Looking back: Ferguson and the Detroit riots
Comparing 1967 Detroit to Ferguson today reveals stark differences.
One of my most haunting memories from childhood involves a group of teens from a local Michigan high school; they pounded on our front door and begged my mom to call the police. This was during the 1967 Detroit Riots, when several groups of hostile students decided to take the conflict into our small suburb.
My father was away, working as a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, and his team’s coverage of this event lead to a Pulitzer Prize. My mom took the students in, made the call, and comforted everyone until parents arrived to pick up the group who fled to our doorstep.
A short summary of this event via PBS shows seems similar to what unfolded yesterday:
For five days in July, Detroit, Michigan descends into chaos. An economic boom has created jobs, and urban renewal projects have built new infrastructure, but blacks have been left behind. New expressways destroy black neighborhoods, and economic opportunities are scarce for black residents. The 95% white police force, notorious for brutal and arbitrary treatment of black citizens, raids an illegal after hours club and draws an angry, frustrated crowd that quickly turns hostile.
As Sunday July 23rd dawns, the growing crowd is looting and burning the city. Twelve hours into the frenzy, Governor George Romney calls in the Michigan National Guard; unprepared troops make mistakes like shooting out the street lights. Nearly 4000 people will be arrested in the first two days, and over 7000 by the third. Most are young and black. Police and guardsmen shoot at will, with some later insisting that all of their victims were armed.
Some footage from the station, WXYZ, and covered by two of the areas best-known reporters of that era:
Now, not even 50 years later, the race-baiters and societal malcontents have ginned up tensions in hopes of creating another iconic civil rights moment in Ferguson. However, there are stark differences between then and now:
- There has been no years of “economic boom” under this administration, especially in Detroit (undergoing a Chapter 9 bankruptcy).
- The real evidence in the Ferguson points to a hard-working police officer defending himself from an attack by a suspected robber of considerable size and strength, not police brutality.
- Reverse racism is notorious, such as the time the City Council President Monica Conyers, advised whites to “go home” from a meeting. She also rebuked a Teamster official begging to get approval for a project that would create more good-paying jobs for union workers by noting , “Those workers look like you; they don’t look like me.”
- Images from social media show the looters as the self-centered criminals that they are, and not civil rights heroes.
I followed the news with a great deal of apprehension today, recalling the 1967 violence. I am somewhat relieved to learn that, even in Detroit, the protests are relatively peaceable.
The demonstrators carried picket signs and chanted outside the federal courthouse on West Lafayette downtown, “Hey, hey … ho, ho … killer cops have got to go,” and “What do we want? Justice!” under the watchful eyes of federal security officers and top city police officials.
“We’ve very upset,” the Rev. Charles Williams III said. “Our concern is that there was no trial.”
The [Detroit] rally was one of 28 that took place in cities across the country. Williams said “a national mobilization” is being planned as part of a larger demonstration against the grand jury’s decision, which he said was unjust.
Hopefully, those interested in true justice will ignore the agitators from the Communist party, HAMAS, and Anonymous and eventually come to accept the Grand Jury returned a just verdict in this case.
The elite media may want to recreate the 1960’s, but that time has long gone — as have the real heroes of that era.
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just because the cops in the ’60’s where thugs doesn’t make the rioters back then heroes … then like today they are savages looking for tribal justice … you kill one of ours we attack you …
the cops breaking the law doesn’t justify you breaking the law … never has … when the cops enforce the laws in the case of rioting looters they are in the right … period …
Who says the cops back then were thugs? Why should I believe that, when the people telling me so have proven to be such liars? Apply the Murray Gell-Man Amnesia effect into history; if what we’re being told about what’s happening now is such bunk, why should we suppose that what we’re told about what happened before we were born is any more reliable?
bsNBC is STILL trying to “keep hope…er, the narrative…alive”.
Now, at this point, a prosecutor would be simply demented to bring this guy to the witness stand, but bsNBC is willing to bring him into the homes of both its remaining viewers.
