Editor’s note: The Austin Weekly News received several online reader responses to last week’s article “The Jena Six: Something you should know about about the racial tensions at a high school in Jena, Louisiana.” Visit AustinWeeklyNews.com to view the original article.

Article didn’t tell whole story

The data that is listed in this article is half truths. The world will be shocked to find out they are being misled by shoddy news reporting. Six black kids beat one white kid until he was unconscious and bleeding from his nose, mouth, and ears. The principal of the school thought the kid was dead. There were several witnesses, including, a teacher, students and teacher aides. There was an all-white jury because none of the blacks that were on the list showed up. I could go on and on. Get all of your facts first. Jena is a nice place to call home.

Jena resident

Racism can’t be explained away

To MILK00: Whatever the particulars, what the world is seeing is that racial tension in Jena led to the black minority feeling harassed and discriminated against. There are many ways you can explain away racial prejudice. Unfortunately, the line between “the nooses were just a meaningless kids'” prank” and “we keep the black folks down for their own good” is just too fine. As you are a resident of Jena, you are in a unique position to become active in your community to teach and learn about interracial history and communication so that this kind of thing never happens again there. As the folks in Laramie, Wyo. (where Matthew Shepard was brutally killed for being gay) would say, “Hate is not a family value.”


Jena community needs to come together

I read the comments by Jena resident, milk00. This is the type of comment that not only interferes with real recovery, but continues the blame game and keeps us all in the dark.

Regardless of all the little issues and possible scenarios that may or may not be available for everyone to really understand the case, all of us know, without a question or a doubt, that the sentencing of these black kids, and in particular [Mychal] Bell, is from another time and place in our history – it does not represent America today in 2007. No way!

A child gets beat up and hurt all over this country every day. It is sad and wrong, but it is not something that kids should do real time for. If they have to serve any time, just a few days in the local jail will “get their attention.”

Obviously, the community is in a lot of pain and needs real healing and support. They need support to venture into a serious dialogue – a summit of some kind – about and their racial tensions, hopefully, moderated by some highly-skilled clergy, human rights and civil rights leaders.

Our children and our children’s children need to be exposed to real love and tolerance so that they can be the leaders of tomorrow. But for that to happen, we need to have the leaders.

Julie du Bois

Acts against black students akin to terrorism

These black students were terrorized by the white students and the white administrators did nothing to protect them. Hanging a noose from a public school tree is an act of terrorism and a threat of murder when you consider the implications. Is it any wonder that the black students finally retaliated when the adults did nothing to stop these racial crimes and harassment?!?

Recent Visitor to Jena

Jena incident riddled with injustices

Thanks to the Austin Weekly News for printing this story. This is an American outrage that demonstrates the continuing shame of racial division in our country. American needs to take a stand and demand that this kind of injustice is brought to a halt. When looking at the circumstances, it is clearly a case where injustice prevailed. I join the NAACP in calling for a new trial where the accused will be judge fairly by jurors that reflect the racial make-up of the community.

We must remember that when anyone suffers and injustice we all suffer. We must also lend our financial help to the defense fund so that the Jena 6 can get proper legal representation.

Vera G. Davis
Westside NAACP

Blacks had every right to fight back

I wouldn’t call Jena a good place to live when black students and people are being unfairly treated. Only in America can whites proclaim to want to do away with racism, yet it still exist and they try to cover it up to the world. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, and if whites can fight black students without any consequences, then the same should be for the black students. I would never live in Jena or any other part of Louisiana because not only did no whites stand up for these students, but neither did any elected officials for that matter.


‘Welcome to what it is like to be black’

Six black kids beat one white kid – well I wonder how many black kids have been beating by whites? While living in [Louisiana’s] state capital, I see it everyday, in our police officers, our schools and even in our jobs. Blacks are not free of these crimes, so if it is happening to whites now, you know how we feel and how our families are sick of it. Welcome to what it is like to be black. Jena should never have had a “white tree” in the first place. Don’t do it if you don’t want it done to you.

Ronald Engram