A woman of integrity and fellow Poynter Diversity Across the Curriculum 07 participant sent this more balanced response to the !@##$$% racist idiot Craig Franklin, editor of the local Jena Times newspaper.  This is a link to Howard Witt’s response to questions about Franklin’s Christian Science Monitor piece that is so like Al Thomkin’s racist Poynter article.  It includes a link to the response by Alan Bean the pastor who told Witt about the case and the director of a civil rights group called Friends of Justice. The CSM piece is UGLY and full of revisionist/apologist propaganda.


here is a response i send out whenever i get emails about franklin's piece:

            Dear xxx:

Thanks for your inquiry. I am familiar with the article Craig Franklin, editor of the local Jena Times newspaper, wrote for the Christian Science Monitor. Unfortunately, that article was filled with revisionist history.

            If you care to read a pretty thorough debunking of Franklin's claims, I would recommend the following, written by Alan Bean, director of a civil rights group called Friends of Justice, who was the first outsider to investigate the Jena case. It can be found at:


I'm afraid I have neither the time nor the inclination to engage in a point-by-point refutation of Franklin's article. I'll let my extensive reporting on the Jena story, available at www.chicagotribune.com/jena, stand as my rebuttal.

But I will give you just one example of where Franklin twists the facts. Franklin contends that the nooses were not a threat directed at black students. I can tell you that my reporting in Jena over the last six months reveals otherwise.

Fact: The principal at Jena High School did not regard the nooses as a harmless incident. He recommended that the three white students who hung the nooses be permanently expelled from school. That recommendation was overridden, however, by the school superintendent, who announced that the nooses were just a youthful prank. Soon afterward, the principal was transferred to a different job in the school district central office.

Fact: LaSalle Parish District Attorney Reed Walters-the same man who is prosecuting the Jena 6 teenagers for the beating of Justin Barker-did not believe the nooses were an innocent prank.

"This was an awful act," Walters told reporters on the day before the Sept. 20 civil rights march through Jena. "It was not a prank but a vicious and crude statement.... The people who did it should be ashamed of themselves and mortified at the havoc they have unleashed on this community."

Walters added, however, that he could find no Louisiana statute that was violated by the youths who hung the nooses, so he did not charge them with any crime.

            Fact: The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, Donald Washington, declared that the hanging of the nooses constituted a hate crime, although he declined to prosecute the students because of their ages.

            "Yes, hanging a noose under these circumstances is a hate crime," Washington testified before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington last month. "If these acts had been committed by others who were not juveniles, this would have been a federal hate crime, and we would have moved forward."

hope this answers your questions. good luck with your seminar.


howard witt


We sometimes have problems with our server rejecting incoming email. If your reply to this email is returned to you, PLEASE call me at the number below.   Apologies...We are working on it. Sincerely,


Rev. Dr. E-K. Daufin, Professor

Department of Communications

Alabama State University

915 South Jackson St.

Montgomery, AL 36101-0271


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