March 26th, 2004, 06:47 AM
Apparently during the VW yrs and the 'Burn Baby Burn' ghetto riots, the National Guard units which were sent to suppress these disturbances were comprised overwhelmingly of middle-class whites, with less than 1% being black, in a similar manner to the police depts of most major northern cities only having token nos. of black and other minority officers- IIRC 1 example was in 1964-65 the 600-strong Oakland PD only had some 20 black cops. In the minds of many disillusioned northern urban blacks, this scenario of the representatives of the white establishment being predominantly white conveyed the perception that a race war was being fought against them by 'the man', which was heightened in some cities by cases of white suburban residents supporting the deployment of NG units into the ghettos to kill black ppl, and other instances of black servicemen in the 82nd Airborne or recently returned from VN and put on domestic duty, refusing to serve riot duty for major events like the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, due to not wanting to have to open fire on their own ppl or be seen as 'Uncle Toms'. Now, what POD/s could've changed this situation of the mainly white composition of NG units and police depts during the 60s, and what effect would more black Guardsmen and cops have had on the course of the urban riots such as Watts, Detroit, Newark, D.C., and Chicago ?