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[Update 6:46 pm]

Amazing turnout & people. I'm expecting Spec to headline it tomorrow. Huge props to all those who took their time to plan everything this weekend!

If you were anywhere near this campus (or passing by in one of those huge red tour buses), I don't need to describe the event to you.

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On December 4, 2006, six black teenage students were charged with beating a white student after a series of racially charged incidents occurred in Jena, Louisiana. Evidence proves that these charges (attempted second degree murder; conspiracy to commit attempted second degree murder) were racially discriminatory after equally injurious crimes committed by white students were left unpunished.

On September 20, 2007, rallies were held in Jena to show "support of the Jena Six and all African Americans in the United States who have been unfairly treated by the justice system". Among the expected 40 to 60 thousand attendants stood a huge number of students from Columbia University.

On September 26, 2007, racially charged graffiti targeted against "people of Middle Eastern and African descent" was found in a bathroom stall of the International Affairs Building. In an emergency meeting held on Thursday evening by the Black Students Organization, one student commented that "this is an echo of what happened in Jena."

On October 1, 2007, leaders of 50 campuses nationwide plan for a national walkout to take place at noon. Though the aforementioned events do not directly target Asian American students (and, in turn, the Asian American Alliance), AAA's members wish to help fight against racial injustice and show solidarity towards all students that have been treated unequally by the law.

Columbia University's walkout will take place TODAY at NOON on LOW STEPS. Wear black to show your support.

(For more information, click here)

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Jena High School students, teachers and administrators say that students of both races congregated beneath the tree and that the tree was never officially or unofficially reserved for white students. According to the Jena Times, the black student who requested permission at an assembly posed the question in jest. The paragraph below is taken from the Jena Times chronology of events:

    “August 30, 2006: During a Wednesday assembly of all males at Jena High School, many items were discussed concerning rules and policies of the school for the new school year. Such items included dress codes, etc. Near the end of the assembly, one black student jokingly asked Assistant Principal Gawen Brugess if black students were permitted to sit underneath the tree in the center of the square located in the center of the campus. The question evoked laughter from everyone at the meeting, including the black students, with Burgess responding, “Don’t even go there. You know you can sit anywhere you want.” Burgess and the rest of the students knew the remark was made to gain laughter as a joke, not as a serous question. A couple more jokes were also made (not about the tree) before the lighthearted assembly was dismissed.”

    The three white students said they hung the nooses as a continuation of the joke made at the assembly and that they did not mean it as a threat. The U.S. Justice Department investigated and determined that it did not fall within the department’s parameters for a hate crime. After the beating of Justin Barker at Jena High, the Justice Department reopened its investigation into the noose-hanging incident and determined there was no link between the nooses and the beating. U.S. Attorney Donald Washington told CNN that, "A lot of things happened between the noose hanging and the fight occurring, and we have arrived at the conclusion that the fight itself had no connection." He added that none of the black students involved in the beating made “any mention of nooses, of trees, of the 'N' word or any other word of racial hate." According to CNN, federal official also examined the way the school handled the infractions and whether black students were being treated differently than white students. Washington told CNN that they discovered “it was not unusual for the school superintendent to reinstate students after the principal recommends expelling them.” Washington also told CNN that the 16-year-old defendant, Mychal Bell, has “several previous assault charges on his record.” The CNN story (“U.S. Attorney: Nooses, Beating at Jen High Not Related”) is online at http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/law/09/19/jena.six.link/index.html?iref=newssearch

    The beating of Justin Barker stems from a fight at a private party which was held off-campus at the Jena Fair Barn. Although the party was predominantly white (Jena is 85-percent white), both blacks and whites attended. Trouble started with a group of uninvited black youths attempted to crash the party. When the hostess, a white woman, asked them to leave they refused. Rather than calling police, a 22-year-old white male confronted the party crashers, and hit Robert Bailey, a black 17-year old who would later be implicated in the beating of Justin Barker at Jena High. Sloan pled guilty to battery. Since it was his first offense, he was placed on parole. Police describe the fight between Sloan and Bailey as a one-punch affair. Sloan hit Bailey and knocked him down. Then other people stopped the fight. To date, Sloan is the only person who has been sentence in connection with the Jena racial incidence. According to police statements, including Bailey’s,” Sloan did not hit Bailey with a beer bottle, and Bailey did not require medical treatment after the fight. The allegation that Sloan hit Bailey with a beer bottle surfaced in blogs after the incident drew national attention. The Jena Police Department and prosecutor’s office have refuted it several times.

    Justin Barker was not involved in the fight at the private party. The black students accused of beating Barker at Jena High School told police they were angry because they overheard Barker discussing the fight at the private party with other students. They did not allege that Barker taunted them or used racial slurs. These allegations surfaced only after the Jena incidence attracted national attention.

    The police documents relevant to the Jena Six incidents, including police statements made by alleged victims, alleged assailants and witnesses to the events, are posted near the bottom of the page at http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/http.











    http://www.thejenatimes.net/home_page_graphics/home.html

    http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/

    In December 2006, a private party caused havoc. Five Black boys tried to get into the party but were told by a parent that the party was invitation-only. After trying to convince the parent a few of their friends were already inside, a white man jumped out and attacked the boys. The parent to the man and the boys they had to leave, and a few other white students came outside and another fight erupted.

    The shotgun took place at the Gotta-Go Grocery Store, a Jena convenience store. The black students, rather than the white male, were arrested because the store employees, who called police, and people who were shopping at the store supported the white male's version of the event. They say the black students confronted the white male as he was about to enter the store and chased him to his truck in the parking lot. According to the white male, he pulled a shotgun, which was empty, from the back seat to defend himself (the black students had no way of knowing the shotgun was empty. The black students beat up the white male and stole the shotgun. The white male was treated for injuries at a local hospital and released.  

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