Jesse’s gone. Al’s gone. But hurt and hostility still remain in the small town of Jena, Louisiana, the site of the racially charged conflict surrounding a group of black high school students infamously known as the Jena 6.
Yesterday, I came across a Christian Science Monitor article, “Media Myths about the Jena 6” by Jena resident, Craig Franklin as told to Opinion Editor, Josh Burek.
Here’s a little of what Franklin had to say:
“By now, almost everyone in America has heard of Jena, La., because they’ve all heard the story of the “Jena 6.” White students hanging nooses barely punished, a schoolyard fight, excessive punishment for the six black attackers, racist local officials, public outrage and protests – the outside media made sure everyone knew the basics.
There’s just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice.
I should know. I live in Jena. My wife has taught at Jena High School for many years. And most important, I am probably the only reporter who has covered these events from the very beginning.
The reason the Jena cases have been propelled into the world spotlight is two-fold: First, because local officials did not speak publicly early on about the true events of the past year, the media simply formed their stories based on one-side’s statements – the Jena 6. Second, the media were downright lazy in their efforts to find the truth. Often, they simply reported what they’d read on blogs, which expressed only one side of the issue.
The real story of Jena and the Jena 6 is quite different from what the national media presented. It’s time to set the record straight. “
Franklin goes on to tell the “real” story by dispelling a few myths. For the complete story, click here.
No comment from me this time. I post. You decide.
A FINAL NOTE: According to reports, two of the young defendants appeared recently on the BET Awards. Blinged out, they said something akin to “I’d like to thank the fans…” I have nothing to say. I need to get a Tylenol; I think I am getting a headache.