Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 18, 2005 / 13 Av, 5765

Looking back at an era of riots

By Clarence Page


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Retired Black Panther leaders are trying to trademark the 1965-era riot phrase "Burn Baby Burn" to use on a barbecue sauce. That, to me, is the most bizarre filing since Fox News Channel tried to claim exclusive rights to the phrase "fair and balanced."

It is also an ironically appropriate move in an era that has Bob Dylan doing commercials for Victoria's Secret. Why shouldn't the Huey P. Newton Foundation, which also wants to trademark the phrase "Revolutionary Hot Sauce," cash in, too?

A further irony: "Burn, baby, burn," a street slogan during the 1965 riots in and near the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, came from an on-air catchphrase used by Magnificent Montague, a popular black Los Angeles disc jockey. The Newton Foundation, which is named for the late co-founder of the militant 1960s-era organization, is bringing the phrase back to the commercial pop-culture realm in which it began.

That's about as appropriate a way as any to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Watts riots, which marked what I call the end of innocence for the era of great black civil-rights protests.

It is important to remember that, contrary to some of the Watts retrospectives I have seen published and broadcast, the riot that erupted from Aug. 11 to 16 in Los Angeles 40 years ago was not an isolated eruption. It was only one of the earliest and most spectacular of dozens of riots that erupted on urban America's streets in the mid- to late 1960s. The riots brought long-overdue attention to the nation's urban racial divide, but also opened up new divides along lines of race and class from which cities are only beginning to recover.

A year before Watts, in 1964, summer racial violence blew up in the Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant sections of New York City and in Rochester, NY.

In 1966, July racial tensions erupted in Omaha, Chicago, Brooklyn, Cleveland and Jacksonville, Fla.

In 1967, President Johnson sent federal paratroopers to quell a riot in Detroit riot in which more than 40 civilians died and thousands of homes were destroyed.

In 1968, after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated, racial violence flared in more than 100 cities, including Chicago, Baltimore, Kansas City and Washington, DC.

President Johnson, according to various accounts, was baffled that riots followed the biggest breakthrough in civil rights since the end of slavery, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He suspected numerous causes, including a communist plot engineered by Moscow. But a 1964 FBI report said there had been "no systematic planning or organization" behind the early riots. A later presidential riot commission headed by former Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner agreed, blaming the existence of "two nations," one black, one white, separate and unequal.

Explanations for the riot era then, as now, tend to reflect the prejudices of the person doing the explaining. The uprisings did bring badly needed attention to the undercovered frustrations of urban black life, where opportunities were limited by job discrimination, housing discrimination, abusive police, overpriced merchants and sellout politicians.

But the riots also fueled massive white flight to the suburbs, followed by merchants, employers and, eventually, those black families who could afford it. As urban activist Saul Alinsky put it, neighborhood integration became that brief period between the time the first black family moved in and the last white family moved out.

It took about three decades of simmering racial fears, suspicions and resentments before a new era of cooperation between city halls, downtown corporations and urban neighborhoods began to replace confrontations fueled by identity politics.

Donate to JWR


Today we are seeing old divides replaced by new ones. As blacks, whites and a rainbow of other races have grown more comfortable with each other, urban investment has returned, housing prices have soared and gentrification now threatens to displace the poor from neighborhoods that used to be written off as potential riot zones.

Blacks who once were prevented by redlining from obtaining reasonable mortgages or home insurance now have to defend themselves against the relentless and dubious easy-money offers from predatory lenders.

For African-Americans of my generation (I had just graduated from high school when Watts broke out) it has been dazzling to see how much has changed: We used to complain when white flight moved out; now we worry when white gentrifiers move in. We used to complain at being be redlined out of home loans; now we need to worry when lenders want to throw more money — and debt! — at us too easily.

Either way, it is better to invest in our neighborhoods than to set them on fire. History offers important lessons. Learn, baby learn.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2005, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles