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Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's statement re Jena 6

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From Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco's press office:

“I have received hundreds of calls, letters and emails from citizens concerned about the situation involving the case of the high school students in Jena, La. As Governor, as a citizen of the State of Louisiana, and as a mother, without rushing to judgment, I condemn racism in any form, and I fully expect that those involved in this case, including all parties, will act with fairness and in complete good faith.

“I must clear up a widespread misunderstanding of my authority in this case. Our State Constitution provides for three Branches of State Government - Legislative, Executive, and Judicial - and the Constitution prohibits anyone in one branch from exercising the powers of anyone in another branch. This issue is currently a matter in the Judicial System, and should those involved in this case suffer any defects, it is their right to address them in that system through the appeals court.

“Again, the oversight regarding how this case was handled, from arrest to prosecution, lies within the Justice System. Therefore, I have consulted Attorney General Charles Foti and Donald Washington, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, regarding these events in Jena. As a result, General Foti has been and is in consultation with U.S. Attorney Washington and other members of the Justice System. Regardless of the outcome of this case, the Jena community has much healing ahead of it, and I urge all those citizens to come together for the common good of their community and their state. Our children deserve nothing less.”

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24 Comments

It's ashame that we go through the things we do as African Americans. It's a shame the Jena 6 had to experience the torture they experienced. Where are our leaders?

Yea. That letter sounds very nice. It's professional and for sure its POLITICALLY correct, but how can Gov. Blanco say that she expects ". . .that those involved in this case, including all parties, will act with fairness and in complete good faith.", when Mychel Bell has already been tried and convicted and is facing 22 years in prison for being involved in a lunchroom fight! Not that I am proud of it, but I was involved in more than one lunchroom/classroom/schoolyard fight in my day and never was I arrested, had a ransom (not a bond) placed on me, faced an all-white jury of my peers (even though I am black), convicted and faced 22 years in prison. The Governor's response, as stated in the letter posted in this blog, to the petitions and letters she has received is testament to how much a young black life means to the US gov't as a whole. Nada. She should have immediately launched an investigation into the handling of this case from the arrest to the prosecution, not make excuses about her "limited" power and what she could not do for the Jena 6. Politely asking Mr. Walters to look into the situation is just pacification for Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the rest of Black Americans who have shown interest in this case. If we leave Mychel Bell and the other young men's fate strictly in the hands of Blanco and Walters, we may as well do nothing. We need to write the congressman who represent that parish or ward in Jena, we need to petition the US Dept. of Justice and hell - tell Bush about it. Maybe if Condi whispers in his ear, he'll make a call to one of his good ole boys down in LA and they'll "act" like they care and do something like investigate the OBVIOUS miscarriage of Justice. OK - OJ got off, but that was 11 years ago. It's time for another coup for black americans!

IT IS AMAZING!
WE FOCUS ON MILLION DOLLAR ATHLETES WHO GET INTO TROUBLE DO TO THEIR OWN INCOMPETENCY, YET WHEN TRUE INJUSTICES ARISE, IT ONLY GETS A WHISPER OF MEDIA ATTENTION. HERE IS THE THE MODERN DAY LESSON FOR OUR YOUTH! IF A "TREE" FALLS IN JENA AND NOBODY HEARS IT, DOES IT MAKE A SOUND? TO OUR LEADERS, YOUR VOICE SHOULD NEVER SPEAK SO SOFTLY AS TO NOT BE HEARD IN THIS TIME OF GREAT NEED.TO OUR YOUNG LEADERS, MOTHERS AND FATHERS, COMMUNITY GROUPS AND CHURCH FOLK, THIS IS IT! RISE UP AND WALK!!

Yes this is terrible. I commend your coverage and bringing this to our attention.

SO, why dont you cover the hate crimes in Knoxville,Tennessee?

VAL, you just hit a home-run !

I almost 'peed in my pants' the other day from laughing so hard when Ms. Mitchell wrote in her column that Rev. Jackson said it was just a 'small tyranny'. You know, New York City is a 'big tyranny' with lots of spotlights and camera's, so thats where he would prefer to go. Also, nice hotel rooms and restaurants.

I do have a few questions/comments I wish people would admit too. And give their opinion.

