Women Leaders Ask Presidential Intervention In Jena Six

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 National News


Dr. E. Faye Williams, National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women has contacted President George Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco on behalf of the Jena-Six—the six Black students jailed and promised extremely harsh treatment for a high school fight that grew out of Black students being threatened with lynching when they “dared” to sit under “the white tree” at school. 

Williams said in her letter to Governor Blanco, “As a native daughter of Louisiana, I have watched with great sadness the case of the Jena-Six played out as yet another extremely embarrassing and tragic situation in our state. By no stretch of the imagination are the Black students being treated fairly. With the horrific Katrina situation that is still not resolved and the Vitter drama being played out all over the world, I am sure you would agree that Louisiana does not need another embarrassment to the state. Again, the world is watching and waiting for the leadership of Louisiana to do its job and make the state better for all of its residents without regard to race.  I am calling upon you to intervene in this situation so that justice will be served.”

Williams also asked President Bush and U.S. Attorney General Gonzales to intervene.

“One student has been convicted, and is scheduled to be sentenced to as much as 100 years,” Williams who plans to be in the courtroom on July 31—the announced date of sentencing, wrote and added, “I urge others who are concerned about this unbelievable and tragic case to travel to Louisiana for the sentencing to let the authorities know that the world is watching as they make a mockery of justice.”

Williams, along with Mark Planning, Janet Langhart Cohen and Dick Gregory worked with Louisiana’s Senator Mary Landrieu a few years ago to obtain a Senate apology for never having passed anti-lynching legislation.  

“Isn’t it ironic that white students in my state and the Senator’s state have threatened to lynch Black students for sitting under a tree—and just like in years past, the Black students wind up being punished for a resulting fight among Black and white students,” Williams said.


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