by The Francis L. Holland Afrospear Blog, via the Afrosphere Associated Press (AAP)
Like many public events these days, this week’s Jena rally came together largely through the efforts of bloggers. One of them was Dallas resident Shawn Williams, 33, who helped spread the word through his Dallas South Blog (www.dallassouthblog.com) .
In an e-mail interview with The Dallas Morning News Friday, the pharmaceutical salesman and member of Friendship-West Baptist Church reflected on his blog and the Jena rally:
The News: Give us the background on the Dallas South Blog. Did you create it? What is its aim?
Mr. Williams: I started Dallas South Blog 15 months ago as a way of expressing myself, but as the site has evolved, the goal is to promote positive images of African-Americans to contrast the negative images put forth daily in the popular press.
The News: Have you been involved in other civil rights movements or protests before?
Mr. Williams: I think the movement is ongoing. Since college I have been aligned with these types of issues in some form or fashion, but most recently I worked to rid our neighborhood of a sexually oriented business that was being built in walking distance of a charter school.
The News: What was your role in this week?s trip to Louisiana?
Mr. Williams: Besides helping to get 1,000 folks that left from our church on the right bus, I was just a participant. I marched, I listened, I shouted, but mostly, I was there in support of the young men who stand accused.
The News: Did you network with other bloggers?
The News: How will Thursday’s event advance the civil rights movement?
Mr. Williams: No one can answer that. I am hopeful that the African-American community will commit to seeking justice and equality for the long hall. Cases like this happen all over the United States. We must use this energy to highlight injustice and to take responsibility for our own community and our own future.
End story by The Francis L. Holland Afrospear Blog, via the Afrosphere Associated Press (AAP)
The latest: Bail was denied Friday for a black teenager whose arrest in the beating of a black classmate led to this week’s huge civil rights demonstration in the central Louisiana town of Jena, according to the father of one of his co-defendants. The bond hearing for Mychal Bell, one of the group known as the Jena Six, was held this afternoon in a juvenile court in Jena. Lawyers would not comment because juvenile court proceedings are secret. But John Jenkins, the father of one of Bell’s codefendants, said Bell’s bail request was denied. Bell’s mother left the courthouse in tears and refused to comment. A man accompanying her said, “Denied” as they walked out.
Francis says: Just as Governor Orvil Faubus tried to bar the doors to the desegregation of Arkansas High Schools a half century ago, even in the face of a Federal Court order to desegregate, so the Jena courts seem to be in full revolt against the wisdom of the Louisiana 3rd District Appeals Court. The Junvenile Court, like Jena itself, is intransigent and unreconstructed.
In the AfroSpear, we’ve got to hang that town with its own nooses in the court of public opinion.
When an appeals court orders overturns a conviction, and then orders a lower court to hold a bail hearing, the appeals court is normally saying, “Let this person go, or at least set bail that the person is able to make.” But appeals courts don’t say that directly. They give the hint to the lower court, so that the lower court can maitain its dignity by coming to the right conclusion after a nudging.
In this case, the Jena local courts don’t listen to nudges, even when the come from higher courts whose decisions are the law of the land, and whose suggestions and guidance are meant to be heeded.
If I could read the decision of the Third District Court of Louisiana, I could make this argument more effectively, based on that Court’s own ruling of last week.
In any case, now we got to turn up the heat, emphasizing in our blogs that the Jena local courts are in full revolt from the Louisiana justice system and demanding federal intervention (which seems to be coming in the form of Congressman Conyer’s Justice Committee hearings, which will increase the national focus and pressure.
We’ve got to turn this case into a trial of justice in Jena and of justice in America itself, demanding to know, in various forums, what America will do to right this injustice.