I am sickened. I am sickened at my “education”. I am sickened at the “historians” who have conspired together to keep the truth from us. I am sure that they had good intentions…no, I am not sure. I don’t know why they lied. Perhaps as I continue to study and read non-textbook, non-fiction the answers will become clearer. Let me read to you an excerpt from the book that I am reading…
In July 1932 Herbert Hoover ordered U.s. Army chief of staff Douglas MacArthur to clear the nation’s capital of the remnants of the Bonus Army, a force of veterans demanding immediate payment of their wartime bonuses, two of whom had been killed in a clash with city police on July 28. General MacArthur, sporting jackboots with spurs and flanked by a young Major Dwight Eisenhower, strutted eastward on Pennsylvania Avenue supervising an attack force of calvary, tanks, infantry, and machine gunners. The soldiers advanced with drawn sabers and fixed bayonets, fired two thousand rounds of tear gas, and pushed the veterans out of the city. Dozens were injured in the clash, and an infant died from inhaling the gas.
Riots were nothing new to the American republic, either. In the 1834 city elections, the mayor of New York had to call in calvary and infantry to suppress street battles among thousands of civilians. New York was the scene of the lethal Astor Place riot in 1849, when thousands of poor Irishmen attacked the Astor Place Opera House to protest the appearance of a famous English actor. The National Guard was called in, and twenty-two people died in two days of fighting. The savage Draft Riots in July 1863 plunged New York into four days of total anarchy, as several herd of ten thousand rioters each rampaged through Manhattan. The rioters, who were enraged by unfair draft laws, were finally subdued with musket and artillery fire by Union troops fresh off the battlefield at Gettysburg, but not before the riots killed at least one hundred people, including a dozen blacks.
Race riots, which were described by sociologist Funnar Myrdal in his classic study An American Dilemma as “the most extreme form of extra-legal mob violence used to prevent Negroes from getting justice,” erupted in East St. Louis, Illinois in 1917 (killing some forty-five blacks and twenty whites), and in thirty cities in 1919 (killing some forty-five blacks and twenty whites). “The breaking point,” wrote Myrdal, “is caused by a crime or a rumor of a crime by a Negro against a white person, or the attempt of a Negro to claim a legal right.”
The worst racial atrocity of twentieth-century America took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921 when as many as three hundred blacks were massacred by armed white Tulsa citizens. The carnage was triggered by false rumors of an attack on a white female elevator operator, and saw the thriving thirty-four-block black district of Greenwood burned to ashes, leaving thousands homeless. The event was so horrific that it was purged from the history books for nearly eighty years.
In the “Zoot Suit Riot” on 1942, a mob of one thousand whites, acting on rumors of servicemen’s wives being molested, rampaged through downtown Los Angeles, beating Mexican-Americans and blacks, causing many injuries but no fatalities. The following year in Detroit, on the hot Sunday night of June 20, a crowd of one hundred thousand blacks and whites sharing the integrated Belle Isle recreation area began shoving and scuffling, which blossomed into thirty hours of street battles that killed twenty-five blacks and nine whites. FDR was forced to send federal troops in to occupy the city for six months, and he also sent troops into New York the following month in the wake of a riot in Harlem that killed five and caused widespread property damage.”
I don’t know about everyone who reads this, but I am appalled. I am not so much appalled by these events as by their cover-up. I went through American history, from both a secular and a Christian perspective, and neither mentioned the vast majority of these atrocities. We have been fed this bull crap idea of the “good old days”. What a crock. There were no good old days. People were people then, just like they are now. They had riots. We have riots. America wasn’t more “Christian” then. Maybe more hypocritical, but not more like Christ. The South, presented as more conservative and “religious”, was filled with rampant racism. I am not talking about recognizing that races and cultures are different, I am talking about the kind of racism that says that blacks are sub-human, stupid, immoral, having…”a cerebral cortex fourteen percent thinner than that of the average white brain.”
These are all excerpts from An American Insurrection; The Battle of Oxford, Mississippi, 1962 by William Doyle. I haven’t finished the book yet; I am actually only 107 pages into a 318 page book. Another 50 pages of notes and bibliography are at the end.
I am just in shock. These are important events. Studying the Civil Rights Movements of the ’60’s would have been much more meaningful if I would have had some idea of what was really happening then. I can’t imagine living in fear the way the blacks in the South must have. They had no representation and no way to get any. They had no rights and no way to get any. They were being oppressed. For some reason that was just glossed over in History class.
I can tell you one thing. Our daughter is not going to learn History from a text book. Oh, we may read through one and do the assigned homework so that she can get a high school diploma, but it will be supplemented by books like this, books that are willing to look at the dark side of our nation, at our humanity, our brutality and hopefully, we will also find books that look at our courage, compassion, and steadfastness. But we will not depend on the “historians” to give her a true view of what happened then nor “experts” to give an idea of what’s happening now.
I encourage you all to get a book from the library that will make you think and ponder and maybe incite you to change something, a mindset, a habit, a thought process. We must grow or we will die. Our minds will die if we do not challenge them. We must not become stagnant in our thinking. If we feel that we have figured it all out, we have begun to atrophy and must take immediate action to reverse this most horrifying disease.