(1) I realize whoever the smart-as$ white kid was (I'm assuming he was a white kid) ,whoever put that 'noose in the tree' is a total jerk. Knowing the history of the 'old south' way back....But having said that, "SIX people jumping ONE person" doesn't make it, either. And anybody who justifys that is not being realistic. Also, where they just roughing the boy up, or did they have intent to kill him? Very important question that needs to be answered. Shouldn't reporters be down in Jena finding out by asking ALL the different folks, investigating the evidence, instead of writing their prejudicial opinion from a thousand milles away or so?

(2) Back to this governor giving her cop-out statement. The same governor who sat on her rear-end during 'Katrina' by the way. Why isn't she THERE? Oh, I realize she might miss the LSU football game, but isn't this that important?............Now, I have my opinion folks and you ALL are not going to like it. So please, give me a piece of your mind. The governor is a DEMOCRATIC PARTY governor. As is the powerful Lt. Governor, Mitch Landrieu. Think back at how Jackson, the NAACP, etc. marched and spent money protesting all over New York City when Amadou Diallo was shot by the NYPD. Blaming them and the REPUBLICAN PARTY mayor. And even at what turned out to be the false allegations v. the Duke lacrosse players rape case. Then we here in Chicago had innocent and unarmed African-Americans, Latanya Haggarty, Robert Russ, and recently the Harrison kid (although he had a past record) shot down by Chicago Police. But NO noise from Jackson, NO noise from the NAACP. Less noise then a football fight in Decatur, Illinois. Oh, I forgot, Chicago has a DEMOCRATIC PARTY mayor. And Jackson and the NAACP are democrats. Which is probably why Louisiana is a 'small tyranny'. Can't embarrass your friends, you know.


(3) Finally, Ms. Mitchell is asking for contributions for this 'Jena 6' case. Again, before I would donate, I would want to know if the person asking has been there, has investigated the total evidence, has interviewed ALL sides in the matter, and has asked the tough questions, again, such as "why were SIX people ganging up on ONE person?" Again, I would want to know why various civil-rights leaders think Michael Vick, who admitted killing and torturing dogs, is far more important then these young men? I would want to know why they (some civil-rights leaders and organizations) spend money going all over the world, private jetting to all different locations, having yearly banquets in expensive venues, contributing to various political campaigns, but don't seem to be spending any money in Jena, Louisiana ?..........oh, I forgot, its a 'small tyranny'.

WOW.. TALK ABOUT INJUSTICE. THIS BRINGS GREAT MORNING TO MY SPIRIT. THIS WORLD IS FULL OF WRONG DOING. AND I BELIEVE IT WILL ONLY GET WORST IN THIS TIME OF GREAT NEED OF GODLY JUSTICE. I BELIEVE THAT THE ONLY WAY CHANGE WILL COME IS BY PRAYER, WE MUST ARISE TO THIS GREAT AND AWESOME STANDARD OF SPIRITUALITY. MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE CHILDREN,FAMILYS AND THE FRIENDS OF THOSE WHO ARE GOING THREW THIS.

GOD BLESS

SHAUN CASON

Val - great point!
Picking on Don Imus and standing up for thugs like Mike Vick is easy for rev's al and jessie. standing up and being heard on REAL issues impacting real peoples' lives is far too difficult for those 2 clowns.

Typical spineless political crap. This is shameful. I am a white middle class male, and am ashamed to live in a country that would allow this. The tree can fall all it wants in Jena, and you can ask if it made a sound, but if the wealthy white controlled media does not cover it, who cares?

The governor could speak the truth but she cannot because she is part of the system. I am tired of hearing people say that America is free, and that, though flawed, the system is the best in the world and the best we have and blah, blah, blah. This is not a free country, there is no justice here, and we are all saps for believing the lie that is perpetrated upon us. I can see no better illustration of this than the complete lack of justice afforded to these six kids.

I am really ashamed to be a citizen of this country at this time.

