Law School Discussion

Thoughts on the Jena 6

naturallybeyoutiful

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #220 on: October 13, 2007, 08:42:09 PM »
IMO, justice has been thwarted in this case regardless of Mychal Bell's wrongdoing.  I don't see why he has to be innocent in order to receive fair treatment.

I hear you, Miss P, and do agree.  But I just think some are too quick to forget that just because someone is treated unfairly doesn't make him innocent. We don't need conflate these two notions by making Ernie Greens and Emmett Tills out of Mychal Bells.  That's all I'm saying...

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #221 on: October 13, 2007, 08:52:27 PM »
IMO, justice has been thwarted in this case regardless of Mychal Bell's wrongdoing.  I don't see why he has to be innocent in order to receive fair treatment.

I hear you, Miss P, and do agree.  But I just think some are too quick to forget that just because someone is treated unfairly doesn't make him innocent. We don't need conflate these two notions by making Ernie Greens and Emmett Tills out of Mychal Bells.  That's all I'm saying...

I understand, though I think part of the reason people do this is because of pressure from folks like final_id to find poster children.

cui bono?

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #222 on: October 14, 2007, 08:43:59 AM »
Nice. Four previous juvie raps. Emmit Till he ain't ...

yeah I really wasn't feeling the comparison...or the t-shirts made up that reflected the comparison. 

 :o  Wow!  I missed all that.  I wish it weren't so, but I'm not surprised, I suppose.  ::smh:: From the LIttle Rock Nine to the Jena 6 -- we need to do better, black people!

Yeah I was too through once I saw the t-shirts.  WTF  :o

I've had an eye on the Jena Six for a good part of the last six months, and I've never seen a t-shirt comparing the boys to Emmett Till.  What does it say?


I didn't see the whole t-shirt and I'm not sure if it caught on.  But in one of the news clips there were a few black teenagers with a black shirt with white lettering.  I think there was a picture in the middle of the shirt of Emmett Till.  The white lettering on the bottom said something to the effect that what's happening to Bell is like a 2007 version of Till.  said something about 50+ years later...Bell

Can some pls 'splain the comparision?  There's really no similarities that I can see other than they were both black young men.   

cui bono?

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #223 on: October 14, 2007, 09:25:35 AM »

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #224 on: October 14, 2007, 10:00:34 AM »
There's a shot of the scene now (lovely stump) in this PDF document, scroll on down:

http://www.t4sj.org/clientimages/39669/revealingracistroots2.pdf

... but it's not directly linked so I can't just img-code it, and I can't find another one on the web.

But the question is: did something catch fire there?  :o


There was a fire at the high school, yes.  I couldn't find the pictures of the stump.  Do you have a page number or anything?

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #225 on: October 14, 2007, 10:13:31 AM »
I didn't see the whole t-shirt and I'm not sure if it caught on.  But in one of the news clips there were a few black teenagers with a black shirt with white lettering.  I think there was a picture in the middle of the shirt of Emmett Till.  The white lettering on the bottom said something to the effect that what's happening to Bell is like a 2007 version of Till.  said something about 50+ years later...Bell

Can some pls 'splain the comparision?  There's really no similarities that I can see other than they were both black young men.   

I think it's a pretty terrible comparison, particularly since white mobs killed Till completely outside of the criminal justice system.

If there's any similarity at all, it's about the protection and cover some prosecutors and police offer to the perpetrators of racially motivated white-on-black crime (Till's murder and the barn incident, nooses, etc., in Jena).  But even this seems quite a stretch to me.  Still, what's happening in Jena is part of a longer narrative about bias in our criminal justice system -- one that runs through the Scottsboro Boys and the Trenton Six, not Emmett Till. 

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #226 on: October 14, 2007, 10:24:44 AM »
False comparison is:

Till is wrongly accused and punished

Jena six are punished

therefore (assumption!) Jena six must be wrongly accused.

Kind of like an LSAT question ...  :D

I haven't seen anyone deploy this analogy but you; you are setting up a straw man.

It makes no sense for reasons beyond the one you've identified: (1) it equivocates on the term "punished" (extrajudicial murder vs. prosecution, if selective and biased, within our criminal justice system), (2) Emmett Till was never formally accused of a crime (whether he said dirty things to Carolyn Bryant or not), and (3) there's no clear evidence that Till was innocent of having whistled or dirty talked.   The issue in the Till case is that his killers were motivated by a pathological, racist protection of white women from black men and killed Till because he whistled or flirted or dirtytalked; it matters very little which of these things he did. 

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #227 on: October 14, 2007, 10:58:17 AM »
I haven't seen anyone deploy this analogy but you; you are setting up a straw man.

It makes no sense for reasons beyond the one you've identified: (1) it equivocates on the term "punished" (extrajudicial murder vs. prosecution, if selective and biased, within our criminal justice system), (2) Emmett Till was never formally accused of a crime (whether he said dirty things to Carolyn Bryant or not), and (3) there's no clear evidence that Till was innocent of having whistled or dirty talked.   The issue in the Till case is that his killers were motivated by a pathological, racist protection of white women from black men and killed Till because he whistled or flirted or dirtytalked; it matters very little which of these things he did. 

Genius.

