On the morning of Nov. 3, 1979, at the corner of Carver and Everitt streets in Greensboro, N.C., 40 Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazis took out shotguns and automatic weapons from the trunks of their cars and opened fire on black, white and Latino anti-Klan demonstrators and union organizers who had gathered at Morningside Homes, a black housing project.(...)
The KKK and Nazi members shot at anyone who wasn't hiding while four television news teams and one police officer recorded the action. The murderers then got back into their cars and sped away, leaving five people dead and 11 wounded.
Sixteen people were arrested but only six were brought to trial. And though the murders were caught on camera, all-white juries acquitted the six defendants.I don't recall ever hearing about this before. I don't know what to say.
To this day, not a single gunman has spent a day in prison, although in 1985 a civil jury found the city, the KKK and the Nazis liable for violating the civil rights of one demonstrator. The city paid $351,000.
Today, there is no historical marker at the site of the massacre, and the streets have since been rerouted and their names changed so the bloody intersection no longer even exists.
Followup: JRepka clarifies a lot with his comment:
I was in the same boat as you -- I read the linked Op-Ed and couldn't figure out why an event that sounds like it happened in the 50s or 60s could have occurred in the 80s (for all intents and purposes), yet not be a major cultural touchstone.Honestly, I was ascribing this glaring gap in my knowledge to youthful overuse of chemical entertainment. I generally tried to catch some news each day, but by the time this would have hit the media of the day, it would have been totally swamped by the news out of Tehran.
Until my brother (he of the auto-recall) pointed out that next day, November 4 1979, was the day the American embassy in Tehran was seized by "students."
This was in the era of the actual 24-hour news cycle, where you couldn't even get a few hours of major coverage before being swamped by the tidal wave of the major breaking news...