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Reply #134: The Orangeburg Massacre [View All]

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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-21-08 10:47 AM
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134. The Orangeburg Massacre
Students from South Carolina State University (HBCU in Orangeburg, SC) led protests in early 1968 protesting the continued segregation of the All-Star Bowling Lanes. On February 8, 1968, violence broke out again, this time on the campus of South Carolina State.

Two days earlier, six black students from South Carolina State College and Clafin College (also an HBCU) organized a small protest in front of the All Star Bowling Alley after being denied entrance into the facility. The following night, the six students, along with other demonstrators, gathered again in protest. Fifteen protesters were arrested. Tensions began to rise.

On Feb. 8, about 200 protesters organized on South Carolina State's campus to demand integration of the bowling alley. Several historical accounts depict what happened next. Wire services reported that the students were firing arms. However, later investigation proved that none of the demonstrators were armed.

Although the details vary, there was a commotion between the demonstrators and the highway patrol officers. The officers responded to the panic by firing their arms, injuring 27 and killing three students, Samuel Hammond Jr., 18, Delano B. Middleton, 17, and Henry R. Smith, 18, according to the school, now known as South Carolina State University. Statues of the students who died were later erected on campus. In the first federal trial of police officers for using excessive force at a campus protest, all nine defendants were acquitted.

Writer's note: The shootings at Orangeburg in 1968 and Jackson State in 1970 received very little press coverage. What little coverage they received was usually by local press and of poor quality and distorted. This was in stark contrast to the vast national coverage of the shootings at Kent State. The difference is obvious--white students were injured and killed protesting an unpopular war as opposed to black students injured and killed protesting for equal rights. Another glaring example of a racist caste system that places great value on white lives and little or no value on non-white lives.
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