Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Jena 6 Update: Did Color of Change Have A Change Of Heart???

Tha Artivist Says:

New Fans Of The Art Of Tha Artivist: (Left to Right) Bro. Tony Brown, R2C2H2, And Bro. Marcus Jones

I have had Bro. Marcus Jones, the father of Bro. Mychal Bell, on the Tha Artivist Presents...W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio Show several times...I actually met him recently in the physical for the first time in a historic event @ Washington University in St. Louis...From what I could gather he seems to be a man truly concerned about the welfare of his son who is currently incarcerated...

Repeatedly he has stated along with another source that as of Oct. 28, 2007 that "they" meaning him, his son Bro. Mychal Bell, Bro. Mychal's mom Sis. Melissa, and the rest of the Jena 6 and their families haven't received any monies from Color of Change and other organizations...

I had a loyal listener e-mailed me her interactions with Color of Change as well as with the company that produces their Jena 6 Shirts, Good Storm was prompted to do so from what she heard Bro. Marcus Jones say on several W.E. A.L.L.B.E Radio interviews...I am in the process of trying to get Bro. James Rucker, the founder of Color of Change, and others in the know to clarify this mess once and for all on my internet radio show, Tha Artivist Presents...W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio (

It would be a shame to bring down an innovative grassroots and seemingly positive organization such as Color of Change without actual factuals...Right now everything truly seems overwhelming...It seems that everything no matter how meaningful or well intentioned is used to deflect and distract from the facts...There are many battles to be fought but the trick is to choose which ones are truly worthy...There's enough work to last us many moons and lifetimes...As it is often said "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"...

And Please Believe That Cointelpro Is Still Alive!!! Please stay tuned...

Until The Jena 6 Are Free Neither Are We!!!

False Allegations On The Michael Baisden Show

Marcus Jones - Mychal Bell's father - was a guest on Michael Baisden's syndicated radio show on Monday, November 5th. He and Michael Baisden used the occasion to attack and slander and our executive director. Baisden continued to do so on November 6th. Both Baisden and Jones made several false and misleading statements which have raised the concern of many of our members.

Here are the facts:

  • has disbursed $210,809.90 of the $212,039.90 collected as of the last reporting period (October 4th). These distributions cover all invoices we've received from the young men's legal teams to date. $33,150.00 was sent to Louis Scott, Marcus Jones' son's lawyer on October 7th (Scott was able to request $35,339.98 but only provided an invoice for $33,150).

    Here are images of the deposited checks to the defense teams, proving they received the funds.

  • The Jena 6 families are all aware of how we raise money and how we distribute it. We make payments to their attorneys at the families' sole direction. Within 24 hours of receiving written authorization from the family, along with an invoice from an attorney, we send checks for up to 1/6 of the total amount donated.

    Here are the authorizations signed by the families, starting with Marcus Jones'.

  • Michael Baisden claims to have a letter signed by all the Jena 6 families and implies that is acting against the wishes of the families. This is false. One parent, who said she signed the letter, said that it made no mention of ColorOfChange whatsoever. At least two families claim they did not sign the letter.

    If Michael Baisden is unafraid of the truth, he should publish the letter and all who signed it.

  • is known by all the Jena 6 families. Our executive director, James Rucker, has met with the families on at least five occasions in Jena and has positive relationships with all of them, with the exception of Marcus Jones.

    Michael Baisden's staff know this, because we put them in touch with Jena 6 families with whom they had no relationship.

  • Michael Baisden and his staff know the facts. James Rucker has talked with Baisden directly, as well as Pamela Exum and Yvonne Gilliam who work for Michael Baisden. From the start, we have explained our procedures to Baisden and his staff; we had them verify payments were received by lawyers; we had them verify our process with the lawyers and families--it was in response to an inquiry they started, driven by Marcus Jones' accusations almost two months ago.

    In mid-October, Yvonne Gilliam, who works for Baisden indicated by phone that every lawyer she'd contacted had received their checks.

  • Marcus Jones stated that David Bowie contributed $10,000 to's fund and Baisden let the accusation stand. Bowie's contribution was made to the NAACP for Jena 6 legal defense and was widely never came in contact with this donation. A link to the NAACP's press release about that donation is here:
  • Michael Baisden has shown a reckless disregard for the truth. Marcus Jones has been making false allegations about us for months. However, responsible journalists check facts and then report accordingly. We've fielded inquiries from CNN, the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Black America Web, and others, based on Marcus Jones' allegations--they all concluded the claims were without merit and refused to give him a stage to speak.

