The Jena 6: Goodman’s Blaxploitation Continues
By: Bob Parks
On an almost daily basis, Amy Goodman continues to parade a string of poor, Black Americans on her show as victims. The motive is clear. People like Goodman, with their typical liberal superiority complexes, feel like Black people will only get a fair shake if she cares for them, as an owner cares for their pets.
I’ve used that analogy several times before.
If your cat pees in the corner, most of us understand the cat really doesn’t know any better. When Black people misbehave, according to liberals, they didn’t know what they were doing. As Whoopi Goldberg recently said on “The View” regarding Michael Vick and the dogfighting scandal, that “from where he comes from” in the South, dogfighting isn’t that unusual. “It’s like cockfighting in Puerto Rico,” she said. “There are certain things that are indicative to certain parts of the country.”
In other words, in the liberal mind, when Blacks commit crime, they really didn’t know what they were doing. They’re just a result of their socio-economic environment. In the mind of people like Goodman, Black people aren’t capable of knowing right and wrong, thus whatever problems arise from our actions, or even being in the wrong place because we were in a situation we should have never placed ourselves in, it’s always racism.
The only racist here is Amy Goodman.
During her September 5th broadcast, she made a point of impressing her audience by reminding them she was in Louisiana, on locationâ€¦.
A Louisiana judge has refused to overturn the conviction of Mychal Bell. Bell and five other African American teens were arrested after a schoolyard fight in which a white student was beaten and suffered a concussion. The fight followed months of escalating tension in the town of Jena, Louisiana. Nooses had been hung from a schoolyard tree where the black students had sat. The Jena Six, as they’ve come to be known, were initially charged with attempted murder. Bell is the only student tried so
far. An all-white jury found him guilty of second-degree battery and conspiracy in June.
On Tuesday, Judge Judge J.P. Mauffray let the conviction stand â€” despite ruling Mychal Bell was improperly tried in adult court instead of as a juvenile. Bell’s conspiracy charge was dismissed, but he still faces up to fifteen years in prison. Thousands of supporters from across the country are expected to gather for a rally in Jena when Mychal is sentenced on September Twentieth.
Meanwhile prosecutors also announced they’ve reduced the attempted murder charges against two others among the Jena Six. Carwin Jones and Theo Shaw are also now charged with aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy. Two other students, Robert Bailey Jr. and Bryant Purvis, await trial for attempted murder.
My father was a liberal Democrat who saw racist bogeymen around every corner. I did make him laugh once when I asked him if he thought it true that “all white people are racistsâ€¦ except the ones you know.”
Had I been one of “The Jena 6″, my father would have taken me aside and told me what I now tell my sons: When you do bad things, people will point at us and say, “That’s what Black people do.” Fair or not, people’s impression of us are based on what they see us do. When you do bad things, it makes us all look bad.
I’m sure there are many Black men who remember their fathers telling us the very same thing, and for that reason we would not engage in criminal activity. Not so much out of fear of the cops, but the fear of the consequences of disappointing (and/or angering) our fathers. Black fathers started mental, and depending on what we did, got physical.
Today, it would seem, the patronization from people like Goodman, cause some parents seem to believe that their kids (while being kids) can be excused for bad behavior and let’s get mad at The Man for the position those kids now find themselves in.
And it’s Amy Goodman to the rescue of those poor ol’ Black folk.
Well, Democracy Now! traveled to Jena over the weekend to cover this story, and I spoke to Theo Shaw and Robert Bailey at their home in Jena. They were ironing their clothes, preparing to go out for the evening. Robert and Theo were held for about eight months in prison until their families raised the money to bail them out. Theo was just released over a month ago on more than $100,000 bail. I began by asking Theo to describe his time in jail.
THEO SHAW: They maced one time. It was on March the 14th. I had asthma. I told them. They already knew this. I had asthma, take me originally to the emergency room.
AMY GOODMAN: And what did the asthma come from?
THEO SHAW: Where did it come from? My asthma?
AMY GOODMAN: Yeah, what triggered it that night?
THEO SHAW: I couldnâ€™t breathe.
AMY GOODMAN: What triggered it? What made it happen that night?
THEO SHAW: The mace.
