Thursday, September 27, 2007

face forward

I am not rejoicing that Mychal Bell made bail. Not because I'm not happy for him - I am, but because I know this is not the end. He is still facing serious charges. He still has that matter of his prior juvenile offenses to live down. The other five defendants are all in the same boat - facing serious charges that stem from their actions on the day they made the decision to jump Justin Barker. They are still in the process of becoming men, and I'm hoping that in the midst of all these events, they are reevaluating their decision making skills.

I was not, and am still not of the opinion that these young men should be "freed." I wore black for solidarity with the protesters and called attention to my position on the matter because I believed that their charges were excessive and racist in the absence of similar charges for white teens who were also involved in assaults in Jena, La - for example, the whites whose actions Justin Barker bragged about before the Jena Six decided to whup his ass.

Which brings me to this point: for actions, there are consequences. I cannot demand that white teens be held accountable for their assaults on black students and simultaneously hold the Jena Six blameless for what they've done. The solution is not to let the black kids go free like the white kids were allowed to do. The solution is to hold every kid, regardless of their color, responsible for their choices and actions. Haul those white kids into court, too.

I wish the Jena Six well - fair charges, fair hearings, and fair sentences. I also wish that the prosecutor and law enforcement in Jena bring the white teens to justice, and that they find and punish the arsonist who burned the school down.

If this country wants people to respect and follow the law, then the enforcement of the law should be just and evenly applied.