Leave it to Bill O’Reilly…sigh. He’s raising questions about where money raised for the Jena Six and their legal defense has gone. Here’s some of his comments from his Nov 14 broadcast:
“BILL O’REILLY, HOST: “Impact” segment tonight, you may remember the case of the Jena Six. African-American high school students charged with beating a white student after a racial incident at Jena High School, in Arkansas.Reverend Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders rallied to assist the six students. And reports say about $500,000 was raised for their defense.
Now there are questions about where that money has gone. Pictures of defendant Robert Bailey with $100 bills have surfaced on the Net. Two other defendants appeared well heeled at a music awards event they traveled to.”
Just weeks after some 20,000 demonstrators protested what they decried as unequal justice aimed at six black teenagers in the Louisiana town of Jena, controversy is growing over the accounting and disbursing of at least $500,000 donated to pay for the teenagers’ legal defense.
Parents of the “Jena 6” teens have refused to publicly account for how they are spending a large portion of the cash, estimated at up to $250,000, that resides in a bank account they control.
Michael Baisden, a nationally syndicated black radio host who is leading a major fundraising drive on behalf of the Jena 6, has declined to reveal how much he has collected. Attorneys for the first defendant to go to trial, Mychal Bell, say they have yet to receive any money from him.
Meanwhile, photos and videos are circulating across the Internet that raise questions about how the donated money is being spent. One photo shows Robert Bailey, one of the Jena 6 defendants, smiling and posing with $100 bills stuffed in his mouth. Another shows defendants Carwin Jones and Bryant Purvis modeling like rap stars at the Black Entertainment Television Hip-Hop music awards last month in Atlanta.
The teenagers’ parents have strongly denied that they have misused any of the donated money. Bailey’s mother, for example, insisted that the $100 bills shown in the photograph were cash her son had earned as a park maintenance worker.
It’s just like Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunamis and other tragedies…people will take advantage and fool the giving public into thinking that they represent interests who are raising money to help, when in fact they are phony and pocketing the funds. It happens all the time. There are organizations that have been transparent in their fund raising for the Jena Six, such as Color of Change. The Tribune article says, “Only one national civil rights group, Color of Change, has fully disclosed how the $212,000 it collected for the Jena 6 via a massive Internet campaign has been distributed. The grass-roots group, which has nearly 400,000 members, has posted images of canceled checks and other signed documents on its Web site showing that all but $1,230 was paid out in October in roughly equal amounts to attorneys for the Jena youths.”