Scroll down to examine today's classwork and primary sources.
Today you will play detective (if you are working with a partner, each of you must turn in the classwork below.
Use the mini-scroll bar to navigate within the classwork file.
Examine the primary sources to answer the questions about Mark Essex:
Carnage counted and public reactions
Essex had murdered nine people, five of them police officers. All save Cadet Harrell were either white or Hispanic. He seriously wounded another 10 people.
Police fire had inadvertently wounded nine people. One person in the vicinity of the shootings had suffered a non-fatal heart attack as a result of the trauma.
The city of New Orleans had sustained millions of dollars in financial loss. The Howard Johnson’s Hotel had sustained damage that would require millions of dollars to repair.
In the aftermath of the shootings, then Governor of Louisiana Edwin Edwards said he would consider reinstating the death penalty for “heinous crimes.” This was an odd reaction. It seems likely Essex knew he would be killed. The threat of execution is meaningless to someone who plans to die during his or her crimes.
An article published in the Los Angeles Times reported that the Essex family called a news conference in the aftermath of the crimes. Nellie Essex said her son “wasn’t himself when he did this.” She recalled how Essex had become embittered after encountering racial prejudice in the Navy. She concluded that the tragedy was a “clear signal for white America to get off the seat of its pants and do something. If this terrible thing will awaken white America to the injustices that blacks suffer then some good will come of it.”
Many black leaders were interviewed. Louisiana State Representative Louis Charbonnet complained that it seemed that “people wanted to hear the black community of New Orleans apologize for Jimmy Essex.” Charbonnet was understandably exasperated by this attitude. “What did we have to apologize for?” he asked. “Here was a boy from Kansas who came here and vented his frustration in a suicide mission. What could I say about him? The black community in New Orleans did not invite him here nor did we send him up to that rooftop. If he had been white, I would not have called upon Mayor Landrieu to apologize for him.”
Unfortunately, some black leaders issued statements appearing to condone the horror.
The Cleaver branch of the New York Black Panther Party sent a telegram to the Essexes. It said, “We the Black Panther Party take this opportunity to extend our profound condolences. The loss of your son was a loss to the revolutionary ranks and the black revolutionary struggle as a whole.”
Stokely Carmichael, who rose to fame as a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), served for a period as the Honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party, and popularized the slogan “Black Power,” stated, “We should study and learn from the actions of Brother Jimmy Essex. We should understand that Brother Essex carried our struggle to its next quantitative level, the level of science.”
Police Fail to find "Second Sniper"
After looking for and failing to find a suspected second sniper, New Orleans Police officers found Essex’s apartment on Dryades Street. Inside, the walls were covered in anti-white graffiti. Most of the words were nonsensical phrases borrowed from Swahili and other African languages. Essex, it seems, thought of himself as a resurrected Mao Mao warrior fighting white settlers.
Following Essex’s death, black militants were quick to praise him. Stokely Carmichael said that Essex carried “our struggle to the next quantitative level, the level of science.” More frightening was the real-time, on-the-ground reaction of New Orleans’ black citizenry. When they realized that Essex was targeting white people, they roared “Right on!”
These are the direct ancestors of the Black Lives Matter movement. In allying themselves with the Black Panthers and other militant black organizations, the American Left is turning more people into the likes of Mark Essex. 1973 was a terrible year for white America. Besides the crimes of Mark Essex, San Francisco’s Zebra killers were killing white police officers and butchering white civilians while white and black Leftists cheered them on. The Zebras killed fourteen people, but you have probably never heard of them. Essex held a city in complete terror for weeks, and you’ve probably never heard of him either. Forgetting such history makes whites vulnerable to the next attack.
"Shortly before two o'clock in the morning, Giarusso was deluged with reports that a sniper had crawled out on a 'ledge' on the roof of the hotel and was firing across Loyola Avenue. Five men on top of the Bank of New Orleans said they could see someone in a white t-shirt, "lying on the corner of the roof not far from the Perdido stairwell. There were multiple sightings, and police in both stairwells reported hearing the clatter of an automatic carbine."
"It was now almost two-thirty(Monday morning, the 8th of January). ...spotters continued to report that gunfire was coming from the Gravier Street cubicle(located on the roof)..."
2:45am: "..reports of gunfire broke out anew. Men in the stairwells heard shouted obscenities, and from the tops of buildings, spotters with binoculars saw shadowed movement."
5am: Reporter on the scene: "The helicopter is right over the building now. It's very low, right in front of those cubicles. You can see the light playing on the walls. Wait! They're firing! Apparently they saw him. They're really pouring it in."
"New Orleans fire chief Louis San Salvador was quoted as saying that it was virtually impossible for one man to have set the fires himself. "There is at least one more and he walked away from it," San Salvador told a reporter."
Chief Giarusso at a post-event news conference:
"One would have to assume that if there was no second sniper, the police fired those shots [at the helicopter], and that's possible but not likely." Giarusso also mentioned the thousands of bullet fired at the shadowy figure seen on the rooftop after Essex was dead. "Many, many shots were fired at this ghost while he moved and, furthermore, the men who were there near the roof heard conversation after the first sniper was shot. I can't believe all of those men were hallucinating." " ...
"..there is some evidence someone may have arranged for a room for the dead sniper..."