Sunday, August 6, 2017

Detroit - The Movie

  My wife and I saw the movie Detroit last night and I must admit that it was disturbing and very intense. The Detroit riot was an ugly chapter in our nations history. I was 17 during the riot and this is a Nashville Banner newspaper that I saved from that time. The movie highlighted an incident that occurred during the riot, that until now, I had never heard of. The victims were for the most part my age in 1967. It was about a real incident that occurred at the Algiers Motel that was about a mile from where the riot began. Three Detroit police officers, with the assistance of some Michigan National Guardsmen, brutally killed three black males while torturing 7 black males and two young white women. They just happened to be at the motel and the police were enraged by the sight of white girls with black men. With my usual distrust of Hollywood I fact checked the story and discovered that the movie was pretty accurate. Larry Reed, one of the victims, said that the movie was 95% accurate. I discovered however that the meanest police officer depicted in the movie is a fictional character. He is a composite of all three officers that were involved. I had mixed emotions about the value of this movie in the present racial atmosphere that exists in America right now. Racial relations have deteriorated because of Barack Obama and the Black lives Matters movement. Together they have stoked the perception that America is not much different than it was in 1967. I firmly believe that we have undergone a huge transformation since that time and it is not acknowledged nearly enough by Hollywood, the mainstream media and the left. They have perpetuated the myth that white cops are still those same brutal racist cops depicted in the movie. This movie does nothing but perpetuate that myth. I am always in favor of a truthful telling of history. My suspicion is that the director Kathryn Bigelow has a political agenda with the timing of this movie. The movie accurately describes the historical migration of poor Southern blacks looking for fair treatment in the North and factory jobs. And later the migration of Southern whites looking for jobs after WW2. This implies that Southern racism was deported to the big city of Detroit during this period. However Northern racism can be documented  much farther back than the first half of the twentieth century. The movie brings home the fact that racism was and is a national problem and not confined to the South.  In the immortal words of Malcolm X "When you cross the Canadian border you are in the South".We can also link racism to the political party that has been the most responsible for perpetrating racial strife in this country, the Democrat Party. Detroit has not had a Republican mayor since 1962. I hate injustice, regardless of who it is directed against. This story needed to be told. However it is is not for the weak minded or easily swayed.   

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