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This Day in History 1968: Race Riots Devastate American Cities


By: The Unreconstructed Southerner

If you happen to turn on your television, listen to the radio, or glance at a newspaper today then chances are you will read accounts of the death of Martin Luther King being that today is the anniversary of that event. What those same media sources will probably neglect to tell or excuse is the nationwide outbreak of violence in America’s cities. From Raleigh, NC to Washington DC, from Detroit to Los Angeles and over 100 other American cities scores of black thugs broke store windows, attacked pedestrians, and burned down untold city blocks after news of King’s death spread. Smoke from the fires in Washington DC could be seen from the White House and armed troops had to be posted on the Capitol, as Stokely Carmichael and his hordes devastated Washington in the worst manner since the British burned much of the city in 1814. Across America dozens were killed and thousands injured while military troops had to quell the violence using bayonets and deadly force.

Perhaps the gravest miscarriage of journalistic duty today is the granting of moral justification for the riots that saw untold property damage and the wrecking of people’s lives. The death of King in no way justified the racial violence that rocked American cities beginning this day in April. That this mentality is excused by journalistic and intellectual elites only gives credibility to the attitude that the ends justify the means and that black on white racial violence was and is from time to time justified.

Another legacy of these terrible riots was the decline of America’s inner cities as crime and this outbreak of racial violence drove whites from cities and into the suburbs. It also marked the beginning of the rise of George Wallace’s independent candidacy for the president that year as millions of Americans learned that Governor Wallace indeed knew what he was talking about in regards to the need for law and order. I hope that those whom were around for these terrible events will leave their memories and stories so that the younger members of this organization will be granted some perspective on why it is that this organization exists, and that is to give a voice to America’s forgotten citizens.