AMY GOODMAN: So the police â€” the jail, the guards would mace you in the prison cell?
THEO SHAW: Yes, maâ€™am.
AMY GOODMAN: Why?
THEO SHAW: Sometimes when they make a lot of noise, theyâ€™ll mace. And sometimes they just mace for no reason.
AMY GOODMAN: How many of you were in a cell?
THEO SHAW: Six, but they had the doors open, and we all would go in each otherâ€™s cell. Like twelve, six on this side, six on this side. We walk in and out of our cells.
AMY GOODMAN: Did they mace you a lot?
THEO SHAW: Yes, ma’am.
AMY GOODMAN: You told them you had asthma?
THEO SHAW: They already knew. It happened more than one time.
AMY GOODMAN: When they had to bring you to the hospital?
THEO SHAW: I went to the hospital once, but I went to the doctor a couple times.
DAVID GOODMAN: What happens when you get maced? What does it feel like?
THEO SHAW: I got asthma. I couldn’t breathe.
ROBERT BAILEY: It took them forever to come back there. I had to holler like thirty times. You know, you bang on the wall if theyâ€™re spraying, so Iâ€™m banging on walls. â€œHe canâ€™t breathe! He canâ€™t breathe!â€ So Iâ€™m like kicking â€™em, kicking â€™em. Iâ€™m kicking the wall and jumping in front of the camera. â€œHey, what you want?â€ They gonna spray me, so Iâ€™m running like, you know, â€œHeâ€™s got asthma.â€ [inaudible] They werenâ€™t going to believe us at first. I donâ€™t know. [inaudible]
AMY GOODMAN: So you guys were kept in the same cell?
ROBERT BAILEY: At first. Then they â€“
THEO SHAW: They tried to separate us. They didn’t want us to be together.
ROBERT BAILEY: For like the first month.
THEO SHAW: Then we ended up getting together when everybody started getting out.
AMY GOODMAN: How hard has all this been on you?
THEO SHAW: Hard. Hard time.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think youâ€™ll be able to finish high school?
THEO SHAW: Yes, ma’am.
AMY GOODMAN: How will you do it?
THEO SHAW: By taking home school or something. Iâ€™ve got to finish, because I want to go to Grambling.
AMY GOODMAN: Where do you want to go?
THEO SHAW: Grambling State University.
The first thing my father would ask me if Grambling State University would want someone who was in a schoolyard fight. He wouldn’t insist I was entitled to a spot. On the back of a wallet-sized picture he gave me, taken while teaching in front of a class and his palms facing his students, he wrote “Clean hands.”
Funny, most on the left seek a gender neutral society. Hollywood actresses refer to themselves as “actors.” At not one time during that interview did Amy Goodman say something like, “Theo, you don’t have to call me ma’am. You can call me Amy.” But Amy Goodman had the respect of this young man, and she seemingly basked in her feeling of superiority.
Note: That may seem hyper-sensitive, but the left loves to throw such hyper-sensitivity in the faces of conservatives. How does it feel?
At not one time during the interview did Amy Goodman ask the boys why they got into the fight in the first place? Judge Judy would’ve asked and then tossed them out on their narrow asses should they try and make themselves the victim. Her Black bailiff would be shaking his head, laughing, at the notion of victim-hood.
Most with common sense would tell those boys that they never would be in the position they now find themselves if not for participating in the fight in the first place. That’s what my father would have said.
But instead, we have Amy Goodman in her continuing quest to find more Black victims to champion. However, she’s one of many who look down on Blacks as subhumans incapable of doing what’s right.
She’s never met a death row inmate that didn’t deserve execution. That, she considers “cruel and unusual punishment.” Screw the fact that the victim of the convicted murderer faced nothing but torture and horror during the last few minutes of his or her life. When the criminal is Black, Goodman believes they should be set free despite the evidence, because like that cat, he or she didn’t know any better.
That’s what she believes, and if anyone is keeping Black people down, it’s people like Amy Goodman and her persistent bigotry of low expectations.
Her parade will continue on. I’ll be on her like white on rice.
New Media Alliance Television (www.nmatv.com)
Bob Parks is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. (www.thenma.org). The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.