The recent racial tension in Jena, La., has hit close to home as Temple students organized rallies and marches on and around campus.
Many Temple students have reacted strongly to the events and voiced their concerns about the trial.
“I think it’s wrong, completely wrong,” said a freshman architecture major John Yochum. “There shouldn’t be a court trial.”
Alexandria Tejada, a senior
African-American Studies major, said, “It proves that racism is not dead. I don’t understand how the charges were so severe.”
Some students also said they felt the alleged assault of the high school student should not be ignored.
“They did not need to beat him up, but they also should not go to jail for it,” said Lauren Aldred, a freshman Spanish major.
“Some punishment should’ve come,” said Tavare Brown, a junior marketing major. He added that the punishment they received was “harsh, considering the age of the people.”
“Although assault is assault any way you turn it, the Jena Six were antagonized by the color of their skin,” said Drew Armstrong, a senior marketing major.
Matt Hayden, a sophomore film and media arts major, agreed.
“The same rule should apply no matter what,” Hayden said. “It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin is. The law is there for a reason.”
Even with the protests happening at visible spots throughout campus, some students are still do not know about the so-called Jena Six. Ninah Bell, a senior journalism and African-American Studies double major, said people’s ignorance about the event disgusted her.
Also a member of Temple’s Black Student Union, Bell said the main purpose of the rallies and marches at Temple was to bring as much attention to the situation as possible and prevent something like this from happening again, Bell said.
“If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere,” Tejada said.
Jonathan Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.