The Jena 6

Hey, people. I would be remiss if I didn’t weigh in on the Jena 6 situation. I was just listening to Michael Baisden, and could not believe the stuff that I was hearing.

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He, along with many of his listeners, plan to march on the courthouse in Jena, Louisiana on September 20 for the sentencing of Mychal Bell. Baisden feels that it is his duty to bring national attention to this matter. He wants to make sure that this story doesn’t just die down and these young men get railroaded. Steve Harvey and a host of other big name celebrities have thrown their name behind it as well.

I am not one to think that just because someone is a celebrity they should get behind something, but this time, that is just what I am advocating. I even think that Oprah should throw her weight behind this. This kind of stuff just cannot be allowed to continue.

For those of you who don’t know, this is a case involving outright prejudice in this day and age. The young men are Robert Bailey (17), Theo Shaw (17), Carwin Jones (18), Bryant Purvis (17), Mychal Bell (17) and an unidentified minor. They are collectively known as The Jena 6. Everything centers on a town in Louisiana where there was still a “white” tree until a couple of months ago.

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This is how the story goes:

During an assembly at the high school, a young black male stood up and asked the principal if he could sit under the “whites only” tree, to which the principal replied that he could sit anywhere he wanted. The next day, a couple of black students proceeded to sit under the tree.The response: Three nooses hanging from the tree. Students in question were given an in-school suspension.

The principal dismissed this as a harmless prank. Afterwards, with racial tensions at the boiling point, fights began to break out all over the place. A couple of white kids attacked a black kid at a mostly white party.

Outcome: Nothing. No one arrested. One charged, given probation and told to apologize. (For real!)

The other part of the story involves three young men in a convenience store minding their own business when a white male comes along, an argument begins and escalates. At which point the white male pulls a gun. The black males end up with the gun.

Outcome: White male- nothing. Black males-charged with stealing a fire arm. Yes, this actually happened. No joke!

Next, a couple of black kids attacked a white kid for bragging that he was the one who attacked the black male at the mostly white party.

Outcome: All arrested. 1 convicted. 5 awaiting trial- facing up to 22 years in jail.

A tennis shoe is the lethal weapon that the young men are being charged with using to commit attempted murder. You heard me right- attempted murder- with a tennis shoe.

Another disturbing piece of information I heard while listening to Michael Baisden, came directly from Marcus Jones, the father of 17 year old Mychal Bell, involved a local minister going into the jail and chastising the young man for not accepting a plea bargain. He told him that he had the whole town in an uproar for nothing.

Is that right? Nothing, huh…

The boy’s father said that he was upset about it and rightly so. Who is this minister to tell him that? How did he get in to see the boy without the father or mother’s permission or without approval of the lawyer?

Another incident was phoned in by a reporter who called into the show and spoke about students wearing t-shirts saying “Free the Jena 6″. He also spoke about students wearing “Support the Jena 1″ in reference to the white male who was attacked. According to the caller, the students who were wearing the “Free the Jena 6″ t-shirts were under threat of suspension if they wore them again. However, at no time were the students who wore “Support the Jena 1″ under any such threat.

What is happening to those young men is a travesty. It would be a travesty no matter what race the boys are. It just so happens that they’re black because this type of thing happens to black males most often.

I know I said that I wanted to keep my blog lighthearted, but I broke that rule a long time ago. I had to write about this. It hits home to me because I have three young black men. Anytime something happens involving young black men, I always put myself in the mother’s position. I can’t even imagine what that mom is feeling knowing that her teenage son could face 22 years in prison for what amounts to a school yard fight.

What bothers me about this situation is that this is 2007. This shouldn’t be happening. I am happy that it’s getting national attention. First DWB and other injustices came under scrutiny and into the light. Now this has come to the light. I really do hope that justice is served. I really do.

I am not saying that either sets of boys were right. I’m just saying that the crime ought to fit the punishment. Give them a three day suspension, instead of 22 years in jail.

I’d say that’s a tad bit unfair!!!!!!!!! Don’t ya’ think!

Sale @ Lakeshore!

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I just came from Lakeshore. I went in there to look for stuff for my classroom that I don’t have yet. Another part of the special “birthday” treat that I received from B.N.U. is $375 to spend in the classroom.

manipulatives.jpg manipulatives2.jpgNeedless to say, it was very crowded. Part of the reason is that it’s that time again. Time to go back to school. The other reason could have been to get out of the heat. It’s 102° out here. I know that I’m going to pay for this later (literally), but I am running the A/C all day today.

But, back to the lecture at hand, Lakeshore is having a great sale. A lot of items are 20% off. So, if you have supplies that you need to buy, go to Lakeshore and stock up now.

Here’s the website: www.lakeshorelearning.com

Check it out!

