Hey, Newt, this is not a “lynch mob”!
People are saying that the Irish had their problems . . . but that they didn’t turn to civil disobedience.
—Pennsylvania representative Frank Clark, after the 1965 Watts riots
Every day this year brings another 150thanniversary of an epochal Civil War event, some more important than others. A big one that’s getting little attention is the days-long New York City Draft Riots, when hundreds of furious Irish immigrants took to the streets to protest Civil War conscription, which began July 13, 1863. Against the backdrop of mostly peaceful protests against the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin, many people are remembering the history of white rage, and white race riots -- Tulsa, Okla., Rosewood, Fla. -- but I've seen no one mention the draft riots, though the Zimmerman verdict came down on the 150th anniversary of their start.
With the ludicrous Newt Gingrich (who claims to be a historian) insisting the peaceful Trayvon Martin protesters were "prepared to be a lynch mob," it's worth remembering that devastating eruption of white mob violence 150 years earlier, when at least 11 black men were actually lynched.