Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dr. Phil and the Jena Six

Did anyone catch Dr. Phil on Friday? He had a mix of people involved in the Jena Six saga – a teacher from Jena Junior High, Justin Barker and his parents, Rev. Brian Morgan and Al Sharpton.

I can’t even get into everything that they argued about and discussed, but I’ll point out some things I thought were interesting. You can look at transcripts of the show here.


* I thought it was interesting to see the Barkers discuss what has happened. Justin Barker was in the audience, instructed by a lawyer not to discuss the fight, but he said he’s doing OK now.

Dr. Phil asked his parents if they thought his life “hung in the balance” after the fight where the six students punched and kicked him, to which they replied, “yes,” to which I replied, “then why did you let him go to a social function later that evening?”

Dr. Phil also asked if Justin Barker did anything to provoke the fight. Both parents said he didn’t, that they specifically asked him if he said anything that made the boys beat on him the way they did, and Justin Barker said he didn’t do anything. Hmmmm…Teenager 101: would he actually have told his parents that he provoked a fight that has thrown his family, school and town into the national spotlight as the 2007 poster children for racial tension? Or is it easier to put the blame on someone else?

* Bobbie Cornett, a teacher’s aide at Jena Junior High School, said she blames Rev. Al Sharpton for making Jena seem like a town full of racists, calling him the racist and a bully. According to her, “Our town wasn’t racially divided before this happened.”
Sharpton pointed out that he was called to Jena by the parents of the six students and other blacks in the town that felt differently.

I won’t get too detailed into my thoughts about Cornett’s statement, but I wish that she, and other white residents of Jena, would stop saying that. Just because you ignored a problem or because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. How can they keep saying that it didn’t, even in light of what’s going on?

Mrs. Cornett, the first step in fixing a problem is to admit that there is one. Then you can move on from there.


I will say I was a little disappointed in Dr. Phil. I expected him to call some of these people out on their B.S.
Known for his no-nonsense way of dealing with people and their problems, I really expected him to ask the tougher questions others haven’t asked already.

But, he’s got another chance. Monday’s show is supposed to contain footage of what happened when the cameras kept rolling. Also, Dr. Phil sent Bishop T.D. Jakes to Jena to talk with the parents of the Jena Six, so we’ll get to hear from them.

Check it out at 3 p.m. on KTBS 3 and let us know what you thought…

20 comments:

W said...

Dr. Phil did a fine job. He wasn't there when the incident happened nor does he live there to comment on the racial garbage. Dr. Phil also hasn't experienced all the blacks that have nothing else to do but play the race card. Get a job for heaven's sake.

Anonymous said...

I feel that the only reason you are holding your view on this is because that you yourself are an African American.

If you would just step back for a moment and stop acting as if the Barker kid was at fault in this just because he is white, then you would see that 6 "thugs", and yes they are thugs, beat someone with bad intentions.

It doesnt matter if he didnt die, they were not beating him with the intentions of him being ok. You do not stomp on someone without trying to kill them.

You need to step back and look at this from a human prospective on animals vs a human, and not on blacks vs a white person, and then you might be able to think a little more clearly.

Versha (versharma@gmail.com) said...

I wish I had time to say all the things I'd like to say here - but for now, suffice it to say that I do wish Dr. Phil had asked that question of Justin Barker's parents. From all reports that I've read - and yes, that's neutral, factual reports - Justin Barker was in the hospital for approximately 2 hours and released to attend his school's ring ceremony that night. I do not understand at what point Barker or his parents felt that his life hung in the balance, or if it did happen, how that wonder lasted longer than 5 minutes.

This situation of the media reporting on certain parts of the event is frustrating me beyond belief. Attorney Reed Walters was given stage in The New York Times last Thursday via the Op-Ed page (right next to Maureen Dowd!) and basically reiterated the same story - the nooses were not a hate crime, Barker was nearly beaten to death. For the million of readers who read the NYTimes that day - and not before or after, when they might have run a different opinion or factual news story on it - I'm so scared and sad to think that's what they'll believe about the situation.

And for the previous commenters, I'm neither black nor white. Technically, I'm brown, and I've seen fights involving stomping and kicking that do not involve an intention to kill. If you ask others to step back and get perspective, please do so yourself.

Janelle Rucker said...

Oh W and Anon,
So hilarious and typical. Would you like to actually address the points I mentioned or are you just going to play the “race card?”

Anon, fine, I’ll let you use that “you only think that way because you’re black” excuse. But what do you say to the many white people that feel the same way as I do, because they do exist.

