By now, I'm sure that my very few readers are aware that I take a long time to form an opinion on matters of import. However, after reviewing the known facts about the Jena Six case, I'm only confused on one matter related to this case: Is it pronounced "Gina" or "Jenna"? I've seen Jesse Jackass on television pronouncing it "Gina", but citing him as a source on, well, pretty much anything is much like citing President Bush: It's likely to be incorrect, or draw incorrect conclusions from the correct data, and any statements are extremely likely to coincide with his own known biases, especially when those biases lead to conclusions that differ substantially from the facts. That said, they are both very occasionally correct.
Another thing that is unsurprising is that I will play the devil's advocate. I could cite a number of reasons, but in the end, it's just fun, and it's fun with a purpose. According to what I've seen and read, and for brevity, I will cite Wikipedia, the victim was knocked out and given a black eye for his trouble. Justin Barker was so severely injured that some reports place him at a party later that day, instead of at a hospital. He was so grievously wounded by six people that he ended up with injuries that can be found at a schoolyard fight, boxing match, football game, or countless other scenarios. What the Jena Six did was wrong. I'm sure we were all taught to try to resolve disputes in a peaceful manner. I also think all six should have been punished. Why were they not sentenced to three days in-school suspension just like the future Klansmen who put nooses in a tree the day after a few African-American students sat down in its shade during lunch? At an absolute maximum, if the prosecutor felt like being a hardliner, a day or two in juvie (or the county jail to cool off for the students who were adults under Louisiana criminal law) would not have been too excessive, or at least, not nearly as excessive as what we're seeing now. Some may argue that they put themselves in this position by beating up someone, and that all that has happened since is their fault. Some might even argue that, since they put themselves in this position, they have no right to any financial recourse, such as lawsuits. Some might argue further that, since they elected those in power there, that this is the worst punishment the town of Jena should face, and this is harsh punishment indeed. However, this is not justice. This is a perversion of justice and an abuse of the civil rights of Mychal Bell, Carwin Jones, Theo Shaw, Robert Bailey Jr., Bryant Purvis, and Jesse Ray Beard. I have coworkers who have at least considered taking the three or four hour bus trip to Jena to join the protesters. While I won't be able to attend, my thoughts will be with them, as will my wishes for the freedom and successful lawsuits of the six accused.
With that in mind, enjoy the music by one of my favorite artists of all time, Tracy Chapman.