Radical Rationalizing

“A new mood has sprung up among Negroes, particularly the young, in which self esteem and enhanced racial pride are replacing apathy and submission to the ‘system'” (460)

1967 was the time of the greatest riots in American History.  This quote, taken from a Commission Report blamed white racist as the cause of such explosive radical behavior. The initial purpose of the  commission report was to get people to face the rebellion and hopefully alleviate some of the tension; however, in Howard Zinn’s eyes, this wasn’t entirely achieved.  “Black Power” became the new slogan of radical blacks and black activists. Among these were Malcolm X; who Zinn regards as “the most eloquent spokesman for (Black Power).” X was a vital component in the radical movement and extremely influential throughout the black youth.  His speeches,encouraging self defense and somewhat subversive acts, were heard all through out the country. To some , the black revolts came as a  surprise; but not to Zinn. He argues that the memory of the terrible acts of hatred were too much for blacks to suppress.

In response to the radical rioters the Civil Rights Act of 1969 was passed, which prohibited violence against blacks. Blacks were now allowed to go to fancy restaurants and hotels. They were allowed to attend universities as well as medical and law schools…if and only if, they could afford it.