    Despite knowing the reality of how ColorOfChange has managed the fundraising and distribution process, Baisden has joined with Jones in launching baseless attacks.

  • exists for one reason: to organize and amplify the political voice of Black America and our allies. Michael Baisden claims to share this goal but he is using his show to recklessly attack an organization that has a clear record of doing the real work he claims is important, in Jena and beyond.

Below is the letter we've sent to members who have inquired.

Dear member,

Thanks for your email. The allegations that Marcus Jones made yesterday on Michael Baisden's show are very troubling to us and we are glad to have the opportunity to share the facts.

To date, Mr. Jones' son's lawyer, Louis Scott, has received $33,150 via the Jena 6 Legal Defense Fund. Mr. Jones is aware that this money was sent to his son's legal team because he signed the paperwork authorizing the payment.

Mr. Jones has made statements challenging ColorOfChange's fundraising repeatedly over the last few months. We have worked hard to communicate with him and he has refused to engage us--we have attended a meeting with all the families which he walked out of; I personally hand-delivered him a letter detailing how funds would be distributed; and we have given information to several people who are close to Mr. Jones, including Louis Scott, Mychal Bell's lead attorney; several of Michael Baisden's staff members; and, at the request of Rev. Sharpton, to the National Action Network Field Director, asking them to make sure he was aware of how funds were being used. I have talked with Marcus, in person, on at least five separate occasions, in Jena, LA.

One hundred percent of the funds raised by on behalf of the Jena 6 go to legal defense for the 6 young men. Donations received by check get processed by us and then sent on to the Jena 6 Defense Committee which is run by the young men's families. Donations by credit card and proceeds from t-shirt sales go into a dedicated ColorOfChange account with Wells Fargo Bank. The funds are then divided 6 ways and we make payments from that account directly to legal teams when we receive authorization from the families. As of the last accounting period, we had paid $210, 809.90 from that account to the legal teams of the 6 young men and have sent over $13,000 in checks to the Defense Committee. This process has been reviewed and documented by legal advisors and vetted by several attorneys working on behalf of the Jena 6.

In order to maintain a level of transparency and accountability with our members who have donated to the fund, we created a page on our website that details how the Jena 6 legal defense money is distributed. Below is a link to that page: has explained the distribution of Jena 6 legal defense funds repeatedly, both in written communication and verbally, to Michael Baisden's staff, particularly addressing Mr. Jones' concerns. In fact, Mr. Baisden's staff obtained Mr. Jones' signature on the letter authorizing release of funds to Louis Scott, and followed up with the other young men's attorneys to confirm that they had received their funds from us. His team knows that we have distributed money to the young men's legal teams. We are disappointed that Michael Baisden would allow Mr. Jones to come on his program and continue his attempts to attack our integrity. Mr. Baisden's choice to allow us to be attacked without speaking to us first, or giving us the opportunity to respond, especially given all the information we've shared with his staff, makes us question his commitment to fairness and full disclosure about this issue. It also brings up questions of libel. Further, his acceptance of Mr. Jones' statement that had obtained the $10,000 donation made by Davie Bowie to the Jena 6 is deeply problematic. David Bowie's contribution was made via the NAACP to their Jena 6 defense fund and was widely never came in contact with this donation. A link to the NAACP's press release about that donation is here: will continue to work to bring about social and political change in our community. And we will do whatever is necessary to maintain our good name and the credibility of our organization and our work. It is very important to us that we be a trusted member of the black community so that we can be an effective vehicle for change.

Thank you again for supporting the fight for justice for the Jena 6. We value the trust you placed in us and I hope that this addresses your concerns. Please let me know if you have any further questions for us.

-- James Rucker
Executive Director,

Check Out More Jena 6 On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. Radio:
10-07-07~Actual Show:
*Summary of Show

10-07-07~Actual Show:
*Summary of Show

09-30-07~Actual Show:
*Summary of Show

09-23-07~Actual Show:
*Summary of Show

08-05-07~Actual Show:
*Summary of Show:

07/29/07~Actual Show:
*Summary of Show:

More Jena 6 On W.E. A.L.L. B.E.:


1 comment:

Alan Bean said...

The question is not whether Color of Change has had a change of heart (they have been transparent and up front from the drop). The question is whether Michael Baisden is going to admit that he knowingly lied about James Rucker and Color of Change? Secondly, why did Baisden lie when the simple truth is a matter of public record?