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…