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The Jena Six and racial narratives; Update: No bail for beating suspect

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 21, 2007 08:46 AM

Update: The latest news development… No bail for ‘Jena Six’ teen…via AP:

A relative of one of the Jena Six says a judge has denied bail for Mychal Bell, the only one of the teens who is jailed in the beating of a white classmate. Attorneys would not comment because juvenile court proceedings are secret. But the father of one of Bell’s co-defendants said Bell’s bail request was rejected. Bell’s mother left the courthouse in tears and refused to comment.

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I’ve had a few irate liberal readers asking why I haven’t written about the Jena Six. For one thing, the MSM is covering it wall to wall. I like to cover stories that aren’t getting coverage. The Jena Six case is everywhere. CNN has special reports up the wazoo. MTV is all over it. Just Google it.

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit adds that another “big problem is that the facts have trickled out, and it was hard to get a clear narrative that made sense of what was going on. The signal-to-noise ratio wasn’t that good.”

Finally, I’m not going to join the knee-jerk race-hustlers in celebrating the “civil right” to beat white people unconscious to rectify institutional racism. Is this the legacy Martin Luther King, Jr., would have sanctioned?

Jason Whitlock at the Kansas City Star sheds some light on facts about the case you may not have heard that undermine the presumed racial narrative:

There are undeniable racial and economic inequities in our criminal justice system, and from afar the “Jena Six” rallies certainly looked and felt like the righteous protests of the 1960s. But the reality is Thursday’s protests are just another sign that we remain deeply locked in denial about the path we need to travel today for true American liberation, equality and power in the new millennium.

The fact that we waited to love Mychal Bell until after he’d thrown away a Division I football scholarship and nine months of his life is just as heinous as the grossly excessive attempted-murder charges that originally landed him in jail. Reed Walters, the Jena district attorney, is being accused of racism because he didn’t show Bell compassion when the teenager was brought before the court for the third time on assault charges in a two-year span.

Where was our compassion long before Bell got into this kind of trouble?

That’s the question that needed to be asked in Jena and across the country on Thursday. But it wasn’t asked because everyone has been lied to about what really transpired in the small southern town.

There was no “schoolyard fight” as a result of nooses being hung on a whites-only tree. Justin Barker, the white victim, was cold-cocked from behind, knocked unconscious and stomped by six black athletes. Barker, luckily, sustained no life-threatening injuries and was released from the hospital three hours after the attack. A black U.S. attorney, Don Washington, investigated the “Jena Six” case and concluded that the attack on Barker had absolutely nothing to do with the noose-hanging incident three months before. The nooses and two off-campus incidents were tied to Barker’s assault by people wanting to gain sympathy for the “Jena Six” in reaction to Walters’ extreme charges of attempted murder.

Much has been written about Bell’s trial, the six-person all-white jury that convicted him of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and the clueless public defender who called no witnesses and offered no defense. It is rarely mentioned that no black people responded to the jury summonses and that Bell’s public defender was black.

It’s almost never mentioned that Bell’s absentee father returned from Dallas and re-entered his son’s life only after Bell faced attempted-murder charges. At a bond hearing in August, Bell’s father and a parade of local ministers promised a judge that they would supervise Bell if he was released from prison. Where were the promises and supervision before any of this?

It’s rarely mentioned that Bell was already on probation for assault when he was accused of participating in Barker’s attack. And it’s never mentioned that white people in the “racist” town of Jena provided Bell support and protected his football career long before Jesse, Al, Bell’s father and all the others took a sincere interest in Mychal Bell.

Michael Van Der Galien makes the simple moral point that you are not hearing from the race card-playing reverends: Racism does not excuse violence.

Racism should, at all times, be condemned. However, the black students are (no longer) the victims in this case. They turned themselves from victims into aggressors and they should be punished for it. Was it an attempt to murder the victim? I don’t know, it’s not likely. Second degree battery? Quite more likely.

The Jena six are no martyrs for the cause of Civil Rights. They are no heroes. They’re a bunch of cowards who don’t dare take on someone that can actually fight back. Instead of fighting against six others, they singled out one white and beat him. Would Martin Luther King Jr. have supported their crime? I don’t think so. He advocated non-violence, not beating up a single individual with a group of six.

Racism should be fought against, and Jena obviously has some major problems. Excusing the outrageous behavior of criminals, however, isn’t the way to do so.

Will the Democrat presidential candidates pander and indulge the Jena Six exploiters? Will any one of them stand up to Al Sharpton? Bill Clinton had his Sister Souljah moment. If there were ever an opportunity for leading Dems to show that they have not been thoroughly corrupted by identity politics and racial demagoguery, this would be it.

Not. Holding. Breath.

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Bryan Preston looks at the Duke/Jena comparisons.

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