And W, I do have a job, which is why I can’t reply to you and Anon in the manner that I want to. It’s also the reason why I’m holding my tongue on Anon’s ‘animal vs human’ nonsense.

So fine, I’ll take a step back from the situation and give it another look as long as you both take that step with me.

Thanks Versha!

black pearl said...

I missed the Dr. Phil show but, I heard about it. I'm not going to sugar coat anything. White people are quick to say that there is no racism or racial injustice. Know why? Because they aren't the ones are who experiencing it. Other races are..and it's being dealt by other white people.

On this Jena 6 issue, I DO believe that Justin provoked those boys. But, I do NOT believe they were right for beating him like that either. With that being said, I do not believe they had any intention of beating him to death. Try being poor, and living in a small Louisiana hick town and dealing with all the racism they had to deal with. I'd love to see how you would react.

What I, and all those that went to Jena , want is equal justice for all. That clearly is not being handed out all across America. Clearly!

I do believe the poster of this blog has her views because she is black and knows FIRST HAND of the racism and racial inequality in America. You just cant understand it if you have NOT been through it. So, white people PLEASE stop saying that it is NOT an issue. Clearly, it is. This is one of those cases..the race card has not been thrown out at random here.

Also, to 'W' what makes you think that blacks/african americans don't have a job or can't get a job? That was a totally ignorant and RACIST statement altogether..and yall say 'IT' doesnt exist..sheesh!

Anonymous said...

"White people are quick to say that there is no racism or racial injustice. Know why? Because they aren't the ones are who experiencing it. Other races are..and it's being dealt by other white people."

Oh PLEASE. You don't have a clue. Reverse racism exists, and there have been plenty of victims.

I think it was wrong that Mycheal Bell had to spend 9 months in jail for a schoolyard fight. But please don't say something like that.

black pearl said...

Anon, you are funny. I'm not blind and in denial. I know that reverse racism exists in some rare cases. but the majority of cases..never. Every race has the potential to be racist but, not to the magnitude of that in the white community in my opinion. I say that because to be racist means that you believe your race to be superior to others. History more than supports my belief. Here are a few examples.

Example 1: Whites came to America and claimed it as their own even though clearly, they did NOT discover it. It was inhabited by natives. However, the white man felt he was superior, so we know how that story goes.
Example 2: Whites owned slaves. Why? Because they thought they were superior to blacks. Hell, we weren't even seen as human. You know that really was NOT that long ago.

Now, I said racism exists and that encompasses all types of racism, including reverse racism. But, I find it funny that you were so quick to say I have no clue. NO, my dear, I think it's YOU that has no clue. I could write a mystery novel with the amount of clues I have.

Until you've had kids being called n-words and come home and ask you what that word means and you have to explain it. Dont speak on it. Until you walk in a store and they assume you will steal, so they follow you around. Dont speak on it.

How could millions of black people all make up the same things? That's kind of ironic don't you think? Racism exists. Stop being blind.

Anonymous said...

"Reverse racism"? Racism is racism. That's like saying "reverse discrimination" -- nowhere in the definition of racism or discrimination does it say it is something praticed by whites only. Anyone can be a racist or discriminate based on someone's race, not just whites.
You all need to get over yourselves ad realize that (1) we are all made in God's image, (2) all men (and women) are created equal, regardless of race and (3) all this hate is going to cause wrinkles and make your hair turn gray and/or fall out.

Anonymous said...

We're all made in God's image- that's your opinion. Not everyone in the US believes in God, you know.

I was going to post further but I don't think there is any point. All of you will believe what you want to believe, and I'll leave this wretched part of the United States soon enough anyway. You guys can have it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if leaving the so called 'wretched part of the United States' will make racism disappear?

You dont know where all these comments are coming from in the U.S. North, South, East, or West. It's all across the U.S. or didnt you know that?

Anonymous said...

"I'll leave this wretched part of the United States soon enough anyway. You guys can have it."

"You guys"? Must be a yankee. Good riddance...

Anonymous said...

