Monuments

Sunday will be the 50th anniversary of the Detroit race riots.

“Gun battles raged in Detroit’s streets. Snipers clashed with National Guardsmen and police. Many residents huddled for safety in their homes, while others — both black and white — looted businesses. Many of the businesses were then set ablaze.

“The riots engulfed the city beginning July 23, 1967, and continued for five days — one of many to hit the U.S. that summer. The violence prompted President Lyndon Johnson to send in federal troops to quell the upheaval.

“Forty-three people — 33 blacks and 10 whites — were killed. More than 7,000 people were arrested. Over 1,400 buildings were burned. Fifty years later, Detroit is still recovering.”

We’ll see a lot of news coverage this week and next, alongside laudatory prose of how much the country is doing to remember the events and will use them to assure we never repeat those times.

U.S. Flag Flown Upside DownThe Algiers Motel incident, for example, happened one fire-lit night of the racially charged 12th Street Riot. The building itself is gone and grass grows on its lot. There has never been a monument there to the lives lost but there will be soon.

About a century earlier and some 500 miles to the southeast, we made a different kind of history.

July 21, 1861: The Civil War’s first major battle erupted at Manassas, known as Bull Run, Virginia
July 22, 1862: President Lincoln presented the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet
July 23, 1863: A skirmish at Manassas Gap, Virginia
July 24, 1864: The second Battle of Kernstown, Virginia

Today, we are tearing down monuments to that War. I wonder how long it will be before historical revisionists tear down the new monuments in Detroit.

 

2 thoughts on “Monuments

  1. History is made sacred by the blood spilled in its making.
    Revisionism is a sin. Good, bad or ugly — learn it as it is and draw your lessons carefully, unless you want to repeat the painful mistakes.

    • Russian revisionism is again a looming threat to Europe (lest we forget, a fascist, in Putin’s Kremlinese, is now a person — with likely links to homosexuals and the CIA — who opposes Putin’s politics). Our media and governments have abandoned eastern Europe to Russia. Again.

      Neo Nazi revisionism still pretends the holocaust never happened and, as that generation dies, our media and governments have an interest in sweeping it under the rug.

      And on and on.

      Pick an event today and you will find a revisionist who says it never happened. Pick the same event today and you will find a revisionist who says it was waaaaaaay worse than was reported.

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