“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jenna Six Black Thugs Viciously Beat White Student. BET Chooses to Honor Two of the Six.

Justin Barker after being given a lesson on civil rights by six black victims of the system.

Two of 'Jena Six' defendants present BET award
By Abbey Brown
(318) 487-6387

Two of the teens enmeshed in the nationally known "Jena Six" case helped present the most anticipated award during Black Entertainment Television's Hip Hop Awards show broadcast Thursday night.

Carwin Jones and Bryant Purvis were introduced by Katt Williams, a comedian and the awards show's host, as two of the students involved in a case of "systematic racism."

"By no means are we condoning a six-on-one beat-down," Williams said during his introduction of the teens, one of whom is still facing attempted murder charges in connection with the attack on white student Justin Barker. "... But the injustice perpetrated on these young men is straight criminal."

As Jones and Purvis walked onto the stage at the Atlanta Civic Center, where the awards show was filmed on Saturday, they were greeted by a standing ovation.
"They don't look so tough, do they?" Williams joked as the teens stepped up to the podium.

Both Jones and Purvis thanked a number of people, including family, friends, the "Hip-Hop Nation" and the thousands who came to their small hometown to rally behind their case.

Purvis said the Sept. 20 rally proved "our generation can unite and rally around a cause."

The teens assisted Williams in presenting the Video of the Year honor to Kanye West for "Stronger." Purvis handed the award to West, who in turn shook hands with both teens.

'Should be humbled'

Some have been critical of the appearance, saying the teens -- accused of knocking Barker unconscious and then stomping and kicking on him until another student intervened -- shouldn't be made out to be celebrities. Barker was treated at a local emergency room for close to three hours and then released.
"If anything, they should be humbled and go home and not be trying to get celebrity status off a tragedy," one person wrote on a BET blog post.

Another wrote on the blog, titled "What's wrong with this picture?" featuring a picture of Jones and Purvis on the red carpet, "... this is what I was protesting for! So that later you could show up at the BET awards and style and profile?"

But Tina Jones, Purvis' mom, said BET contacted the Jena Six families to come to the awards show "to get away for a relaxing weekend."

Also attending the show was Mychal Bell's father, Marcus Jones; Carwin Jones' parents, John Jenkins and Dwanda Jones; and Theo McCoy, the father of Theo Shaw, another defendant.

"You can't get caught up in what people say," Tina Jones said. "They are going to say something no matter what you do."

She said her son was most excited about meeting rappers Birdman and Lil Wayne.

Court allowed the trip

Some have questioned if Carwin Jones and Purvis were allowed to leave the state legally, but Bill Furlow, a spokesman for LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters, said the boys sought and received the court's permission before going.
Jenkins said the past few months have been stressful for everyone involved and that it was "good to see the kids go out and have fun and laugh."

"I'm just praying that everything turns out OK for everybody," he said.

But the criticism has been extensive, including comments from those who said they made the trek to Jena for the rally.

"They can find somebody else to march for them (be)cause I will not be there the next time, and whoever invited them to this should be slapped," one person wrote on the BET blog. "(You're) not setting a good example for the justice that everyone is fighting for. You look like the thugs they said the Jena 6 are. Thanks for making us look stupid!"

A poster who said he was from near Jena said it is "sad making the Jena 6 out as heros."

But Tina Jones emphasized that the appearance was only an opportunity to get away from the stress of the case and Jena -- not about raising awareness or gaining celebrity status.

Purvis' attorney, Darrell Hickman, declined to comment about his client's appearance and said he doesn't know of any others scheduled in the future.

Messages left Thursday for Carwin Jones' attorney, Mike Nunnery, went unreturned.

Calls placed Thursday to the Barker family for comment went unanswered.

Carwin Jones and Purvis were charged initially with second-degree murder, along with Bell, Shaw, Robert Bailey and Jesse Ray Beard, in connection with the Dec. 4 beating of Barker at Jena High School.

Bell, who was 16 at the time of the attack, is the first of the six defendants to have been tried and was convicted in June of aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit that crime. Both of those felony convictions later were vacated and sent back to juvenile court.

Bell is currently at the Renaissance Home for Youth in Alexandria , said the Rev. B.L. Moran of Jena, who has actively advocated for the teens, including testifying at a congressional hearing earlier this week.

Bell had spent almost 10 months incarcerated in a LaSalle Parish adult facility before being released on bail in September. He was free for two weeks before being taken back into custody and sentenced to 18 months in connection with two previous juvenile adjudications, the Rev. Al Sharpton said.

Charges against Bailey, Carwin Jones and Shaw have been reduced to aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy to commit that crime, which they will face in adult court. Current information about Bell's and Beard's cases are unknown as they are being handled in juvenile court and aren't open to the public.

Purvis is scheduled for arraignment on Nov. 7.


  1. We must not offend the black criminal class in the country. Next post coming up.

  2. Thomas Sowell

    We got to quit playing these race cards, all of us, on all sides.

  3. Bobal: We got to quit playing these race cards, all of us, on all sides.

    Sometimes we just gotta call a spade a spade.

  4. I Watched the BET show that night and I was happy to see thems boys up there the only reason they went up there to let America know how things need to change what the white students did was wrong for what they did. they knew hanging nooses on a tree would start up to a big fight around school did they think the black students was just goin to walk past not caring NO!!!! They felt hurt knowing what the great Black leaders did For Them In The World then all turns around and had to break out like this! Ms.Parks sit on the bus cause she had a right to sit down and them six black students had the right to sit down too!!!!!

  5. I think the kids were wrong for starting an unfair fight, come one 6 on 1, any race at any time that is wrong.

    But these kids are just kids, all of them. Racism is obviously prevalent throughout Jena and it is something that must be dealt with.

    I am tired of people saying that slavery ended 200 years ago and now everything is fine, it is not fine. There are still issues to be dealt with, there are still hate and race crimes. Racism is something that needs to be dealt with, there needs to be larger measures taken to promote acceptance on all terms.

    These Kids did something wrong, but charged with attempted murder is ridiculous. Seriously, kids fight all the time, they were stupid and fought an unfair fight but it does not detract from the true and real racism that exists in this country.

    I pray for them and for us all, life is to short to have so much hate.