Detroit Race Riot

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Posted by Tim Daley(MI) on August 23, 2020 at 07:06:38 [URL] [DELETE] :

53 years ago today, in the pre-dawn hours on August 23, 1967, Detroit Police raided a blind pig off of Clairmount and 12th Street, just west of Woodward Ave. By late afternoon the local businesses were being looted, windows smashed, and burned, houses and apartments burning, and cars being smashed and burned as well. The crowds, mostly black, swelled as they yelled and screamed about police brutality. Thus began the Detroit Race Riots of 1967. Black store owners tried to paint "SOUL BROTHER" on their windows and doors to no avail; the crowds looted, burned, and rioted everywhere in site. By the end of the day Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh and Michigan Governor George Romney had ordered troops from the National Guard and the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army in to restore the rioting. I was born in Detroit at Henry Ford Hospital. Our family lived in Highland Park til I was three then we moved to the northern suburbs. I was 11, and had never heard the terms 'looting' and 'race riot'. That day our family had drove down to Detroit, through the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel across to Canada for a picnic on one of the riverside parks there. We'd often make these Sunday family outings to Detroit, picnicking on Belle Isle as well a other parks on the river. It was late afternoon when we headed back to Detroit via the Ambassador Bridge. We could see huge clouds of black smoke off to the northwest of the city. We assumed it was just building fire. Once we were back on Woodward in Detroit, heading north to go home, the streets were lined with police carrying rifles, and police cars and firetrucks were blaring everywhere. Police were at every intersection directing traffic. As we were stopped waiting at one, my da asked what was gong on. The officer said that there was a serious, dangerous situation nearby off to the west and to just lock your doors, roll up your car windows, and keep heading north. We later watched on the local news what was happening. Curfews were imposed and the city was on 'lockdown' for a week. This was my first experience with a 'race riot'. To be fair, the entire country was also going through race riots at the time as well. Cities like Baltimore, St. Louis, Newark, Cleveland, and the Watts section of LA were also gathering in groups protesting 'police brutality to cops', looting, burning, beating, rioting, and destroying homes and businesses. Sound familiar? I would have never thought I'd see that ever happen again in our country. Then 2020 came along and it started again in Minnesota, New York, Portland, and Seattle. Brace yourself for November, 2020 after the elections.


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