Talk:Jena Six

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Featured article Jena Six is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 20, 2008.

Bell arrest, suicide attempt[edit]

I see traffic stats say that traffic to the article has increased from about 500 a day to 20,900 yesterday. Welcome, all. If you are going to edit this article, please be careful what you say. Wikipedia policies admonish us to be very cautious with material relating to living people.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:32, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Barker's civil suit[edit]

After reading this article, I notice that Barker's civil suit was filed in December 2007, but the article never addresses the resolution. Is the civil suit still ongoing? It mentions in "Other Developments" that the case was delayed, but that was in September 2008 and I have thought there would have been some update on the progress of the suit by now. In any event, I'll tag it as a current court case. --Pstanton (talk) 08:42, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Nothing in the papers. Justice delayed is Louisiana justice, it seems.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:23, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Dr. Seuss?[edit]

Ok, the line "The following morning, nooses were discovered hanging from the tree. Reports differ as to whether there were two or three." really sounds funny. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.152.106.217 (talk) 21:43, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

You guys really need to Research what was hanging from the tree. It was a Rodeo Lasao hanging from the trees, in the same fashion as the Lasao hanging from the tree limbs in Lonesome Dove tv series. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dmc1184 (talkcontribs) 17:06, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Good point! I'll do something about it.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:04, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Injuries & ER[edit]

"Barker was injured, but was released from the emergency room the same day." The but seems to downplay the fact that he was injured. Would it be best to say he was admitted to the hospital for a few hours due to his injuries or something along those lines?Cptnono (talk) 21:39, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I'll work on a rephrase. Though being in the emergency room doesn't admit you to the hospital. Also, I guess this page is getting a lot of traffic because the Five pled guilty. I'll work on that too.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:39, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Representation[edit]

Seems to me, legal representation is completely relevant to the story, especially the outcome. What if Mychal Bell had adequate counsel from the beginning? Who submitted the various motions to recuse Mauffray? Then again, the legal angle is what attracted me to the story, so I may be giving the courtroom particulars too much weight here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by GSeek (talkcontribs) 13:07, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

It was never really decided if Bell had adequate representation. His lawyer advised him to take the plea, and he later did plead guilty, so it's even harder to judge. Not putting Bell on the stand under those circumstances (presumably Bell did not insist on it) is not necessarily a bad move, and I'm not sure if the jury venire could have been challenged, after all, it is not the court's fault if no blacks show up despite being summoned.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:21, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

"Members' subsequent activities"[edit]

Do we really need this section, which recounts not only what misdemeanors the Jena 6 have subsequently committed, but also what traffic violations they've received? This whole section just stinks of POV. Djma12 (talk) 13:41, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

I think so. This was discussed at the time of the FA drive and some changes were made. We're trying to keep this updated; thus we have the convictions. I'd like to find out what became of some of these ancillary charges, some courthouse digging might be in order someday. It is not POV to dispassionately state the charges.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:11, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough, but traffic violations? Djma12 (talk) 14:13, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Are we talking about the Bell situation in Olla? That's in there because he supposedly violated terms of parole by leaving Monroe. I agree that a traffic violation by itself is not notable, but his leaving Monroe is when he wasn't supposed to, and then you have to explain what happened.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:16, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. Can you point me to the prior consensus discussion about including this sub-section? If there's already a community consensus on this issue that seems reasonable, it doesn't need to be re-addressed. Djma12 (talk) 16:36, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
It was discussed during the FAC, click under article history above. I also got some feedback at the Village Pump on that, but I don't have the link handy.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:04, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Citation clean-up[edit]

Some of the citations for this article are either dead or do not completely support the statement listed. (Ex., the "over 40 statements collected" claim is not supported by the citation given.)

Furthermore, let's try to keep from stating that the opinions of some law enforcement officers are fact -- merely that it is their belief.

