Google Doodle: The “silent parade” for civil rights

July 28, 2017 • 3:00 pm

by Grania

Google Doodle today honored the Silent Parade of 1917 in New York City to protest the violence and murders of black people. It was in response to the brutal and barbaric mob attacks by white unionists now known as the East St. Louis Riots spurred on by fear-mongering rhetoric at trade union meetings. Although it is unclear how many people died in the riots – various sources put it as low as 40 or as high as 200; 6000 African-Americans were left homeless and it was clear that authorities has utterly failed to control the mobs or protect the innocent.

Parade Flyer: Show that you have not become callous to the sorrows of your race

Click on the screenshot to go to the Doodle.

Around 10,000 people joined the march, as Wikipedia notes: “They hoped to influence Democratic President Woodrow Wilson to carry through on his election promises to African American voters to implement anti-lynching legislation, and promote Black causes. Wilson did not do so and repudiated his promises. Federal discrimination against African Americans increased during Wilson’s presidency”.

Things have gotten better in the intervening century, but current tensions betray it is clearly not nearly enough.

7 thoughts on “Google Doodle: The “silent parade” for civil rights

  1. It is hard to believe that anytime in 20th century America it was necessary to pass “anti lynching laws”. I do remember the racism of the 50’s and 60’s…but given the perspective of the past 50 years it’s hard to believe how truly bad it was. I think a lot of people alive today are unaware of what this country had to endure before we could elect a President of colour.

    What worries me are those people who would march us back to the hatred and intolerance of those days.

    1. My grandfather’s cousin was shot and killed in his front yard by three unidentified white youths in Milledgevill Georgia, 1927.
      Things are better but not what they could be.

  2. And after Pres. Wilson we had a string of republican presidents that accomplished very little to nothing, starting with Warren Harding who always falls down there at the bottom of the list of presidents and seemed to have some commonality to the one we have now.

  3. I feel really grateful to have seen so much progress over the decades of my life. Hopefully, another lifetime in the future will see as much or more. But, as Richard Dawkins said in his BBC interview, moral progress is a saw tooth not a smooth curve. We can expect some setbacks (and you know who I’m talking about).

  4. I took my crack at Woodrow Wilson a week or two ago, but… His combination of progressivism — for white people only — and a racism that deserves comparison with the authors of the Dred Scott case — required a mental compartmentalism that religious fervor seems to supply in spades.
    Wilson’s Presbyterian god really did play favorites. Individuals would get what they deserved, and so too, nations and races.

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