it was somthing that he should not have put on a Myspace page. It made him look bad, and it made it seemed as if was captializing on the “Jena Six” case . Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong, on his parts. This one picuture has probably given everyone a bad taste in their mounts. The five young men who are in the public’s eye should mind their p’s and q’s, and should try to stay out of the public eye if all possible, and stay out of the public eye if they are gonna do such stupid things as putting $100.00 bills in your mouth.

  3. How long does it take for the news to broadcast stories about a Black man doing wrong(robbing stores, shooting, etc)?? The very next hour, it’s breaking news.
    But please tell me how long it takes for the news to broadcast injustices committed against our Black men?…Don’t worry, I’ll wait….Thank you. It takes too long. The media doesn’t care. It’s too concerned with a drugged-up lindsey lohan and child abusing britany spears. NOW THAT’S NEWS!!
    The only time Blacks were accepted in america was 9/11. Before and after that day, we become just another minority class to the closed-minded red necks!

  4. Raleighla – If our black brothers wouldn’t commit these crimes in the first place, then there would be no need for the media to broadcast their story in the first place. And believe me, these stories about black men committing crimes are not made up by the media, these crimes do happen, and it’s a shame that the majority of those committing them are black men. They put themselves in the spot they are in, not the media.

    And speaking about how long it takes for someone to do something, how long does it takes for someone to start helping out and mentoring our black youths when we realize that they are in trouble? Oh, I forgot, that usually doesn’t happen until they (black youth) are put in the “limelight” by the media that you are speaking of. Just look at the “Jena Six” case. Where were all of our “so called” black leaders when Mychal Bell really needed someone to guide him along the way?

    As I have stated before, black folk need to stop blaming everyone else for their problems. Each one of us has control over what happens to us, and it is no one else’s fault but our own when something doesn’t go right for us. t’s time to stop the “blame game”.

    For once, black people should own up to their own shortcomings, and believe me, we have many who try to blame their downfall and shortcomings on others, and sometimes, it is not only the white man that we blame. I, for one, know that many blacks blame other blacks for their shorcomings as well.

    We have good black people; we have good white people. We have terrible, downright, and ignorant black people, and we have terrible, downright, and ignorant white people. Prejudice runs along both sides of the fence.

  5. How many Black children did you mentor today? How many did any of us with the exception of those who work among children mentor today? When was the last time as a parent did you encourage your child to excel, regardless of the circumstances around them? It takes a village(our communities)to raise a child. And many of us in the Black community have failed miserably! With the goal of chasing equality we seem to have forgotten about our families, our culture and our communities. We have let the ignorant and those unintelligent represent us as a people, and this is what the world sees and that is at our worst. Many of us have denounced anything that is inteligent, productive, progressive and innovative as being of White America, only to have our children fail in everything that they attempt to do. Many of our people have accepted mediocrity and failure as thier life choices and feel that’s what we as a people should except. I applaud those parents who have stuck by the old way of rearing a Black child in America. And we can no longer continue to denounce and ridicule our own people for their decisions in raising their children. If we can be of any type of help for our people, then we should. Those of you with the time and patience need to step up to the plate and change the communities in which we all live. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a mini mansion in the suburbs or a shack in the city, at the end of the day and to most people in America you are still considered Black…Money is power but what’s the use for us having any, if we don’t give back. This Jena incident has been a wake up call to this state and this country. It doesn’t matter how many years that slavery ended, we still have to fight for our basic rights that should be afforded to all citizens. It doesn’t matter that I’m a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Teacher or any other professional. I’m stilled judged on my skin color and not my intelligence, we have to work just as hard to prove ourselves to ignorant people on a daily basis. The consciousness of our people has been revived and all I can say to that is, it’s about time, we are wide awake!

  6. I have a comment regarding Mychal Bell’s parents appearance on the Larry King show along with the Rev. Al Sharpton. You said you didn’t see it but you heard “they held their own.” I greatly beg to differ with that assessment.

    Through no fault of their own, these parents were put into a position they should never have been put in. They were asked question after question by King about legal procedural matters of their son’s case. The answer was continuously, “I don’t know, they’re not telling us anything.” Wasn’t Mychal represented by counsel? Why weren’t these people present during this interview to lend support and provide information? And what about all the other organizations which asked for our support in this matter, legal and otherwise?

    I am an attorney myself, and in fact was a former juvenile public defender. While substantive matters are secret, there were procedural matters and basic information which could have been provided to all of us who have gotten mis-information from the media regarding Mychal and his prior bond situation. Whoever represented Mychal also had a duty to inform these parents in layperson’s terms of EXACTLY what happened at that hearing on Sept. 22 because THEY are entitled to know, particularly now that Mychal is now considered a minor in juvenile court. The fact that there were so many “I don’t knows” shows a major breakdown.

    Finally, the fact that Al Sharpton was present instead of someone with a legal background was disheartening. That would be like me speaking on the status of someone’s open heart surgery. He was not qualified to be there in that capacity.

  7. I forgot to add something and this is in response to Timothy’s comment above. It is very possible that Robert Bailey is what some people might label a ‘thug’, Robert’s own opinion included. I don’t know about Robert personally as I have followed Mychal’s plight more closely but I will say this:

    Thugs are entitled to due process and equal protection under the law too. White thugs get it all the time. Not ONE witness was called on Mychal’s behalf at his earlier trial. A fair trial which considers all of the evidence in this matter is what was lacking in Mychal’s previous trial and is what all of the Jena 6 are entitled to as U.S. citizens. Why is it so difficult for people to understand this when the defendants are black?

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