Sorry for a few anon edits -- I was on a public computer and forgot that I didn't have my standard wiki login. Djma12 (talk) 16:37, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Oh. OK. Just because a link is dead, by the way, doesn't mean the info that was there can't be used. It's been ten months since the FAC and the last thorough link check. The answer isn't deleting the information,it's replacing it with another if possible. So mark it dead link and give people a chance to replace, please.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:03, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Photograph[edit]

Preface: maybe I'm being just a little too sensitive. :)

Been doing the whole wiki thing today (following a chain of links through unrelated topics) that took me through a who's who of civil rights figures from the 60s and 70s. Wound up here. Now, having been inundated with all of this 30-year-old information, I had a complete brain fart with regard to the "Jena Six" and had entirely forgotten the (comparatively recent) mess. The photograph at the top of the page seemed to fit with the idea that this did indeed happen in the time of King and Malcolm X, back when busing and the Airborne were both big parts of race relations in the US--you know, decades before I was even born.

December 4, 2006.

...not quite, huh? So, just because all of the articles that link to this are prefaced with "old" looking photographs, I was wondering if we might consider having a color photograph on this page. (Ooo, look! I remembered to sign this time. Why does it not do this automatically on the talk page? Dumb software...) 12.19.84.33 (talk) 22:06, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Basically, we have very little choice in the photographs in this article because we try to use as much as possible "free use" photographs, in the public domain or that we have permission to use. There's no justification that I can see to use a fair use photo, that is, copyrighted. Read up on our image policy. I'd love to have photos of the Six or Barker. We don't.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:22, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Could ask the guy we got that one from if he has the original. I'm guessing just about 100% of the photos of this event were digital; there's bound to be a color copy somewhere. I'll see about emailing the owner of the site listed as the source, maybe? Edited to add: God I hate this manual signing business. J.M. Archer (talk) 16:30, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Sure, feel free.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:07, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Removed the word nigger from the first sentence[edit]

as above(unsigned by IP)

Yes, thank you for reverting the vandalism, you caught it several minutes after it went in. --Wehwalt (talk) 17:49, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

Opening picture is racist[edit]

IT HAPPENED LIKE 3 YEARS AGO. THERE COLOR PHOTOS NOW WHY IS THIS IN BLACK AND WHITE? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.12.180.191 (talk) 17:59, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

As previously discussed on the talk page, there was no non-copyrighted color image available, and the use of a copy-righted photo did not fall under "Fair Use" for this article. And I completely fail to see why using a black-and-white photo is "racist," unless you're trying to be funny by taking the phrase to an illogical extreme. 97.104.80.74 (talk) 18:44, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Why isn't it included here that Barker was not simply beaten to a state of unconsciousness but witnesses say he was knocked unconscious and THEN stomped as he lie on the ground non-responsive? This is relevant especially to the supposedly "excessive" initial charge of "attempted murder". Ask a neurologist what the risk is of death or grave bodily harm to someone who is already unconscious having his head repeatedly stomped on. It should also be included that Barker categorically denied making any racial remarks or jokes. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.58.89.112 (talk) 18:12, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Can someone explain...[edit]

I can't understand by reading the article whether the Jena 6 were actually guilty of beating Barker or not. If they are, then why was there so much protesting over this? If you beat someone to unconsciousness, it's attempted murder. Why should the Jena 6 have their charges dropped because they're black? (Also, couldn't they be charged with a hate crime because it was racially motivated?) If there's not a good reason for this, then this article is in SERIOUS violation of NPOV. --NightDrifter145 (talk) 01:50, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

The charges were not dropped, though certainly they were significantly lowered. And they certainly pled guilty and agreed not to say that the plea was false.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:55, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Hardly anyone claimed they were innocent, the protests were because of the belief that if the crimes in question had been committed by white kids instead, they'd have faced lesser charges. Ideally, I'd say that any thug, regardless of color, should face attempted murder charges in those circumstances. But if it's true that previous white juvenile delinquents got off easier, then so should the Jena Six have. 76.255.29.99 (talk) 04:50, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Actually, I would disagree, if six white kids ever beat a black kid it would be considered a hate crime and probably be on death row 208.120.24.105 (talk) 14:16, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

And can someone explain what the supposed connection between the lassos/nooses, the arson case and the assault on Barker was? Did the perpetrators say or suggest that there is a connection? Did anyone else? Was Barker involved in any of these incidents? Did they beat him up because he was white and they had some racist agenda? All I can find in the article is people denying that a connection exists, so I can't see why it's listed under Background to the assault.--88.73.8.67 (talk) 13:21, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

