MOVE Bombing in Philadelphia
It was about 30 years ago that police forces proved just how brutal they could be when it came to dealing with the Black community. Philadelphia officers successfully carried out a massive mission to bomb the headquarters of a group called MOVE, a 1996 report by CNN explains. The 1985 bombing targeted MOVE because the organization consisted of mostly Black members who adopted the last name “Africa.” They supported simplistic lifestyles that shunned technology and advocated for a return to nature. The deadly bombing came during an intense police stand-off with the MOVE members after officers had already slammed many members with what were considered to be bogus charges of parole violation, contempt of court and making terroristic threats, to a report titled “It Looks Just Like a War Zone.” More than 60 homes were destroyed in the resulting blaze. A total of 11 Black people, including five children, were killed.
Tulsa Race Riot
Race riots were much too common throughout the 1900s, but the Tulsa race riots were unique in the fact that it targeted the wealthiest Black community in the U.S. at the time — Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was also known as the Black Wall Street. In 1921, a group of white people attacked the community in an assault that lasted roughly 16 hours. According to “Riot and Remembrance: The Tulsa Race War and Its Legacy,” more than 800 people were taken to the hospital, roughly 10,000 Black people were left homeless, more than 6,000 Black residents in the district were arrested and detained after they tried to defend themselves against the white mobs and about 35 city blocks were destroyed by fires. While the official death tolls varied greatly, a report titled “A Black Holocaust in America” estimated more than 800 people were killed simply because the white landowners felt threatened by this Black community’s financial success.
The Black Holocaust
In the 1890s, Black people were brutally tortured in German concentration camps in what is now Namibia, according to the book “Germany’s Black Holocaust, 1890-1945: The Untold Truth.” Black people were the subjects of unspeakably horrendous medical experiments that the book’s author, historian and university instructor Firpo W. Carr says were never placed upon the Jews. “Thousands of Africans were massacred,” Carr wrote. “Regrettably, historians neglected to properly register the slaughter — that is, to lift it from the footnote of history that it had been relegated to.”
Notting Hill Riots of 1958
The Notting Hill Riots lasted from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5 and led to the deaths of many Caribbean migrants in London at the time. Reports published by 20th Century London explained that a large number of Caribbean migrants were making their way to London and often found homes in poor neighborhoods — Notting Hill in North Kensington was the most popular destination. Eventually, the Notting Hill community had a strong presence of people from Trinidad and Barbados. Tensions rose between white working-class men and the Caribbean community they believed they were competing with. Violent acts against the Black community started sweeping the area. On Aug. 30, a group of about 400 white youths used petrol bombs and milk bottles to damage Black people’s homes and attempt to run the migrants out of the neighborhood.
The Epidemic of Lynching
According to the FBI’s official website, an act that violates federal or state law and intends to “intimidate or coerce a civilian population” is considered to be domestic terrorism. There is no arguing that the lynching of massive numbers of Black people fits that description. Recently, a report titled “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror” revealed that nearly 4,000 Black people had been lynched in the U.S. alone between 1877 and 1950. This number doesn’t count the many Black people who were lynched and secretly disposed of nor does it count the many other Black communities across the globe that were plagued by lynching. Even today, mainstream media outlets are meekly tip-toeing around the brutal truth of America’s racist roots. An article about the report published by The New York Times was harshly criticized after the outlet managed to cover the entire report without ever really stating the race of the people who were doing all the lynching.
The Epidemic of Police Brutality
The epidemic of police brutality against the Black community is a problem that existed centuries ago and is still plaguing America now. While mainstream media provided racially biased coverage of the deaths of unarmed teen Michael Brown and Staten Island father Eric Garner, this coverage came after years of ignoring Black people who were gunned down by police officers and was likely just a reaction to the outrage on social media as race discussions dominated cyberspace. Even as news outlets discussed the deaths of Brown and Garner, many other unarmed Black people were being killed by police officers and never saw a single media headline. Meanwhile, several police departments, like the Cleveland Police Department and the Chicago Police Department, have been under investigation after studies supported the theory that the departments are launching racially charged attacks on the Black community. The We Charge Genocide coalition has even accused the Chicago Police Department of torture and recently presented its own study to the United Nations.
U.S. Invasion of Panama
Ironically enough, the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama was code-named Operation Just Cause, but many would argue that there was nothing just about the chaotic attack on these Black communities. Human rights strategist Ajamu Baraka referred to the invasion as a reminder that the U.S.’s disregard for Black lives extends well beyond its own borders. “The Black lives taken by the numerous assaults on Panama 25 years ago should be a sober reminder that U.S. state violence is not confined to ghettoes and barrios of the U.S. but is a central component of the racist, colonial capitalist project that is the U.S,” Baraka said of the attack. “We cannot pretend that police brutality in the U.S. and the devaluation of Black life that it represents is restricted just to the Black experience in the heart of the U.S. empire.” Reports from Al Jazeera explained that an accurate death toll of the attack isn’t available because many bodies of Black civilians were piled in the streets and burned.
Genocide in Darfur
Back in 1989, the seeds were planted for what would grow to be a historic genocide in Darfur, a large region in Sudan that is home to roughly 6 million people. Gen. Omar Bashir took control of the country by military coup and allowed for the National Islamic Front government to “inflame regional tensions,” an article published by the United Human Rights Council explained. As weapons started to pour into the area, violent conflicts started sparking between African farmers and nomadic Arab tribes. By 2003, two rebel movements in Darfur complained that the government wasn’t doing enough to protect its people. The government’s response was to unleash violent Arab militias called Janjaweed, which translates to “devils on horseback.” The militia destroyed more than 400 villages. The violence is still sweeping the region today and forcing many African farmers to flee or risk being murdered at the hands of the Janjaweed. More than 400,000 Black people have been killed in the madness, the United Human Rights Council reports. More than 2 million have been displaced.
Silent Parade of 1917
On July 28, 1917, a group of about 8,000 to 10,000 Black people came together for a parade to protest anti-Black violence and lynching. The parade came after news spread of the East St. Louis Riots that were sparked in May of the same year. Unfortunately, the elite community in New York stood in solidarity with the people who were massacring Black people all across the country. White mobs interrupted the parade and started killing unarmed Black civilians, according to an encyclopedia named after W.E.B. Du Bois. Reports of death tolls during the Silent Parade vary, with some reports suggesting roughly 40 Black people were killed while others claim more than 250 were killed.
Boko Haram Attacks and Massive Kidnapping
Nations were rightfully infuriated when terrorists killed 17 people in France in January all because of an offensive cartoon, but that same anger and fury seemed to vanish when it came to the lives of people in Nigeria. At roughly the same time that terrorists were attacking in France, Boko Haram gunmen killed an estimated 2,000 people in Nigeria, according to eyewitness accounts. This came some time after the same extremist group kidnapped thousands of schoolgirls in Chibok in Nigeria back in 2014. While an initial #BringBackOurGirls movement garnered a little buzz, the public’s attention quickly faded away just as it did with the more recent Boko Haram attacks.