Let me help. Here:

I personally don't believe the analogy is true. That's why I refer to it as a FALSE analogy. See, that's what the word "FALSE" in my post is meant to indicate. In my experience, "FALSE" usually means ... well ... false. Therefore, I'm NOT USING THIS ANALOGY. It's a CITATION of what ANOTHER PERSON, a very limited person, might use. Yeesh.

I only posted that analogy to answer another question in this thread, which inquired about how other people might mistakenly make the connection between (a) one of the Jena black defendants and (b) Emmitt Till. My post is an explanation of their faulty reasoning.

Yeesh.

I think I was being unclear.  It must have been my failure to use ALL CAPS for emphasis.  I referred to your "false" analogy as a "straw man," meaning that I understood you to be saying that it didn't make sense --- and to be setting it up as an argument put forward by others whom you oppose.  But no one is making that argument as far as I can tell (as I've said, I've been involved with the case on some level for six months and I haven't seen anyone make it), and it makes even less sense than you imply (this was the point of the word "beyond" in the sentence beginning "It makes no sense for reasons beyond the one you've identified..."). 

My point was simply that you seem to be really hammering on this Emmett Till-Jena Six connection, but you're the one who keeps bringing it up -- not the lawyers or activists involved with the Jena Six.  Moreover, the way you talk about Till (as "innocent" and "punished," for instance) implies to me that you may have confused his case with someone else's.  The question of whether Mychal Bell is like Emmett Till is no more salient, for instance, than the question of whether he is like Ernest Green (the first of the Little Rock Nine to graduate from high school): they are/were all black teenagers facing racial bias in the segregated South -- yet their experiences were completely dissimilar.

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #228 on: October 14, 2007, 12:02:25 PM »
Ah, now I see what you meant. Sorry. Yes, you should have used MORE CAPS. Then I would have gotten IT.  ::)

But I'm not entirely at fault here. The assumption behind the question was, that people were equating Emmett Till to one of the black defendants in Jena. (This assumption may be false or true. Its verity is beside the point.) I demonstrated one manner in which that false equation could be made. Ya can't really ask the question, "What form of reasoning would allow people to equate A with B?" without also implying, "People are currently equating A with B." Perhaps their method of equating is not identical to the silly one I posed -- it is an absolutely idiotic way of reasoning, I admit; I had intended for it to be rather like Swiss cheese -- but it might indeed have a lot in common with it.

In fact, I've just posted a link to a picture that has similar reasoning. The t-shirt suggests that OJ must be deserving of freedom merely because he is black. Is this not quite close to the faulty reasoning I lampooned in the post in question. Perhaps the OJ t-shirt is intended as ironic. I don't think it is. I do find its (implied) reasoning to be equally idiotic, to the reasoning I put up in my supposed-straw-man post.

Anyway, we're of accord on the idea that the equating (Till = Jena 6) is foolish. We're mildly differing on the subject of whether or not people "in general" are making that equation. I don't wish to suggest that it is a WIDESPREAD generalization (and note, how useful the UPPERCASE was there!), I certainly can't defend that. But I do think it does exist, at least to some degree, this equating of one wronged black boy to several merely because of some contextual similarities. It's important to me to point out the FAULT in that equating, simply because making such an equating does more disservice than service to any push for greater civil rights in Jena.

Sorry I misunderstood. Try to get on that CAPS suggestion, maybe things will turn out better for you.  ;D

Further, I think I'm pretty clear on what happened in the Till case. I agree that it REALLY only has as much to do with the Jena case as the other inapplicable example of Green that you mentioned. But I disagree with you that some THINK it has more to do with the Jena case. In the Till case, my "punished" can be equated to "beaten up killed lynched hassled assumed-to-be-guilty treated-like-dirt not-given-fair-hearing punishment-level-did-not-fit-potential-crime-level" for Till and "incarcerated by means of the justice system" for the Jena youth. The equivocation on "to punish" is indeed part of the faulty equating.


Fair enough.  I apologize for the confusion.

I think the OJ t-shirt is either ironic or incredibly embarrassing (or both, actually).

cui bono?

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #229 on: October 14, 2007, 12:16:06 PM »
Yeah itís def a stretch.   WTF!  I just donít get why they picked the Till incident out of every other situation

IMHO, it's completely lame to make a t-shirt likening the Jena 6 to Till or OJ.  I wonder who came up with it first-  who's responsible for the menacity in thinking.  Just reflects a real lack of knowledge of history

I didn't see the whole t-shirt and I'm not sure if it caught on.  But in one of the news clips there were a few black teenagers with a black shirt with white lettering.  I think there was a picture in the middle of the shirt of Emmett Till.  The white lettering on the bottom said something to the effect that what's happening to Bell is like a 2007 version of Till.  said something about 50+ years later...Bell

Can someone pls 'splain the comparision?  There's really no similarities that I can see other than they were both black young men.   

I think it's a pretty terrible comparison, particularly since white mobs killed Till completely outside of the criminal justice system.

If there's any similarity at all, it's about the protection and cover some prosecutors and police offer to the perpetrators of racially motivated white-on-black crime (Till's murder and the barn incident, nooses, etc., in Jena).  But even this seems quite a stretch to me.  Still, what's happening in Jena is part of a longer narrative about bias in our criminal justice system -- one that runs through the Scottsboro Boys and the Trenton Six, not Emmett Till.