Friday, April 3, 2009
I have an anonymous regular reader in Lorain, Ohio. I've been meaning to write about Lorain for a while now. I was only there once, thirty years ago.
I've been in three riots in my life. I'm not the riot type. Crowds make me anxious.
My first riot was in Paterson, New Jersey. The Paterson cops attacked a group of mostly Black high school kids. We were holding a prayer vigil to support their polite requests for improvements in the Paterson schools. The cops went crazy, firing tear gas, clubbing students and arresting one of my teachers and a friend's mom. I was only 14 and I was scared shitless. I have not had much respect for cops since then. The Paterson cops were notoriously lawless. They fire bombed the Paterson office of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and beat up a bunch of people. Then they claimed that the building was burnt in a "Negro riot". I also learned that racism is a racket that the rich and powerful use to stay rich and powerful. At least I learned that early and well.
My last riot was in 1981 when IU won the NCAA men's basketball championship. No one called that a riot. It was a celebration. It was a celebration where white college boys smashed storefronts, raped coeds, tore down lamp posts and destroyed a cop car, but it was a celebration because it involved white college boys and sports. It was a manly celebration. About two AM I watched a drunk guy punching a parking meter until his hands were smashed and there was blood all over the parking meter. I decided it was time to go home and go to bed. The next day the papers all agreed that events had been "spirited". Kiss my ass.
In between I was in a little riot at the US Steel Mill in Lorain. I've been trying to write about that one for years. Not today though. Hi Lorain.
Posted by Your driver at 5:52 PM