Steve Deasy
Troy, Michigan

After reading your column, an seeing your blog on the jena 6, I was angry, but not surprise. Having grown up in a small town in Lousiana, I've seen this happen many times before. In fact recently, there was a incident in the small northern Lousiana town of Spearsville, that also happen on long racial lines, where the Union Parish Sheriff department was heavy handed toward minority youths. It was reported in the local Monroe Lousiana newspaper, but nowhere else. The Lasalle Parish DA is right on one point, he can end their life with a pen. We need to recognize that many African-American, young and old, life's have been destroyed with a pen, an that we can't let these things go unchallenged. It's happening in the justice system. It's happening with background checks that prevent black males with a criminal record from finding jobs. It's happening in housing and finance with subprime lending. Until we challenge these things as a group, an not wait on our "appointed" leaders to take a stand first, we will remain under the threat of the pen. We can no longer ignore the power of the pen.

BLACKS NEVER HAVE AND NEVER WILL HAVE EQUAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, THEY ARE THE MAJORITY OF THE JAIL POPULATION, SOME IN THEIR FOR CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMMIT..THESE WHITE BOYS WERE WRONG, AND WHEN THOSE BLACK KIDS RETALIATED THEY WANT TO SEND THEM TO PRISON!

THE JENA 6 CRIME DOESN`T FIT THE PUNISHMENT. THE GOV.BLANCO SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEE THAT, THE WHITE BOYS WHO HUNG A NOOSE GOT A SCHOOL SUSPENSE THE BLACK BOY GETS 22 YEARS ARE THESE HATE CRIMES? ONE THING AMERICA SHOULD REMEMBER IS WE NEED TO BE ONE AMERICA THE TERRORISTS ARE OUR ENEMY, NOT EACH OTHER.

I feel like if the white boys had the tree or that was there tradition then so be it let them have the stupid tree!!!!!!! Is it really worth all the headache???This is nothing but some MESS at 17 and 16 and as a mother of two black boys I wouldnt even want my boys to concerned with a tree!!! Arguing about a tree and who can sit under it distracts them from what really NEEDS to be focused on as far as gettin ready for college and their studies.The system is not set up for young black boys as you can see and never will be!!! So you have to learn how to keep urself out of certain situations!! WE have been marching till the cows come home and we will always have to have $$$$ to get our black boys good lawyers, but what if you dont have money?? when will this change?they may get of on this case but what about the next and the next??Lets teach our boys to avoid these things like this by having the upper hand and that does not mean violence.I think if they would have said to themselves forget about the tree and focus that on something positive then the white boys couldnt feed off of anything and wouldnt been able to keep this going.As you see the white boys that attacked the black boy didnt even go to jail and names were not released in 2007 so what is that telling you!! they dont have to go through all this protesting etc PLease tell them next time im beggin you justWALK AWAY!!!!!!!Some may say your being a coward it does not matter what PEOPLE say cause you can be drawn into some mess that can get you put away for life if you dont have money to get off and when its all said and done its not worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel like if the white boys had the tree or that was there tradition then so be it let them have the stupid tree!!!!!!! Is it really worth all the headache???This is nothing but some MESS at 17 and 16 and as a mother of two black boys I wouldnt even want my boys to concerned with a tree!!! Arguing about a tree and who can sit under it distracts them from what really NEEDS to be focused on as far as gettin ready for college and their studies.The system is not set up for young black boys as you can see and never will be!!! So you have to learn how to keep urself out of certain situations!! WE have been marching till the cows come home and we will always have to have $$$$ to get our black boys good lawyers, but what if you dont have money?? when will this change?they may get off on this case but what about the next and the next??Lets teach our boys to avoid things like this by having the upper hand and that does not mean violence.I think if they would have said to themselves forget about the tree and focus that on something positive then the white boys couldnt feed off of anything and wouldnt been able to keep this going.As you see the white boys that attacked the black boy didnt even go to jail and names were not released in 2007.So what is that telling you!! they dont have to go through all this protesting etc PLease tell them next time im beggin you justWALK AWAY!!!!!!!Some may say your being a coward it does not matter what PEOPLE say cause you can be drawn into some mess that can get you put away for life if you dont have money to get off and when its all said and done its not worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"It's a shame the Jena 6 had to experience the torture they experienced. "

Huh? Didn't these SIX beat someone up? Who was tortured here?

6 on 1 doesn't sound like torture for the 6....unless their feet and hands hurt from hitting the guy so hard.

