The Flint Sit Down Strike was always a source of pride in my family. My mother liked to tell the story of how the newspaper ran a picture of my grandmother lifting my then 5-year-old mother (or maybe it was one of my baby aunts? I don't seem to recall exactly...) through an open shop window into the arms of my grandfather, one of the sit-downers.
Someone looking at that picture probably thought what a sweet human-interest story that a gruff shop rat missed his daughter so. The truth of the matter was that my grandmother was a pistol and she was tire of the strike dragging out so long and wanted Charlie to get his a$$ back home.
I would post the aforementioned picture, but it has somehow been lost to history. Instead is this stock I found at this Michigan History Link.
So it is sad to see that vandals targeted the Sit-Downers Memorial Park in Flint.
That said, it always seemed strange to me that such a big deal is made of that strike even today. The union was a necessary evil in the beginning, but ended up eventually driving GM out of the city. I mean, the water pipes started out delivering cool, refreshing water before eventually spouting the lead. Will the last person left in this city be standing in an over-grown field looking lovingly at a statue of plumbing pipes?
But when society and the media celebrate the destruction of property and the statues of imperfect people, maybe this is what you get. In fact, if it is ok to tear down the statue representing someone with whom you disagree - then maybe the sit-down vandal(s) were upset at these statues and justified for the same reasoning. Had these gentlemen not made a deal with the UAW devil, then just maybe these unfortunate vandals would today be game fully employed in a thriving Flint town instead of roving the cracks and crevasses of this once-vibrant Vehicle City looking to tear something down that isn't already in ruins.
And that's the memo.