This summer has burned. Literally and metaphorically. We’ve seen innocent people murdered in the streets and the tally of the dead continues to grow. Racial anger and the violence that it engenders is a massive problem that we, as a society, have refused to acknowledge for a long time.
But it’s not a new problem. Right here, in the heart of Longview, we have witnessed this struggle before. In the hot, reckless summer of 1919, the entire country was wracked by a spasm of anger, as whites and blacks battled for equality, decent jobs and fair pay.
Sometimes, that struggle ended in bloodshed and burned houses. That’s how it went down in Longview.
In July 1919, Longview erupted. People were murdered for the color of their skin and their attempts to make better lives for themselves.
Our current summer in the dread year of our lord 2016 is not so very different.
If we can talk about the things that are killing us, maybe our fellow citizens can stop dying in the streets.