“My name is Eddie Thompson. I am the white pastor referenced by Howard Witt of the Chicago Tribune in his article that forced the story of the ‘Jena Six’ onto the national stage. On December 8, 2006, when I wrote my article concerning racism in Jena Louisiana. I believed that perhaps the biggest obstacle to our town’s prosperous future was the ignorance of prejudice and bigotry. I am now convinced that the biggest enemy to our future as a whole community has become the misinformation, lies, and prejudice of a national media that refuses to seek out the truth concerning the events of last fall.
* “There has never been an ‘all white tree’ at Jena High School. Although whites traditionally sit under that tree, whites and blacks traditionally sit in other areas as well. Since integration, there has never been forced segregation on the campus.”
* “The ‘Jena Six’ have repeatedly been held up as heroes by much of the race-based community and called ‘innocent students’ by the national media. Some of these students have reputations in Jena for intimidating and sometimes beating other students. They have vandalized and destroyed both school property and community property. Some of the Jena Six have been involved in crimes not only in LaSalle Parish but also in surrounding parishes. For the most part, coaches and other adults have prevented them from being held accountable for the reign of terror they have presided over in Jena. Despite intervention by adults wanting to give them chances due their athletic potential, most of the Jena Six have extensive juvenile records. Yet their parents keep insisting that their children have never been in trouble before. These boys did not receive prejudicial treatment but received preferential treatment until things got out of hand.”