“If you haven’t been paying attention to recent involvements regarding the Jena 6, you’ll be relieved to hear the Mychal Bell was released from prison last week. He was there for almost 10 months, and, upon being released, received a hug from Al Sharpton himself.””
If you haven’t been paying attention to recent involvements regarding the Jena 6, you’ll be relieved to hear the Mychal Bell was released from prison last week.
He was there for almost 10 months, and, upon being released, received a hug from Al Sharpton himself.
Bell is one of the Jena 6, a group of black students who have gained national attention after allegedly assaulting a white student.
The incident came after months of unrest in their Louisiana town. It began when three white students hung nooses from a tree on the campus of their high school.
The day before, a black student had sat under the tree. It was known around the school that only white students usually sit under it.
The assault on the white student came months later. Five of the six black students were initially charged with attempted murder. Bell was convicted of aggravated battery earlier this year by an all-white jury.
His conviction has been thrown out, however, as he should have been tried as a juvenile.
The controversy in Jena also stems from the differing treatment of white and black students.
The white students involved in hanging the nooses were suspended for three days. Another student, who hit a black student over the head with a beer bottle, was charged only with simple battery.
Last week, about 20,000 people arrived in Jena last week to protest at the courthouse.
Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton was in Jena when Bell was released.
Upon this young man’s shoulders is a movement, Sharpton said.
Sharpton is right, and the events in Jena are a blatant sign that black youths in America face discrimination in the legal system.
The fact that the students were charged with attempted murder is confusing. The white student who was reportedly assaulted attended a school function the same night.
Racism is, without question, a part of the legal system.
But at least Bell’s release is a step in the right direction.