They deserve each other.
Wow! I had no idea that Barbra Streisand had her own news network. I guess every day’s a school day!
Were there any heroes in the 1960s or did the liberal media invent them without the counter weight of the current social media showing the truth? Is this more of the 1960s – JFK was a god BS with real life failings swept under the rug.
Much of this is fueled by the progressives, who will embrace any cause no matter how illogical or asinine. They’re aided and abetted by the media, politicians and young idiots who are looking for a cause of their own. I’ve been amazed by the rank stupidity of the media in this case. It seems our national media is now the equivalent of your old High School newspaper. Few facts, lots of emotion and proud of their ignorance.
My family lived near Greenfield and Grand River and our grandparents down on Fort Street near the riverfront during the 1967 riots in Detroit. My father was a Detroit poice officer from 1947-1970 and worked the ’67 riots nonstop for a week.
I cannot think of a worse source than PBS for an accurate report on the Detroit riots.
“For five days in July, Detroit, Michigan descends into chaos. An economic boom has created jobs, and urban renewal projects have built new infrastructure, but blacks have been left behind.”
Wrong. UAW auto plant jobs, plus exponentials of jobs supporting the auto industry, brought the Detroit black community into the middle class during the 50s and 60s. Anyone ‘left behind’ chose to miss the bus.
“New expressways destroy black neighborhoods,”
Yes, and white neighborhoods, and mixed neighborhoods, too.
“..and economic opportunities are scarce for black residents.”
The city was carpeted with auto plants, stamping plants, steel plants, subassembly contractors, etc., etc. This claim is just false. At the time Motown was the center of the recording industry, but to PBS, Detroit disallows success by black people.
“The 95% white police force, notorious for brutal and arbitrary treatment of black citizens, raids an illegal after hours club and draws an angry, frustrated crowd that quickly turns hostile.”
Geeez, lol. To be accurate, the phrase ‘notorious for brutal and arbitray treatment of black citizens’ needs to be followed by: ‘according to the new liberal power structure players and race activists who took over the Detroit political power structure in the 1960s,’ of whom the PBS was in full support. The last GOP mayor of Detroit left office in 1962. All Dems ever since and all black mayors since 1974. Current mayor is white Dem – elected after Detroit goes bankrupt.
“As Sunday July 23rd dawns, the growing crowd is looting and burning the city. Twelve hours into the frenzy, Governor George Romney calls in the Michigan National Guard; unprepared troops make mistakes like shooting out the street lights.”
George Romney was GOP. Of COURSE he screwed up – according to PBS. The riot was unprecedented in Michigan. The ’47 riots were entirely different, a true race riot as opposed to ’67’s, which PBS declares was essentially about Income Inequality, a hallowed socialist canard.
“Nearly 4000 people will be arrested in the first two days, and over 7000 by the third. Most are young and black.”
This might be because most of the people committing arrestable offenses were young and black. Us old folks, both black and white, find rioting to be strenuous business and prefer to leave it to the young, and that’s who gets arrested. Duh.
“Police and guardsmen shoot at will, with some later insisting that all of their victims were armed.”
All policemen ‘shoot at will’. WTF does that even mean? How would a police officer shoot against his will? It was a freakin’ riot. The rioters had snipers on roof tops and at high rise windows. Police and firemen refused to wear uniforms because it made them instant targets. It was a war zone. ‘Some’ later insisting all of their victims were armed. Why is this offered by PBS as if it must be a lie? Is it too hard to believe that during the Detroit riots of 1967 ‘some’ rioters were armed? Shocking! And to describe them as victims is pure sophism support. Martial law in effect, curfews, emergency orders to clear the street….. if you go out anyway and are armed and rioting, yeah, you might get shot and you might die.
There is zero overlap between Detroit 1967 and Ferguson 2014. Ferguson was entirely ginned up by external race baiters taking advantage of an initially unclear white on black police shooting, an event the external race baiting professionals scan the news for every day, looking for other exploitable shootings.
