Bowdoin was greener than usual yesterday. Informed by a campus-wide e-mail from the African American Society, a number of students donned green and black all day to show their support for the "Jena Six."
The "Jena Six" are six African American teenagers who were arrested and charged with crimes that were connected to an event involving the assault of a white student at their high school in Jena, Louisiana in December 2006.
The event happened after a series of racial confrontations among students at Jena High School. In the attack, the white student was knocked to the ground and kicked repeatedly by the assailants. Although the victim was left unconscious, he was released from the hospital two hours later. The six students allegedly involved in the assault were arrested and eventually charged with attempted second degree murder.
The event has triggered national outcry from people who believed that the charge?attempted second degree murder?was excessive and that it was determined by a racially biased prosecutor.
Yesterday, one of the defendants was scheduled to receive his sentence of up to 22 years in prison. Although all charges were dropped against the defendant, thousands of protestors rallied in Jena, Louisiana, to show their support for the six arrested students.
In a show of solidarity, some students at Bowdoin wore green to signify "growth and support" and black to show "strength and mourning," according to Renee James '08.
"It's all about equality and justice," she said.
Sam Scully '09 said that the events in Jena remind people of the realities of racism.
"We think about racism as this abstract thing, but its happening in America now," Scully said. "If it could happen to them, what's to say it couldn't happen to us?"
Last evening, approximately 15 students wearing green and black congregated on the steps of the Walker Art Building to take a photograph showing their support.