Slate.com ran the story and photo [plus others] on their website today of an ugly incident in Boston 32 years ago this Spring. They called it The Soiling of Old Glory.
The picture, taken by Stanley Forman at an anti-busing rally held at Boston's City Hall Plaza on April 5, 1976, won the Pulitzer Prize for the Boston Herald American spot news photographer.
"The Soiling of Old Glory," Stanley J. Forman's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph. Boston, April 5, 1976. A portrait of unthinkable racial hatred, the photograph punctured the nation's comfortable illusion that the struggle over civil rights was primarily a Southern phenomenon, and it crystallized Boston's reputation as a racist city. Following the assault, the man at the center of the frame, who is none other than Landsmark, proclaimed that someone tried "to kill me with an American flag."
One wonders if the angry young teen with the flag grew up to be a different kind of person than he was then, whether he still hates a person for the color of their skin? I guess we'll find some answers 11 days from today when Pennsylvania goes to the polls. That section of the state between the two big cities is described as 'Alabama.'
I wonder how many Americans believe in their hearts that a black man doesn't deserve to sit in the Oval Office, just because of the pigmentation of his skin? Who taught them that prejudice? How far down line of ancestry can racial hatred be passed in this Land of the Free?
Throughout the world we note generational hatred that can be traced back 2000 years, The Middle East gives us many examples. You'd think that something different would have developed here in the Land of Liberty.
Of course, one must remember that America was populated by folks who left their homeland 'over there' to settle over here. Many were outcasts who suffered economic hardship because of their status; the Irish come to mind. Many Irish settled in Boston: did that teen with the flag hear family stories of economic injustice from the Old World? Is he, himself, re-enacting the same scenario that led to so many Irish fleeing to America?
Does injustice breed injustice? Or do most people learn tolerance from injustice?