Just. Everyday. Nigga. Activity.

This piece was penned by freelance writer, Sherman W. Murdock. His views aren’t necessarily the views of BallerStatus.com or our staff.

LaTara Hart, cousin of Carwin Jones & Robert Bailey, two of the Jena 6 (Photo: whileseated)
LaTara Hart, cousin of Carwin Jones & Robert Bailey, two of the Jena 6 (Photo: whileseated)

I know I sound a bit akward right now. However, I have to speak truth. On Thursday, September 20, I was bombarded… You were bombarded… The world was bombarded. We were hit with coverage of JENA. For those of you who have been asleep for the past couple of weeks, this is the story of Jena 6:

The Jena 6 case began last fall when a new black student to the mostly white, rural Louisiana town of Jena sat under the “white tree,” so called because it was the place where the white kids at school congregated.

The next day three white boys on the rodeo team hung three nooses from the tree. The white boys were only given an in-school suspension, their act deemed no more than a “prank.”

The day after that several of the school’s black high school football stars organized a peaceful silent protest under the tree. The school freaked, called in the police and the next day Reed Walters, the local D.A., addressed the school. There, he is reported to have looked at the black kids in the audience, waved his pen in the air and said, “With a stroke of this pen, I can make your life disappear.”

The football season was a good one for Jena and for a few months there was relative quiet in the town. Then on November 30th, a wing of the high school was burned down. Whites thought it was blacks and the blacks assumed it was the whites.

The always excellent Wade Goodman of NPR reported what happened next:

“The next night, 16-year-old Robert Bailey and a few black friends tried to enter a party attended mostly by whites. When Bailey got inside, he was attacked and beaten. The next day, tensions escalated at a local convenience store. Bailey exchanged words with a white student who had been at the party. The white boy ran back to his truck and pulled out a pistol grip shotgun. Bailey ran after him and wrestled him for the gun. After some scuffling, Bailey and his friends took the gun away and brought it home. Bailey was eventually charged with theft of a firearm, second-degree robbery and disturbing the peace. The white student who pulled the weapon was not charged at all.

The following Monday, Dec. 4, a white student named Justin Barker was loudly bragging to friends in the school hallway that Robert Bailey had been whipped by a white man on Friday night. When Barker walked into the courtyard, he was attacked by a group of black students. The first punch knocked Barker out and he was kicked several times in the head. But the injuries turned out to be superficial. Barker was examined by doctors and released; he went out to a social function later that evening.”

Now the six black students are facing attempted second degree murder charges. Well, one (Mychal Bell) has already been tried and convicted as an adult. Thursday, as I type, his sentence is to be reduced. And my people are finally using their BLACK POWER. And it’s serious… at least on Thursday.

Where the hell was this yesterday? Or even a week ago? I’ve only heard updates about Jena via Facebook. Wednesday, on live television, Rev. Al Sharpton tried to explain what it was to Sean Hannity. In retrospect, I saw O.J. on the news all Wednesday. And Thursday, we’re having a protest.

Buses traveling, people wearing all black, signs, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and more… My problem is not the protest, however, it is with the question noone seems to have an answer to… What’s next?

Because if my guess proves correct, by Monday the coverage will die down, and by next Thursday, we’ll be back to living our everday lives. There will be no fight to end other problems in the African American community. And even in a more pointed sense, where’s the fight to fix the broken justice system? There are many other instances where African American youth have been discriminated in a courtroom, so let’s fight against that. Let’s research these cases. I vow to research these cases, and update you daily with my findings. After that, I plan to write the appropiate judicial officials and see if we can fix those problems. Are you gone fight with me?

Or are you going to go back to… Just. Everyday. Nigga. Activity.

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