Thursday, September 1, 2016
Long before "9-11" this was an earlier 9-11, the Attica Prison Uprising in upstate New York told with the clear-eyed scope of a storyteller's eye by historian Heather Ann Thompson — and this may be the strong thread of the book, amongst the revealing horrors long hidden — is Thompson's straight-edge sturdy report.
In Attica they killed black, brown and white all the same, even the guards, officials, anyone in the way. The State Police had issued shotguns and very few had ever used a shotgun in riot formation. Buckshot did the most damage. Plus toxic gas and powder dropped from a helicopter Vietnam style. It was the year of post Cambodia, Laos, Parrot’s Beak, the war coming to a halt and the US losing. They’re still angry. Still losing. Americans have the lousiest teacher in world history next to various other fascists. In all our cities, their governments, now in small towns' corrosive politics and, I know, ingrained in rural routes.