I am wondering why the governor bothered to say anything, since, in fact, she said absolutely nothing. Additionally, I would think (hope) that every elected official would know that although the three branches of government are structured so each does not interfer with the other's ability to carry out the business they're charged with, our government also has fail-safes built in; all three branches provide checks and balances for each other - a Governor's Pardon for example. governor Blanco sounds like a good ol' boy in high heels.

some people make comments stating that they are so sick of hearing about racism,that it because we are in the 21st century tha t it no longer exsist. Can you say JENA 6. Why are those white boys(whose racist parents set this disease in their minds)are free and not being charge with inciting this issue. I know their is a law concerning the inciting aspect of this situation.What the white pulling a shotgun on those black folks,who disarmed him but they found themselves being brought up weapons charges

some people make comments stating that they are so sick of hearing about racism,that it because we are in the 21st century tha t it no longer exsist. Can you say JENA 6. Why are those white boys(whose racist parents set this disease in their minds)are free and not being charge with inciting this issue. I know their is a law concerning the inciting aspect of this situation.What the white pulling a shotgun on those black folks,who disarmed him but they found themselves being brought up weapons charges

Where are all these black star athletes, singers, rappers, and actors.....when we need them.....they could all donate a measley $1000 a piece to acquire legal counsel for these young men....I just don't get it....we are so mentally ill....rather brainwashed.

I am glad there are not a lot of entries/comments regarding the Jena 6 in response to this column in this big ole city of Chicago. it shows just how innocuous it all is.

OK, so here it is!

Black people, you cant rule, govern or lead. There, I said it!
Can you believe that? only a handfull and only that!!

We all have our faults but GHETTO USA IS ON THE WAY!!!

Look at the world PEOPLE!

We will sit around for only so long!\
NEWSFLASH-EVERY (99.9%) OF WHITE MEN KNOW WHY WE HAVE CRIME AND WHO DOES IT!
gotta get the white men back to INTEGRITY days!

reading this crap made me sick. I am so tired of her. She haven't done anything for this state since she have been in office. at least she can do is stand along with those who see the wrongdoing by the D.A and the ones who mishandle the case. i can go on and on about how she should do her job. uGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH i'm so mad

The Jena 6 are going to need some powerful legal leadership. Not just the type that make speeches, pose for pictures, and then fly off back to Chicago. I have heard a lot about the unfairness of the justice systme; however, not one word of legal strategy. What, is there not one Law firm out there that can contribute pro bono lawyers?

What is JENNA 6? Interesting? Why is it that, when a situation(s), circumstance(s) that involved young black males come up, "When the victim(s)," is of ANOTHER RACE, MODEL OR MAKE," it's always a big A!@# out cry of injustice? Why is that? Where is the, "OUT CRY," when you'd have 6 young black males OR MORE doing the same S!@# to a person of a there own race? Where is Jessie? Where is Al? Where is anybody? My once being a victim, of course being,"OUT NUMBERED," the first time, "HIT FROM BEHIND," by JENNA 6 WANNABEE'S being the TRUE from the heart & soul, 99% of whom, who travels in packs, crowds and crews to begin with. WHY is always racism when it involved folks of OTHER races as VICTIMS? I myself was a VICTIM! I was attacked, "From behind," left unconcious in the middle of a busy Halstead far Southside Street. What can that act of violence be called? I guess my being the SAME race as the preditors that makes it OKAY! As long as it's one being knocked down in middle of the streets is done by individuals of the same race, "That makes it OKAY," and no big deal, because we as individuals, "Other African Americans/Black People," really don't have ANY value in life to begin with. Had I been of ANOTHER race then I guess I'd have gotton some play for justice myself, instead of a $4,000.00 hosptial bill and ultimatly becoming displaced personally and professionally also. I guess that's great as long as I was NOT of the same race the participants of the Jenna 6 was? Oh The Poor 6 Black Male Babies? May they ALL be blessed with Rap Contracts and/or key's to the gates of hell!

"we go through the things we do as African Americans"
I guess it was hard on your shoes to kick someone unconcious ?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mary Mitchell published on August 30, 2007 11:47 AM.

What is Jena 6? was the previous entry in this blog.

Jena 6 attorney speaks out is the next entry in this blog.

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