As the article says, those incidents were often linked in news articles covering the events. They were in fact probably not related, in my personal view. There are a number of later articles, many commentary in nature, that discuss this in more detail. To maintain neutrality, we simply laid out the facts. After all, it is not for Wikipedia to say if they were in fact connected, or not.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:27, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Some unattributed statements were printed at the time that Barker had used a racial epithet at some point, and that this was provocation for the beating. In their statements on pleading guilty, the remaining five said that was not the case. Why they beat on Barker in particular really isn't clear. He was not at the gas station, he was not involved in the arson, and he was not involved in the nooses to the best of our knowledge (as we do not know the names of the kids who did place the nooses, this isn't 100 percent certain, but I would be absolutely amazed if they could keep that one quiet).--Wehwalt (talk) 13:31, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Work needed[edit]

Hello everyone! This article currently appears near the top of the cleanup listing for featured articles, with several cleanup tags. Cleanup work needs to be completed on this article, or a featured article review may be in order. Please contact me on my talk page if you have any questions. Thank you! Dana boomer (talk) 16:21, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

OK, I'll get back to work on it.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:13, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I've finished that. Most were due to expired links to a newspaper web site, now people will just have to look up the paper or electronic copies of it. There is still a bit of polishing to do in updating present tense to past tense, as the Jena Six have been quiet the past year or so, but that should stave off a FAR.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:39, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Terminology inconsistent in article[edit]

I've noticed that the word "black" is mostly used throughout the article. There are two examples where the term "African American" are used.

"A number of African-American bloggers also covered the story before there was mainstream national press coverage."

"Darryl Hunt, an African-American who was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of a young white newspaper reporter in 1984, was scheduled to be a keynote speaker."

What term do people think should be used throughout the article, "black" or "African American"? I think the term "African American" should be used but I don't want to make those edits until I have some idea of what people think. Russell Dent (talk) 23:39, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

i believe both are acceptable, and there is no reason to use only one. Neither is in the least derogatory. In my view, "black" is marginally preferable as it reads easier, the reader only has one syllable rather than seven to deal with, and in an article like this where the term "black" is used a lot, that adds up. I do not think the term black gives offense.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:24, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I've reverted your edits to the lede. The lede describes what happened in a neutral tone. Your edits have the net effect of shifting "they did it" to "they were convicted of it". The members admitted it and agreed not to take back what they had said. There is no doubt they committed the offense they were convicted of. Also, you screwed up a reference for no reason I can see. Feel free to discuss, always happy to work with people--Wehwalt (talk) 10:28, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your comments. I did not intentionally edit the reference in question but there is a difference between my edited version and the previous version, so the mistake was mine and I take responsibility for it. I will try to avoid any future mistakes of this nature when editing Wikipedia. Russell Dent (talk) 01:19, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, you don't need to apologize. Forgive me if I came across a bit brusque.--Wehwalt (talk) 03:17, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Links to articles that haven't been written yet[edit]

I can't believe I actually have to defend this edit, but I added two red links:

Now, whether we have enough information about these things or not, surely the links themselves are valid; they relate to the topic; they suggest where to go for more information. Also, Wikipedia:Red link says:

  • It is useful in editing article text to create a red link to indicate that a page will be created soon or that an article should be created for the topic because the subject is notable and verifiable. One study conducted in 2008 showed that red links helped Wikipedia grow.

If someone can fix the links with a better link target, or by creating a redirect, then they can do so. But the advantage of having the red links is that it signals to prospective writers that we need articles on those topics. We had nothing on black poverty until I started one, and I could sure use help; you can help me by adding to the stubs, not making me waste time defending them at afd. --Uncle Ed (talk) 00:27, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Aren't these topics subsumed in other articles?--Wehwalt (talk) 00:29, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I didn't want to link to Racism, because that is "the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination" - which may or may not be the essence of the noose & tree incident. Some kids didn't like another group of kids; did they really think about it that deeply?
And if racial injustice is to be found in another article, please tell me which one. Or just go ahead and make the link point there. I welcome your input (see WP:TEAMWORK). --
Racial tensions sounds to me like a term which needs a definition, not an article, but I think the reader knows what is meant. Well, wouldn't it be more productive to start stubs on these? This is not a high profile article anymore; the Six are (I hope) quietly living their lives. I don't think you will find many people coming to this page, and less who are inspired to write articles. So the redlinks will sit there.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:47, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

RfC[edit]

Light bulb iconBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 16:49, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

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