How racist propaganda inspired riots in America's biggest cities


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How racist propaganda inspired riots in America's biggest cities



In 1915 the president, Woodrow Wilson, screened the movie Birth of a Nation at the White House – a film that depicts Black men as brutal people who desire white women. Meanwhile white supremacist groups were writing school curriculums and news media were painting Black men as animalistic beings who attacked white women. This set the scene for a week of racial violence targeting Black Americans in 1919, during which two American cities were left in chaos. In Chicago it started with a Black man drowning after white people throw stones at him at a beach for infringing on their space. It led to a confrontation between Black and white citizens, and escalated into white mobs going into Black communities to burn down homes and kill Black people. In Washington DC it started with a minor argument that turned into rape allegations against two Black men, which prompted white mobs to attack Black people in restaurants, trolleys and in their communities. Dozens of Black people were killed during these riots, and few were held accountable.

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32 Comments

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  1. Keep stoking the fires of racial discord, Guardian. Never mind having to dig up history over a century old to do it…

    Fun fact: Woodrow Wilson was a democrat. You know, the party that calls everyone else racist every 30 seconds? So yeah, tons of credibility there…

  2. Guardian has the gall to talk about racism? It's one of the most racist media outlets.
    Its biase racist articles permeate the whole of the world.
    Its been noticed all over Asia. The slant is outrageously pro white, pro west.
    Articles from the headlines to the very last lines are filled with racist sentiments.
    Please.

  3. I honestly think racism is something that is intentionally forced onto people to intentionally stupidity people I love studying different cultures and languages. Racism is straight up BS but not for the reasons someone might think if you look at some of these women with darker complexion I can tell people are just jelous.

  4. I just want to say that
    H ate in common sense are pretty
    A bstract thing.
    T his is deep and philosophical topic.
    E veryone of us should think about it.
    N ot just think with head, but with mind
    I prefer to be clear:
    G reat opportunity to change your mind is
    G etting more life experience
    E very person needs this
    R oad to the truth is hard anough
    S o think about it!

  5. The Guardian newspaper loses £millions, and sometimes tens of £millions, year on year in perpetuity.
    The Guardian is more than one-third owned by the Saudi royal family. Google all of this.
    QUESTION: Why would a foreign state want to own a British newspaper which will never turn a profit?

  6. New York is becoming Gotham City. when and what was the problem? Former President Trump? Deep-seated white supremacism? Racism? covid 19? Perhaps all of these factors worked in a complex way, and I think the beginning was the Trump administration. Now, it is hurting so many Asians that it is hard to turn back, and hate incidents against Asians appear on the news several times a day. What is New York doing, even when the situation is getting worse, not taking any action or is it just sitting around? Will New York, as we know it, become a crime-fighting city?

  7. So yes, horrible white-led race riots happened 100 years ago. And I am sure they happened 70 years ago. Meanwhile, LAST YEAR, you had all manner of black-led race riots, and most of the businesses those targeted were owned by Americans of all races who were in favor of better race relations. Care to write about that, Guardian??