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Author Topic: Thoughts on the Jena 6  (Read 28598 times)

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #230 on: October 14, 2007, 12:58:17 PM »
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.
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Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #231 on: October 14, 2007, 02:02:25 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).
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cui bono?

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #232 on: October 14, 2007, 02:16:06 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. 
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

GoldenAfro

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #233 on: October 14, 2007, 10:53:04 PM »
I think I was being unclear.  It must have been my failure to use ALL CAPS for emphasis. 

 :D  LOL
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Private David Lewis

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #234 on: October 15, 2007, 02:35:07 PM »
Seems that lots of it has been reported inaccurately

Some of us have known this for quite a while. 
The main partner in their Entertainment Law group went to CLS, but he was Fiske and on LR, so be careful.  You don't want to set yourself goals that are too high.

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #235 on: October 16, 2007, 02:54:24 AM »
While this is all marginally interesting if not particularly surprising, I don't really see the relevance.  Two nooses or three?  Eh.  I don't think anyone was hammering on the number.

Someone (I don't remember who -- Pseudo Nym?  Galt, even?) posted some Whitlock earlier in the thread.  I hadn't, however, seen this column.  I know Alan Bean professionally, and I find it absolutely reprehensible that Whitlock -- whose agenda goes nowhere and does nothing for anyone -- would criticize Alan Bean for trying to draw attention to the issues surrounding and underlying the Barker beating.  Maybe it would be helpful to read a credible journalist's (and not a third-rate sports columnist's) account of what happened in Tulia.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #236 on: October 17, 2007, 02:09:30 AM »
final_id, are you basing your accusations that Alan Bean is a liar on anything beyond Whitlock's column?  I agree that it's disappointing that journalists would print any advocate's version of events without fact-checking and talking to other sources, but I don't see any evidence that Bean has lied.  The inaccuracies Whitlock cites are either unattributable to Bean or seemingly inadvertent.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #237 on: October 17, 2007, 12:38:51 PM »
My disappointment with Bean stems mostly from the Associated Press reports. Whitlock (IIRC) works on a daily newspaper instead.

The article (which was posted much earlier in the thread) highlights some inaccuracies and disputes in Jena Six reporting.  From where do you draw the inference that Bean is "LYING"?  I'm not disputing that reporters got some of the story wrong -- we agree about that, though I don't think it's as significant as you do -- but your accusations seem unfounded.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #238 on: October 17, 2007, 01:25:25 PM »
I had understood that when it was pointed out to him recently that there were several factual inaccuracies in the reports he gave to Gannett, Chicago Trib, and BBC, Bean responded, that he knew he had changed many specifics in order to gain greater notoriety.

Where did you get this "understanding" of yours?  This isn't what the Whitlock column said, and it certainly isn't what the AP story said. 

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For example, it's pretty clear now to some AP reporters here, that Bean chose to name it as three rather than two nooses. How many nooses, is not germane to the question of whether or not an offensive symbol was presented -- one is enough. But how many IS germane to the question of whether or not he presented facts as facts. If he presented 3 as a fact, yet knew otherwise, he lied about the number. It seems this is the case.

There are other discrepancies -- misquoting deliberately Walker's speech madly out of context, and identifying it as a deliberate and selective threat to black students to intimidate them (fact: it was presented to a combined, racially mixed, whole-school assembly as part of an attempt to quell growing strife), from which the "stroke of a pen" comment was misleadingly extracted by Bean. Stating the nooses were placed "immediately" (Bean's word) after a student requested he be allowed to sit under the tree, when in fact there was a two month delay. Stating the shotgun incident involved a melee at a mixed, all-students-invited, school-sanctioned party when in fact it took place at the front door to a private residence as part of gatekeeping that prevented an assembled and aggressive one-race group from deliberately crashing (violently) a single-race (admittedly therefore racist) private party. Stating that Bell  regularly attended church -- Bean knew that he didn't, because a fellow preacher had been to Bell's home to request his more regular attendance and had reported such to Bean -- and drawing the further inference from that, that Bell is a paragon of virtue. With a juvenile arrest and punishment record which Bean is familar with. Bean doesn't just spin doctor, present facts in their most beneficial possible light, make sure people see the consistent trends behind the facts. He changes facts. Medgar Evers he ain't.

These are inaccuracies but not lies.  Saying something that turns out to be false is not necessarily lying (if you don't know what I mean, do you also have trouble with see/watch, hear/listen?  Read some Wittgenstein). It is not surprising to me that an out-of-town activist with limited connections to the town would have trouble getting a handle on all the complicated facts -- some well preceding his arrival -- swirling around in this case.  You may have additional information from these AP reporter friends of yours, but I don't think you've presented a lick of evidence that Bean is a liar, and you should be more careful about throwing around such accusations.

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Again and again I find myself saying, "Emmett Till he ain't."


Haven't we been through this already?
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Miss P

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Re: Thoughts on the Jena 6
« Reply #239 on: October 17, 2007, 10:45:13 PM »
I may be totally wrong about Bean. I'm sorry that any questioning of his character seems to have caused some here to get angry at the questioner. If his character were unimpeachable, then questioning it would be no threat.

It's not a "threat"; it's insulting to someone I respect a great deal -- and aggravating since it's clear you're building up a case against him out of thin air.*

Can you point me to the part of your post where you recounted your evidence about Bean's "deliberate distortions" and lies?  There is none.  You know why?  Because he came to town when he heard about the arrests, talked to the families and accused kids and his other community contacts, recorded their statements, and then put together a set of press releases and other advocacy materials based on what they said and his own observations of life in Jena.  If, for instance, as you're sure to repeat soon enough, the town minister later approached him and said, "I'm concerned these boys don't come to church as much as they need to," it doesn't make his previous statements that the boys were churchgoers mendacious, and it doesn't make him "dastardly"; it means he was misled. 

Moreover, it's not even in his interests to lie, since he's not getting anything out of this (not even personal glory, since no one except readers of Tulia has ever even heard of Friends of Justice or Alan Bean) and it could only hurt the credibility of his advocacy and his relationships with journalists (his principal asset in this world). He's trying to help people he thinks were aggrieved based on what the hundred or so people with whom he spoke told him.  Did he miss something along the way?  Should he have been more careful?  Was he too trusting?  Perhaps, but that's the job of the journalists to sort out.   He doesn't have the same ethical duties to cross-check and seek opposing viewpoints that he would if he were one of them.  He's just a guy concerned about what happened, trying to draw attention to what he sees as a racist injustice. 


*And if you seek further explanation for my crankiness with you, here you go: You are a pretentious know-it-all; you constantly spew misinformation (not lies); and you've been hostile to me, without cause, one too many times.  I'm generally pretty nice.  Ask anyone.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.