Posted Oct. 31, 2007 – When reports surfaced of a possible march in Jena, La., by White supremacists on Martin Luther King Day, our news blog message board lit up.
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The Nationalist Movement says it will bring its “tools for empowerment to Louisiana to defeat the demands of Al Sharpton."
This public event, called “No to Jena 6, No to King,” will feature a two-mile parade, speeches, ceremonies and petitions "as a centerpiece to abolish King Day," said the release.
Users were up in arms over the group’s plans to march in the same town where tens of thousands of people came out to support the “Jena Six” in September.
But users were divided over whether the group has the right to march.
Although many users agreed that the message of the Nationalist Movement is racist, outdated and just plain foolish, they felt that marching is their American right.
“The right to voice your [opinion] is something that we as Americans have,” BET.com user Inez wrote.
And Angela wrote, “Yes, they have the constitutional right to march in the same way we did for Jena 6. We may find fault in it, but that’s one of the few reasons why I’m glad to be an American; we can voice how we feel no matter what.”
Go to the next page to read why some users think the group should march.
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Many users also pointed out that the group will look ridiculous anyway, so they might as well be allowed to do it.
“By the Constitution, they have that right to protest whatever they want,” BET.comer Felicia Henson wrote. “[But] it seems as though, to the world, that they will look silly trying to take back what has already been granted.”
BET.com user Tangela agreed. “They really will look foolish, and the whole march will be kind of pointless. What will they gain from the march other than allowing the world to know that they are prejudiced,” she said.
But there were also users who believed that because of their message, they shouldn’t be allowed to march at all.
“I say NO! They do not have a right to march! The actions by the Black youths were brought on by the White youths. By them marching is to condone the White youths’ actions,” Stephanie wrote.
“To march on Dr. King’s birthday is disrespectful. No one marched on Columbus Day, even though every African American with a sense of history knows that he wasn’t a man to be proud of,” P. Jones wrote.
The mayor of Jena, Mayor Murphy McMillin, told The NewsStar that the town had not received an application for a permit to march yet. But he, like most of our users, believes the group has the right to march.
"Here in Jena, we are very careful to abide by the Constitution of the United States," he told the Louisiana newspaper. "So we will do the appropriate thing to keep with that document."
What do you think? Go to our news blog or hit “Discuss Now” to let your voice be heard!