Racism is wrong whether White against Black or Black against White, White against Brown or Brown against White, Black against Brown or Brown against Black, also there is White against Yellow or Yellow against White, Black against Yellow or Yellow against Black. I can't leave out the White against Red or Red against White, Red against Black and Black against Red, Brown against Red or Red against Brown I think I made my point.If you look at history, you will find that ALL races (including Black Freedmen) owned slaves. The slaves were of all races, Black, Red, Yellow, White (yes, Whites were enslaved by the Reds, and the people born to Mixed Black/White slaves and their White owners, were more than half White). This country grew and learned by it's mistakes. We have passed laws to make every one equal and to get equal treatment in all circumstances. The scales are supposed to be balanced. What has happened in some cases, the scales have been tipped to give those people who were not treated fairly in the past a better chance. In effect,a reverse of racism. That may have been necessary for a time, but I don't think that we should apply that practice in this kind of situation. Most schools have groups, friendships that form on basis of similar interests and comfort zones, that congregate in the same spots. I think this was the case in Jena. It was in poor taste to use the rope nooses as a detriment. But is it a crime? No. On the other end of the scale we have a kid who was beaten unconcious. There were six Black kids do you think this lone White kid was stupid enough to provoke them? The scales of justice would have to be tipped to make this beating case not out weigh the act of hanging ropes in a tree. In fact if this was a reverse situation of six White attackers and one Black victim, this would probably be called a hate crime. We need to think in terms of person instead of color, this person was attacked, therefore his attackers must answer for this crime.

myppl said...

While yes, there were other groups of people who were enslaved, no group of people has been more enslaved then Blacks.Period. No other group of people has been taught to loathe themselves more than black people. Period. No other group of people are still victims of mental slavery than black people.Period.

"What has happened in some cases, the scales have been tipped to give those people who were not treated fairly in the past a better chance. In effect,a reverse of racism."

The same people that you claim the scales have been tipped for, are still not treated fairly. Yes, things have gotten a little better but, not, by far, equal. You let a few black people, latinos, asians get in the door but, it stops there...and that does not equal the scales being tipped.

No one has said that these young guys do not deserve to be punished for beating Justin. Indeed they do. But, for the love of God please make it a comparable punishment for the crime.

What happened in Jena, when the black kids were attacked or had a shotgun pulled on them? Their attackers were not punished in fact, when they disarmed the man and called to report it and turn the gun in they were charged w/ theft! Come on!

Now tell me which direction the scales were tipped in?

Anonymous said...

The facts are that the Barker fight had nothing to do with the hanging of the nooses.

Also, the animal vs human comparison was dead on. Only an animal would hit and kick a human while he is knocked out. Only a pack of animals would do this while the others joined in.

The animal remark was not made in relation to the thugs being black. If it were 6 white kids beating one black kid, then those 6 would be animal thugs and would deserve to be punished for it.

Anonymous said...

The facts are that what led up to the particular fight involving Justin was indeed racial slurs being thrown, racial disparity in the town, and people being fed up with it all. Is it right? Not in the least. Should they be punished. Most definitely but, it should be fair.

keisha said...

Racism is racism. There is no such thing as reverse racism. Whites will give whites a 2nd chance, while blacks get no chance.
Ignorant whites view (non-whites) as inferior, when infact they are just different. Ignorant Whites will never understand the pain and the hurt that was caused from whites hanging blacks. They will never understand until they go through something like that. NAZI symbol will never be viewed as a PRANK. HATE is HATE, and it is painful. Physical pain does not even compare to the emotional pain of things like that.

josh rambo said...

I've got only one thing to say and it pertains to "black pearl" and her second example of history supporting her belief. Who do you think sold the slaves to the white man? In case you don't know..."Between 1450 and the end of the nineteenth century, slaves were obtained from along the west coast of Africa with the full and active co-operation of African kings and merchants. (There were occasional military campaigns organised by Europeans to capture slaves, especially by the Portuguese in what is now Angola, but this accounts for only a small percentage of the total.) In return, the African kings and merchants received various trade goods including beads, cowrie shells (used as money), textiles, brandy, horses, and perhaps most importantly, guns. The guns were used to help expand empires and obtain more slaves, until they were finally used against the European colonisers. The export of trade goods from Europe to Africa forms the first side of the triangular trade."

I pulled this passage from here - http://africanhistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa080601a.htm .

Check it out for yourselves.

blackpearl said...

You almost had a good point Josh Rambo. I see you did some research. You even pulled passages and all. Sorry to bust your bubble but, I already knew that fact. I also, am sure it wasnt too hard to somehow convince one tribe leader who was ALREADY in war against another tribe to give up their captives for goods/gain. The fact remains is that the white man didnt think anything of either the captives or the captive takers. All they saw was a way to bribe and capitalize. They looked at those 'savages' as a way to help themselves..period. They weren't human to them so they treated them like they weren't. See if you can find a passage on that or the 3/5th compromise...

keisha said...

love one another people. An A-hole is an A-hole no matter what color. There is only one race :::the human race

Anonymous said...

Sometimes evil people do evil things, color of your skin has nothing to do with evil.