Contrary to press reports, the killing of 50 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida is not the worst mass shooting in American history. Where to begin?
On December 29, 1890 the U.S. army killed 150 Lakota at Wounded Knee, in South Dakota. On April 13, 1873 between 62 and 153 black men were shot to death in Colfax, Louisiana. But wait. There’s more. On November 29, 1864 between 70 and 163 Cheyenne and Arapaho were killed by the Colorado militia at Sand Creek. On May 31, and June 1, 1921 between 55 and 300 black people were killed by a white mob in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There are more atrocities like these, but I thought of these first.
And here is a bit of historical trivia you probably don’t know about either. Between September 7 and September 11, 1857 a Mormon militia killed 120 other white people traveling by wagon train through Mountain Meadows in Utah. The only known attack on a wagon train was carried out by white people, not Indians. That phrase “circle the wagons” needs to disappear.
I could go on and on and on. But you get my point. This guy in Orlando was a piker.
Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.