Detroit Riots

 Newspaper analysis
Tara Saunders Race riot in Detroit (June 20, 1943) The Detroit Riots, an article from The Chicago daily tribune was published three days after the riots. It talks more about the aftermath of the riots, after troops were ordered in and how it portrays the United States to the international community. The tone the article takes on is almost shameful and gives the vibe that not only should Detroit be embarrassed by the United States as a whole because the riots did spark racial tension in other cities like Los Angelas as well.
Though the article is short the intensions of the message are very clear as it reads, “…the race riots which had brought deep disgrace upon that community came to an abrupt end…an important lesson to be drawn by the American people from this ugly incident…relations between the races in America have improved but we still have far to go before the problem can be regarded as solved. The advocates of super governments are asking us to believe that what we have not yet succeeded in accomplishing in America can be achieved with the stroke of a pen on an international treaty” (pg 1).

Though the article is on the front page of this particular tribune issue, the location of the article in the newspaper gives one the impression that the riots are now a thing of the past. We know this because the article was published three days after the event and its proceeded by an article about control of rabies. The second article titled “F. D. R. for Troops in Detroit” which was also published by the Chicago tribune was written two days after the riots and it seems as though its attacking Roosevelt’s decisions to call upon the militia to help stop the riots or explain the reasoning being doing so.
He does give the crowd a chance to disperse before he sends out the troops, “Now, therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, do hereby command all persons engaged in said unlawful and insurrectionary proceedings to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes immediately and here after abandon said combinations and submit themselves to the laws and constituted authorities…” (pg 2). I think this is important to note because a lot of people think it was just an attack on innocent people.
This article also seems like it was published at the height of the riots when everything was in complete and utter chaos. The author of this article isn’t necessarily analyzing the riots but rather the political reasoning behind how appropriate Militant intervention would be. This article is also brief but it is important as it covers a big milestone during the riots and ultimately one of the biggest courses of actions, which was the decision of F. D. R. to send in troops to Detroit.
This shows just how bad the riots were at that point and in relation to the last article I think this article unknowingly gives the readers an insight into just how embarrassing the aforementioned “ugly incident” really is. The third article from the Chicago daily tribune was also published two days after the riots. However this article takes up the whole front page with the title Army Rules Detroit it gives the impression that these were the last big moment of the riots, like the city was a damsel in distress and the Army was the superhero that came to rescue it.
The article almost points to sum up the riots in the title by making three things obvious under the Army Rules Detroit we see in little letter, 23 die: Homes fired, shops looted in race riots, 700 wounded in wild disorders. Unlike previous articles its obvious this one was probably written by a racist author. The author of this article refers to black people as “Negro’s” and “negresses”. His tone makes it seem like African Americans are animals that cannot be tamed and the only option was military intervention it also attempts to walk the reader through the state of the Detroit during the riot.
Throughout the article we see subtitles like Thirteen Schools Closed, Trolley lines Suspend and Ammunition seized all theses titles seem to explain how out of control the city was, it gives us the bad side of the situation gives one the impression that things don’t seem to look up until the army arrives. Its not coincidence that this is such an in-depth analysis seeing how Chicago is right next door to Detroit. However although its obvious that the riots are the result of racial tension whenever the author quotes a white person he makes them seem like a victim while it may true in some cases he never sheds the same light n African Americans. Newspaper articles from the New York times aren’t as harsh and tend to concentrate more on what caused the riots, what law officials are doing to keep if from happening again as well how they are trying to punish the people who played major roles in the riot. Even democratic Representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi is quoted saying, “ Detroit has suffered one of the most disastrous race riots in history” (pg 1). It says a lot when politician in the south could say such a thing when a lot of racism during that time is rooted in southern states.
The New York Times focuses a lot on the aftermath of the riots and provides coverage on how the presence of the Army helped. One article from the Chicago tribune is titled in bold letters Army Rules Detroit and when one tries to tie the agenda of the two newspapers together it seems as if the New York tribune picks up where the Chicago tribune leaves off. The Army arrives and then we get to see what the Army does and the control measures implemented to keep such riots from happening again. These articles in general are trying to put the public at ease, to reassure them that once again Detroit is under control.
From the Washington post we see feelings of shame and embarrassment resurface again. One-article titled Detroit Tragedy begins with, “No American can escape a feeling of shame as well as sorrow over the race riots…such an outbreak is at its ugliest when it stems from race hostility. ” Just like the New York times, the Washington post also suggest that the main cause of the riots was “the inadequate living facilities of a community which has become desperately overcrowded as a result of the war. (pg 3) When reading through this article words like, ugly, disgrace, dangerous, shame and enemy really stick out, these are the words that best describe the riots and the impact it had on the people. Throughout newspapers across the united states the riots where regarded as ugly and I think the aforementioned quote “Such an outbreak is at its ugliest when it stems from race hostility”, best sums of the how the country viewed the riots.
Though the riots only lasted twenty-four hours, during those hours the whole country was watching domestically and especially internationally with World War II also taking place.

The Detroit Riots. ” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963): 12. Jun 23 1943.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Tribune (1849-1989). Web. 4 Feb. 2013 .
Detroit Tragedy. ” The Washington Post (1923-1954) Jun 23 1943: 8.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1996). 4 Feb. 2013
Special to THE NEW,YORK TIMES. Kelly Acts to Ease Detroit Riot Curb. ” New York Times (1923-Current file) Jun 24 1943: 1.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) with Index (1851-1993). 4 Feb. 2013 .
Army Rules Detroit; 23 Die. ” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) Jun 22 1943: 1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Tribune (1849-1989). 4 Feb. 2013 .
F. D. R. Order for Troops in Detroit. ” Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) Jun 22 1943: ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Tribune (1849-1989). 4 Feb. 2013 .
By The, Associated P. Army Patrols End Detroit Rioting; Death Toll at New York Times (1923-Current file) Jun 23 1943: 1.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) with Index (1851-1993). 4 Feb. 2013 THE NEW,YORK TIMES. “Three Counties Under Curbs. ” New York Times (1923-Current file) Jun 22 1943: 7.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) with Index (1851-1993). 4 Feb. 2013 .
“Detroit Calmer; Troops on Guard. ” The Washington Post (1923-1954) Jun 23 1943: 1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1996). 4 Feb. 2013 .

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