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From: Roger Chaillet (e-mail him)
My parents lived in the white, working class enclave of SE Washington up until the mid-1950s. Mrs. Kurek, one of their former neighbors, almost got shot in the head during the riots after "Doctor" Martin Luther King was assassinated. The bullet whizzed past her head and got embedded in the wall. The wall had the bullet still in it years later. You could see buildings damaged by the riots up until the dawn of this century.
It took D.C. that long, plus tens of billions of dollars in "urban renewal" funds, to be rebuilt to some semblance of its former self. And D.C. is the nation's capital. Now visualize Detroit, Philly, Camden, Newark...
James Fulford writes: Thanks to Roger Chaillet for all the links he sends us.
In her book The Florence King Reader, (Everybody's Gotta Right To Be Famous, p. 292) Florence King describes how two annoying fans pestered her, and among other things, wanted to make a pilgrimage to the old neighborhood she had described in her autobiography.
I quoted it a while back:
"It occurred to me that if The Two carried out their plan to make a pilgrimage to my old D.C. neighborhood, my problem would be most efficaciously solved. I grew up in the section that was burned down during the Martin Luther King riots. The 14th Street of my childhood with its segregated dime store lunch counters is now known as the Combat Zone; the Park Road of my birth is now lined with crack houses; and Meridian Hill Park, where Mama took me in my stroller, has been renamed for Malcolm X.
"All I had to do was wait, and the Brothers would rescue me from my dilemma. Moreover, it would be the book-promotion coup of the century, the stuff that Jacqueline Susann's dreams were made of, something not even Irving Mansfield would d dare try to arrange: two bodies found at 14th and Park Road with autographed copies of Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady clutched in their lifeless hands.
"It was all but guaranteed that two lone white women roaming around such a neighborhood would get into serious trouble. When I thought more about it my mischief receded. Since they obviously knew nothing about Washington I felt it was my responsibility to warn them, but I couldn't do it without getting myself in deeper. They would interpret my warning as loving concern and be encouraged. For my own sake, I would have to stand by and do nothing while they walked into a trap."
The race riots of the sixties caused a lot of white flight, which was my point in quoting her. Don't worry about the two stalker-fans—I wrote
"In fact, she 'detonated into a towering rage' and wrote them 'what is known in certain quarters of the publishing world as "one of Florence's letters".'
"This cured them of writing her letters (it would have cured me, too,) and may have saved their lives. But it's important to remember such stories, when you hear multiculturalists like Jane Elliott say white flight is caused by racism. Maybe it is, but not white racism."