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Choice of Presenters at BET Awards

By Tony Hicks
Monday, October 22nd, 2007 at 10:37 am in Uncategorized.

I don’t usually get serious on the blog because, frankly, I’m just not that serious of a guy. But today is an exception.

Black Entertainment Television allowed two members of the so-called “Jena Six” to present an award during its Hip Hop Awards last week. The black Louisiana high school students, along with four others, beat and stomped a white student into unconsciousness last December, escalating racial tensions that started months before when three white students (none were the victim) hung a noose from a tree. The teens were arrested and charged with various degrees of battery and attempted murder, raising the ire of the black community for a perceived double standard from law enforcement.

The pair got a standing ovation from the BET crowd, which is really frightening. Whether they were treated too severely or not, anyone involved with a six-on-one beatdown doesn’t deserve the hero treatment from celebrities. I’m not sure what they were being lauded for. Again, even if they weren’t treated right by law enforcement, they still beat and kicked a fellow student into the hospital.

According to, host Katt Williams joked, as the teens stepped onto the podium, “They don’t look so tough, do they?”

Not unless you’re under them getting the snot kicked out of you.

I’m a suburban white man. So I can’t begin to imagine being a black kid at a high school where, for standing under a tree were whites usually stand, some stupid punks hung a noose. It was a small-minded act and some sort of reciprocation would’ve been understandable. But to beat a kid senseless who had nothing to do with it — essentialy just for being white — is just as bad.

But for the adults at BET, who are supposed to be setting an example, to treat two of these kids as heroes is even worse.

(Bonus round: Bossip’s “Random Ridiculousness: BET Hip Hop Awards,” The Source’s “Jena 6 at the BET Hip Hop Awards” and NPR’s “‘Jena 6′ the Latest Rap Group?”)

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