Following the massacre at the LGBT nightclub in Orlando in which more than 100 were shot and 49 killed, the media (including us!) have been reporting the incident as 'the worst mass shooting in U.S. history'. But was it really?
On today's BradCast [audio link to show posted below], I'm joined by Ariela J. Gross, professor of law and history at USC, co-author of several history text books, and the author of What Blood Won't Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America to discuss a number of U.S. mass killings from early in the 20th Century that were, arguably, far 'worse', in that the death toll was much higher.
Several of them, including those in East St. Louis, IL and Tulsa, OK, have been largely obscured by history as "race riots" instead of the mass killings they actually were. Some historians, she explains, now use the term "'massacre' because 'race riot' makes it sounds as though there were something two-sided" about these wholesale slaughters of African-Americans. "Some historians refer to them as 'racial cleansing', not unlike the ethnic cleansing that we saw in parts of Eastern Europe in the late 20th Century," Gross tells me.
The exact number of deaths in those horrific incidents (not to mention similar slaughters of Native Americans) are still unknown, but are believed to be in the hundreds in a number of cases. Gross notes, however, that had the killers at the time "had access to military-grade weapons the way [the Orlando shooter] did, we'd be talking about thousands of people dead." She also details how "racial terror has gone hand-in-hand with our gun culture" or the years.
Also today: Surprise! Attempts to pass gun safety legislation in the U.S. Senate fail again; The latest FEC filings are in, and the Trump Campaign appears to be in big big trouble, at least if fundraising, staffing and cash on hand mean anything to his particular candidacy and what it may mean for the RNC as a whole; And new polls find Hillary Clinton still ahead of Trump, though not by as much as might think, particularly given the presumptive GOP nominee's disastrous past couple of weeks.
And finally on today's BradCast, Desi Doyen joins us amidst the horrible heat wave here in Southern California, for the 700th(!) episode of our Green News Report!...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)