CONGRESSWOMAN JOHNSON APPLAUDS RALLY FOR THE JENA SIX
Washington, DC – (Wednesday, September 19, 2007) Today, CongresswomanEddie Bernice Johnson issued the following statement in regards to the events in Jena, Louisiana:
"While I cannot be there in person, I stand together with those who are traveling to Jena, Louisiana tomorrow to protest the injustices experienced by those high school students. Racial prejudice and intolerance created this situation, and tomorrow's rally will send themessage that segregation and injustice will not be tolerated."
"The courts and this school let these young people down – they let all of us down. The systematic abuse of power in this case is appalling. I do not condone fighting or violence, but situations like this one simply serve to fill up our jails and take away the futures of young people."
"I believe that for many this outrage extends beyond the events in Louisiana. We are locking up too many of our young black men. Many of whom are juveniles, such as the students in Jena, being tried as adults. We must reevaluate our system, because mandatory minimums and zero tolerance is not deterring crime. We must give our young people a path to success, and not simply a path to prison."