Friday, January 2, 2009

The Jena Six Story Takes A Tragic Turn.

Ya'll prolly know all about my controversial take on The Jena Six debacle. I thought it was much ado about nothing significant, and it more or less helped me coin the phrase "Drive-By Activism". Simply put, the boys were in the wrong, and the charges were exorbitant, but it really pissed me off that the response in the blogosphere, and elsewhere was so typically reactionary. Negroes will get irate and ready to march when a white man is involved, but don't say jack sh*t about our own black on black crime, and worse, the deplorable educational system that sentences many of our kids to such an outcome from birth.

I took a lot (and I do mean a lot) of flack when predicted Jena, despite all the fanfare and Michael Baisden afterparties (seriously, WTF?) would do little for these young men in the longterm. Why? Because many of the principals who headed to Louisiana were there to make their own statement, however frivolous it might be, rather than actually help these kids.

There were book signings, and album release parties, and oddly enough, an adult pajama party all sandwiched amongst the rally and march. Nobody seemed to really give two sh*ts about helping the six young men in any lasting and substantial way.

Two of them were exploited at the BET Awards. One beat up another kid in school and found himself in the clink. Another was featured flashing jewels and wads of cash that may have been donated to their legal defense fund. And now, there's this latest episode of Negro Nonsense.
A teen convicted in the "Jena Six" beating case shot himself in the chest and was taken to the hospital Monday, days after his arrest on a shoplifting charge, police said.

Mychal Bell's wound isn't life threatening, said Monroe Police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten. The 18-year-old used a .22-caliber firearm in the shooting around 7:40 p.m., she said. Wooten believes Bell was upset over media coverage of the arrest last week.

Bell was in the news again after he was arrested on Dec. 24 and booked on charges of shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple assault, police said.

Police said Bell tried to steal several shirts and a pair of jeans from a department store and fled when a security guard and off-duty police officer tried to detain him. After they found him hiding under a car, Bell "swung his arms wildly" and one of his elbows struck the security guard with a glancing blow, according to a police report. He was freed on $1,300 bond.

Wooten said Bell was taken to a hospital in Monroe, where a nursing supervisor wouldn't release his condition. Wooten didn't have further details on the shooting.

In the Jena case, Bell eventually pleaded guilty to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery. Bell, the only one of the six who has been tried, has been living in a foster home in Monroe and attending school.
The boy is in a foster home? Huh? What a sad state of affairs. Seriously, after tens of thousands "marched" on his behalf, this Negro ends up in the clink over a pair of Seven/Rock & Republic/Red Monkey, yep I'm up on all this stuff Levi's Jeans just a year later.

I know this sounds stoopid, but I still don't really blame the kid, although he's 18 now, and his youthful Negro Excuses are running low. Reality is, there needed to be an uncle, a grandaddy, a coach, or someone in this boy's life to tell him that you don't take out your misplaced frustrations via a 6 on 1 beatdown. Somebody to tell him that if you dodge a bullet once, you need to go sit your ass down because you don't get second chances when you're black and living in The Dirty South. Someone to tell him to go focus on school and quit his pedal-to-the-metal quest to become Another Morbid Statistic.

I know what you're saying: where's the father? Well, if you'll recall, that Negro is pretty messed up himself.

I feel sincerely for all the victims (yeah, the white kid too) in this sad case. Reality is, this was little more than a schoolyard scuffle and should have been handled as such. And after all the marches, donations, fried catfish plates, and hawked t-shirts, exactly how are these young men better off? Why didn't it occur to a single one of the thousands who descended upon Jena to work with these kids after the fact? The real injustice is that nobody cared enough to abandon their personal agendas. The Black Blogosphere patted itself on the back, and disparaging old-school Civil Rights stalwarts who were equally ineffective.

Yes, Jena bought the plight of young black men to the national stage. But if the very black men this "movement" sought to save are more screwed up now than evar, what exactly was the point?

Take The AverageBro Challenge™ and make a real change in your communities. And pray for Mr. Bell while you're at it.

Somebody needs to.

Question: Am I being too damn critical as usual, or was The Jena Six brouhaha a prime example of misplaced Negro Priorities?

Police: 'Jena Six' teen shoots self [AP]

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