Mos Def Leads 'Jena Six' Protest

Rapper MOS DEF has led a rally in Louisiana in support of six black students who he claims have been wrongly accused of an attack on a white schoolmate. The hip-hop star - real name Dante Terrell Smith - pledged his support to the group earlier this month by writing an open letter asking "African-Americans of influence, and all concerned parties" to join him in the "fight against racial inequality and show solidarity for these young people, who are being treated very harshly by the law." On Wednesday (19Seo07), Smith was joined by race activists Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King III on a march through Jena. Sharpton protested the youths' innocence during a speech at the rally. He said, "You cannot have justice meted out based on who you are rather than what you did. "Six black kids indicted as adults for attempted murder, and the weapons charged in the indictment is their sneakers, this is the most blatant example of disparity in the justice system that we've seen. "You can't have two standards of justice. We didn't bring race in it, those that hung the nooses brought the race into it." Four members of the group face aggravated second-degree battery and conspiracy charges resulting from an attack on the student in Jena. Two of the teenagers have been charged with attempted murder.


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