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Who was Crispus Attucks?
Crispus Attucks has been immortalized as the first casualty of the American Revolutionary War and the first African American hero. He was in the front line of a group 50 patriots defying British troops when suddenly shots were fired. Crispus was the first person shot and killed with two bullets in the chest in the historic event that became known as The Boston Massacre. Four men died and six were wounded, one man died later from his wounds. As an African American patriot Crispus Attucks represents the 5,000 African American soldiers who fought for an independent America.
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It was not “a line of 50 patriots defying British troops”, it was a mob of several hundred people attacking 9 soldiers with rocks and clubs while goading them to fire. It was not a massacre, it was panicked fire after one of the soldiers was hit with club (and while the mob was shouting “Fire! Fire!”. What the heck did they think was going to happen?). There was nothing at all heroic about the event; an angry mob vents its rage against frightened soldiers who ended up panic firing after the violence began to escalate. There was no greater good to be achieved by the mob continuing to taunt and throw things at armed soldiers for hours on end, and the soldiers were weren’t trying to do anything except protect a sentry (the linked article is absurd, but the same site has a much better one: http://www.crispusattucksmuseum.org/events-of-the-boston-massacre/).
Honestly (and all thoughts on the Revolution itself aside), it disturbs me that we keep pushing the ‘patriotic’ version of this event, complete with that absurd Champney/Revere engraving. We live in a world being torn apart by manufactured media outrages. How can we complain about people swallowing the absurd media narratives of today when we’re still perpetuating the ones of 250 years ago?
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