Another fascinating excerpt from Thaddeus Russell’s Renegade History of the United States. When I read stuff like this, I wonder if any history, much less American history, taught in our schools is truthful:
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Perhaps the most famous image of the civil rights movement was created in May 1963, when Bull Connor loosed fire hoses and police dogs on black people during the nonviolent protests led by King. What is not well known about that image is that the victims in it were not the nonviolent protesters. Rather, they were what historians of the Birmingham movement have described as “bystanders,” “onlookers,” “spectators,” and people “along the fringes.” . . .
[T]he people who were attacked by Connor’s cops were hardly victims, and their actions, before and during the demonstrations, evinced no desire to be integrated or assimilated. . . .
In fact, during the May demonstrations, there were far more people throwing rocks and bottles at the police than there were nonviolent protesters. And it was their violence that forced Connor to employ his brutal tactics. . . .
The Birmingham Police papers show that four officers were injured by rocks, bottles, and bricks in the first week of May, before the use of the hoses and dogs. It was not until May 7, when the rioting had grown so severe that six more police officers were injured, that Connor took the course of action that brought him eternal notoriety. Over the next several days, the rioting continued to grow in intensity, as thousands of the black residents of the Southside poured out of their homes and into the streets, where they met the police not just with fists and rocks and bottles but also with knives and guns. More than ten officers were injured during this street war, including one who received stab wounds and another who was wounded during what he described as a “gun battle.”