First, let’s dispel a few misconceptions about what has become known as the ‘Houston Massacre‘ (AKA Camp Logan Riot). Despite what you’ll read on almost all websites regarding this incident,
it had …
–NOTHING to do with American (White) racism
–NOTHING to do with the color line mandate (AKA Jim Crow)
–NOTHING to do with Negroes hearing the word “nigger” from a few Americans (as if uttering that word could justify the slaughter of innocent people)
If there was one event prior to the Civil Rights Act (1964) that should have raised the proverbial RED flag regarding the radical new concept of racial integration (a concept invented by the NAACP in 1910) , it was the racially motivated massacre of innocent Americans in the city of Houston in 1917.
On the evening of August 23, 1917, 156 Negro males, employed by the US military for non-combat assignments, mutinied at Camp Logan (situated a few miles north of Houston) over what they believed was the unfair incarceration of a fellow Negro soldier being held in the Houston city jail. That is, they wanted him out … and by whatever means necessary (no other reason than this did the Negro soldiers mutiny). Led by their First Sergeant, Vida Henry, the Negroes first broke into the weapons depot and stole weapons. They then marched out of camp toward Houston’s [White] police department — again, ostensibly to force the release of their jailed comrade. However, the undisciplined men never made it to their intended destination. Instead, they broke off into groups. Most went back to camp. Other groups, or more specifically, members within these groups, believed, since they now had the cover of night, it was a golden opportunity to kill Americans … and get away with it (all the shots fired that night came from the Negro soldiers, and all the victims were non-Negroes). The death count from the Negro mutiny shocked as well as outraged the entire country : 16 innocent Americans (all but two unarmed) plus one innocent Mexican. NOTE: On Wikipedia, their version claims that there was a pitched battle between the Negro soldiers and white civilians and police. Not true at all. My version here was taken directly from the book – the definitive book on the 1917 Houston massacre – Haynes, Robert V. 1976. A Night of Violence: The Houston Riot of 1917.
Naturally, no one was surprised that the American military brass dealt harshly with the mutinous Negroes. For the mutiny, and principally because of the senseless and racially motivated slaughter of unarmed civilians, a total of 19 Negro soldiers were hung, 41 were sentenced to life imprisonment (ten additional negroes were sentenced to death but commuted to life sentences by president Wilson). source
One curious observation here (which wouldn’t have prevented the Houston massacre, but still it’s curious):: Why did the US military brass – all of whom were Americans – allow Negro males to wear the same military uniforms as the American soldiers? This decision, in effect, told both groups they were one and the same. This was hardly the case. Negro soldiers were not allowed to see combat duty, to carry weapons, or mingle with American soldiers. Nor were Negro officers allowed to give orders to American soldiers. While integration of the races sounds acceptable today, back in 1917 the United States was operating under Plessy vs. Ferguson, which legally allowed for the establishment of a color line between the two demonstratively different male groups. The American population at that time believed (for they had never known anything different) that Negroes were supposed to live separately so they could achieve self-reliance as a people i.e. Americans did not want the Negroes to become their dependents –feed them, house them, clothe them (remember, no laws were denying the Negro race their right to build their own towns, their own cities, their own industries, and to create their own political titles; or even colonizing a place in America –they were a FREE PEOPLE). Regarding the uniforms issue, what was a very obvious and sensible solution to the military’s hypocrisy was to have the Negro and American soldiers wear different uniforms. This certainly would have alleviated most of the tension as well as confusion between the two groups. A good example of this would be the different uniforms wore by the English and Scottish troops during World War I.
So why did the U.S. gov’t allow the military brass to violate the legally established color line and allow Negro males to wear the same uniforms as Americans? (In 1917, there were no Negro males in the US Congress; nor were any in the federal judiciary i.e. the Negro race was entirely separate from the American population))
One finale note: No sensible-minded person today should let themselves be influenced by the views of politically correct revisionists regarding the Houston massacre. It was a racially motivated slaughter of innocent people by craven Negro soldiers. To attempt to make these Negro soldiers the victims is not just outrageous and ludicrous but also insulting to the memory of the innocent victims.