The Detroit Free Press, then and now, is a total liberal rag, a machine of the Michigan Democrat Party which contributed mightily to Detroit’s failure by never naming the problem of Democrat mayoral and Democrat city council corruption until forced to, a la MSNBC, et al, when they finally have to report something out of embarrassment. the Freep covered for it, like the NYT and WaPo do for Obama and his gang.
I propose a simple rule, in the pursuit of clarity, since ambiguity is the most dangerous thing you can foster…
If a “protest” (and there are protests, and they are protected speech) is used by rioters and looters, it is off.
Right then. Protesters are required to disband. ANYBODY left on the street after a half-hour is subject to arrest, and could be fired on if they are seen committing acts of mayhem.
Real protestors will police their own activities, and they’ll be encouraged to withdraw from rioters and looters, thereby identifying them to the authorities.
But that would take some sand…
What that takes is clergy. It actually happened that way, in Afghanistan, towards the end of the Cartoon Wars. There was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration against the Mohammed Cartoons, and then somebody in the crowd fired a shot, and it became a riot. The clergy cut the demonstrations off, saying that they had been hijacked by people with an agenda.
We can do that, too. People can talk amongst themselves, ahead of time, and say they are going to leave if it gets out of hand, and then do so. It’s hard to maintain a demonstration, or continue to build to a riot, with the crowd melting away.
It only has to happen a time or two, to establish a new way of doing things.
A lot of it is because there is a “wink-wink” collusion between the “real” protesters and the riot/loot crowd. That distinction can be made a LOT more clear by raising the ante.
As soon as things go to rioting/looting, the streets are cleared of anyone NOT ready to get arrested/shot. That’s the rule, and everybody knows it so there is no confusion.
Anybody left on the street is subject to arrest and/or getting shot with goose-shot…preferably in the legs. But somewhere. It will kill you rather badly if you are too close, and it identifies people who are far enough away. When they show up at the clinic or horse-piddle, the holes tell a story like a player piano scroll.
“All policemen ‘shoot at will’. WTF does that even mean?”
Open fire. Keep shooting until you no longer see legitimate targets, or are ordered to cease fire. Think “you may fire at will, Mr Sulu.” (“Aye aye, Captain. And may I fire at Penny and the robot too?”)
Police officers are under ‘fire at will’ orders 24/7, that is, if the situation demands it and within legal limits, police always ‘fire at will’. There is no other way to fire, except blindly out the window, lol, and even that is ‘at will’.
Okay, I was thinking of an order to shoot at will, which I supposed was preceded by orders to be cautious, hold fire, and wait for orders. But on re-reading I see that it is not saying that but rather simply that the police and soldiers were shooting at will. So I guess it’s just PBS’s way of saying “the police were shooting too many criminals.”
In modern reality, the only application for “fire-at-will” is in artillery.
It USED to be common in infantry tactics to have massed fire under control, but that went out about the time of the Boar Wars.
Is that the war against the pigs?
I thought it was “Boer Wars”?
“I’d like to buy ANOTHER concenint, Pat…”
Liberals like to comlain that “shoot to kill” orders are cruel and brutal. But it does stop riots. (And who cares about the lives of looters, thugs and arsonists anyway? Only stupid people and evil people.)
Chicago’s mayor Daley announced that he was ordering the police to shoot looters on sight. Result: Unlike Detroit, Chicago did not burn down and it remained far healthier.
When you kill violent savages, you do a great good on behalf of civilized people.
“…1960′s, but that time has long gone…”
Well sure, the decade is gone but we are still suffering the ill effects of the 1960’s. Take a gander at photos of Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder and Barack Obama from that era. They all had their heads in the clouds sniffing rainbow dust and unicorn farts, and they still are.
The Communists put their roots down inside our institutions of power and education during that decade, and now they’re starting to rear their ugly heads, as evidenced by the bullshit that is going on over “The Gentle Giant (TM)” right now.