Most of the black teens were charged as adults, which is what the civil rights crowd is so outraged about. But there's some background to this:
[Mychal] Bell, 17, has been in prison since his arrest in December. The judge has refused to lower his $90,000 bail, citing Bell's criminal record, which includes four juvenile offenses -- two simple battery charges among them.
I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Bell's prior inclination to violence was part of the decision to try him as an adult. Since he's obviously not learned his lesson from his parents, the black community, or the juvenile justice system, one would conclude that it's time to try something different.
Rushing to the scene to fan the flames of racial discontent are two reported civil rights "leaders", Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton.
This is a march for justice. This is not a march against whites or against Jena," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and one of the protest organizers.
"It breaks our heart to see [Bell] handcuffed and in leg shackles," Sharpton said. "But his spirit is high. He has said that he is very encouraged to know that thousands are coming to this town to stand up for him and his five friends."
So then, I don't imagine that the good reverend will be standing up for the victim of this mob attack? In his thinking, the assailants are the victims, and in a way he's right. But we'll get to that later.
Jesse Jackson, in his indestructable obtuseness, tried to link Jena to another civil rights moment:
"If I were a candidate, I'd be all over Jena. Jena is a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment."
I don't know if you could ask for a contrast more stark. In the Selma march, blacks were beaten by white cops during a non-violent demonstration for the right to vote. In Jena, a white teen was beaten by black teens over racist taunting. Earth to Jesse, the two events are worlds apart. If Jena is a defining moment, then let it be as the indictment of the failure of black leadership, and the death of any pretense of concern for non-violent advancement of black rights. What the outrage pimps and disaffected crowds are pushing for is a biased leniency for violence.
In that face of racial taunting, these black teens resorted to violence to try and stop the intimidation. And now that the consequences come, who's to blame? The blame is going to some white kids that put up nooses on a tree weeks prior. No personal responsibility to be found in Jena.
How about acknowleging that the civil rights leadership has failed to continue teaching Dr. Martin Luther King's message of non-violence? The 'Jena 6' are in their throes because of this failure. If these black teens are to be portayed as victims, let's show who's really caused their injury. Leadership in the black community has been replaced by outrage pimps, running from one scene to another. They spot the insults by noticing the presence of media attention, and then dive in front of the cameras to feign a guiding role in the community.
Both Jackson and Sharpton are quick to address any perceived slight AGAINST blacks, except when it's perpetrated BY blacks.
Look how quickly the outrage pimps jumped on the Don Imus quip, yet were ony grudgingly pushed to hold the same standard to black rappers, and even that's slipped into obscurity. It's just not a priority.
Jackson and Sharpton loudly blame gun manufaturers and sellers for black gun violence, yet do nothing in the face of the billion $$$ business of Hip-Hop, whose current superstar sports a bullet-proof vest on stage.
How does Dr. King's vision of non-violence square with that? If you listen closely, you can hear Dr. King, spinning in his grave.