The Day That Henry Cleaned His Room by Sarah Wilson

The Day That Henry Cleaned His Room, written and illustrated by Sarah Wilson, is hilarious. It is the story of Henry who simply, absolutely refuses to clean his room.

The day that he finally did clean it, reporters came. He got up early, although he didn’t understand what everyone was worried about! It had only been a year since he cleaned it. So what if he was the only one who knew the secret path from the door to his bed. It was better that way anyway.

Here’s an excerpt:

The first ones out were Henry’s fish. It had been so long since Henry cleaned their tank that they had grown long legs and climbed out, preferring air to dirty water. They scowled at Henry and walked down the stairs.

Soon, everything is coming out the woodworks, even a flea circus. A possum even rode out wearing Henry’s hawaiian shirt. Henry is getting down to the knitty gritty; he can almost see the floor.
This book is funny. I’d say it’s for 2nd-4th grade. It’s a fun read aloud book as well. I recommend it for moms of any little boy who refuses to clean their room. They should get a real kick out of it. For the girls, there’s a book that I’ll review tomorrow, called Sally’s Room, about a little girl named Sally who refuses to clean her room until it follows her to school one day.

No One Ever Believes Me!

“My family’s thinking, I knew it. She’s not having a hard time.” No one in my family ever believes that I am going through hard times. Well, maybe it’s the $80 haircut; or maybe it’s the $1, 500 brand new laptop that I’m sporting.

I didn’t buy it with my credit cards. That would require available credit on them. Even you may ask, “Well, how did you get all those things without any money?”

Well, I am glad you asked. Now I can tell you!

I really felt like it was my birthday last night, even though my birthday was last month. I feel that way because last night, I got treated to a brand new $1, 500 Mac Book laptop, courtesy of my program @ BNU. Here’s a picture of it, but I will post a picture of me with it later.

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As for the $80 do. My husband is making a website for my hairdresser. We’re bartering. She’s doing my hair in exchange for the website. So even though I don’t have a lot of money, I don’t look like a rag mop.

Things are bad right now, but they are on the upswing. I made my plan to take my children school shopping, but I didn’t have to. My mother-in-law took my three sons school shopping, so I only have to buy for Phillise. She’s going to wear uniforms, so that makes my school shopping that much easier.

I like the fact that even though I’m having a hard time, no one believes me. What is it about me and my husband that makes people think that? I don’t know, but I think that it has to do with favor.

Even though I hate to admit it (especially when I’m having hard times), I have favor with people. What I mean by favor is that people give me stuff. I’m never usually lacking. Sometimes just thinking about something that I want badly enough is enough to have someone come up to me, “out of the blue” and tell me where to get it, either for free or very cheaply. That’s why it’s so hard to believe that I have had a hard time all summer. My hard times never last this long. I can’t help but wonder what I’m missing. People keep going through trials for a reason.

“What lesson did I not learn?” I ask myself. Surely, it’s something that I did, or am not doing. I don’t know what it is, but I’m trying to find out because this sista’ girl is tiiiiiiiired of this trial that I’m going through. I am ready to come out. I know that if I can just hold on, my deliverance is at hand.

Well, until next time, people!

Today, She’s My Birthday!

Today, I have something to say about deceivers. They make me soooo mad. They are always trying some scheme or another to defraud someone. Another thing about that that makes me equally as mad is when they succeed.

Did you ever see that “I Love Lucy” episode when they were in Italy. It was little Ricky’s birthday and she missed him so much. One of the kids in the village heard her crying because she couldn’t be there for her baby’s birthday.

To make her feel better, he told her, “Today she’s my birthday.”

Lucy decided to give him something for it. Once he saw that she was giving gifts, little by little, he started bringing other kids from the village to get some too. She was so excited that she just decided to throw a big party for everyone.

Finally the original kid starts feeling bad that he had fooled her when she was only being nice that he decided to make all the kids give back their gifts that Lucy had given them. Well, one little girl did not want to give hers back. She started crying and crying. Finally she explained that today really was her birthday.

Lucy was so happy that she let all the children keep the gifts. Even though they’re little kids, they did get over. Even though they apologized, their original intent was to defraud.

Ya’ know what, the whole time Lucy knew. She just missed her baby so much that she didn’t care. She knew that the kids in the village didn’t have much; she just wanted to bring a little happiness to them. That’s how it is with real life. Sometimes someone may think that they’re pulling one over on someone when they’re not. Be careful of who you’re friends with, you just might learn a lesson.

There are certain people who don’t think so though. Why, oh why do people have to play games? They eventually get what’s coming to them in the end, but they hurt so many people in the process. It makes me so mad! I wrote/said all that to say that life is too short to play games.

That my dear sir or madam is my rant for the day!

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