Why haven't any major news outlets posted a chronology? Here I present one, taken from a News week article (I will update as new data and insights occur). Only severe white-on-black racism can explain this, and no black kids here deserve to be arrested for anything. If local Jena officials had acted properly, the Jena Six violence would never have occurred.
1. At a back-to-school assembly in Sept 2006, a black junior, Kenneth Purvis, asks the white vice-principal on stage taking questions if he (Purvis) and other blacks can sit under the school shade tree during lunch, issuing an open challenge to the known unwritten rule that only white kids can do so. "Sit wherever you like", the white vice-principal answered.
2. A few days later this kid and some black friends sat there during lunch, commiserating with some of their white friends.
3. The next day three nooses appeared hanging from the tree.
4. The white principal responded diligently, got three white boys to confess, and he expelled them for the rest of the year.
5. Days later (still Sept 2006) the (all-white?) school board overturned the expulsion, and the three white boys returned to school, having served merely a suspension.
6. Black kids start making a point of hanging out under the forbidden tree. "We didn't call it a protest," says Robert Bailey Jr., a student who participated in this, and who would become one of the Jena Six.
7. Tensions mount at the school to the point where the principal in early Sept (only a few days have passed since the nooses) convenes an assembly of the entire school, and gets the local DA, a white man named Reed Walters -- flanked by cops (all white?) -- to address the students: "I can be your best friend or your worst enemy," he told students, warning them to settle down. "With a stroke of my pen, I can make your lives disappear." Does he mean this warning to all students, or just the black students? The answer will become clear.
8. Over Thanksgiving break 2006, arson erupts at the school, destroying an entire wing. No data so far indicates who did this or why.
9. The day after the Thanksgiving arson, Bailey (black guy who'll become a Jena 6 dude) arrives at a white high school house party (he apparently has some white friends). He was "punched and beaten with beer bottles when he tried to enter... The white kid who threw the first punch was later charged with simple battery and given probation." Lesson to the black kids: the DA Reed Walters considers it "simple assault" unworthy of jail time for assailants who use fists and beer bottles. So much for "making your life disappear with pen" if you behave violently in this matter, at least when it comes to white kids assaulting black kids.
10. The day after Baily got beaten by fists and beer bottles, he "ran into a young white man who was at the party. Bailey and parents of the Jena Six say that when the man pulled a gun on him, he tangled with him and stripped it away. He was later charged with theft of a firearm." Lesson to the black kids: even if the white segregationists attack you, if you defend yourself, DA Reed Walters and the police will charge you with a crime -- specifically, a preposterous crime (disarming a gunman about to shoot you = gun theft) -- just like back in the Jim Crow days. Again DA Walters fails to make good on his promise to "make your life disappear" for those who escalate this situations... at least white kids who do so.
11. Finally we get to the the white boy, Justin Barker, who got sucker-punched in the Jena Six incident: "The tension culminated back at school the following Monday. Justin Barker, a white student who says he is friends with the kids who hung the nooses, reportedly taunted Bailey at lunch (Barker denies this). A while later, an African-American student allegedly punched Barker from behind, knocking him unconscious. Then, say white witnesses, a group of black students that included Bailey continued to assault Barker, kicking and stomping on him. (Jena High student Justin Purvis and other black witnesses dispute this.) Barker, who was treated for injuries at a nearby hospital, was released later that day, apparently in strong enough shape to attend a class-ring ceremony that evening." The charges here -- from white DA Reed Walters -- include the use of tennis shoes (from kicking) as "deadly weapons."
So, the same "justice system", including the DA Walters, that regards white-on-black beating with beer bottles as worthy only of assault with no jail time, the same "justice system" that arrested for Bailey for "stealing a gun" from a white kid who pulled it on him unprovoked, now wants to imprison Bailey and five others -- to make good on his threat to "make their lives disappear" -- for beating one of those white bastards who actively worked to keep black kids away from the school shade tree.
Shame on the Duke lacrosse team -- and specifically those falsely accused -- for not making this trip to support the the Jena 6. Shame on any presidential candidate who has not taken as much interest as me in digesting this story, and any who have who are not down there today at the protest.