Oct 17, 2005

Faces In The Midst Of Chaos, Part Two

Left: Toledo Police riot squad leader

The anti-Nazi crowd that wound its way around Woodward High School met up with a riot squad on Central and Mulberry just before noon on Saturday in North Toledo. A tense standoff began that would last for over four hours.

Left: unidentified Toledo teen on the corner of Mulberry and Central

The anger felt by protesters against Bill White and his NSM followers after an hour their race-baiting rhetoric slowly changed direction and became focused upon the Toledo Police, who many in the crowd believed were "protecting" the Nazis. The irony, of course, is that the neo-Nazis had by now driven away from the scene after not being permitted the right to march through North Toledo.

White's claims that his group was denied constitutional rights are ludicrous; his band of two dozen supporters would have been slaughtered by the angry crowd, now numbering some 700 people.
Toledoan Oshai Crenshaw tirelessly walked among the rioters, trying to restore order

One of the day's heroes was most certainly a woman named Oshai Crenshaw. She was at the center of the unrest from noon until the fire was put out at Jim and Lou's Bar. While the networks focused on the helicopter cams showing looters and rioters, I would like to extend a personal thanks to Crenshaw for her bravery and efforts to bring peace.

Left: 1-year old Jaelyn, who watched as a TV news vehicle got vandalized

There were many small children on the fringes of the North Toledo violence. Most were hurriedly shooed back onto porches and in houses, but a few played freely mere yards from a war zone. I see the tiny young faces, and pray for a world where babies never have to see hate and violence.

The photos on this series covering the aborted NSM rally in Toledo were taken by DC photographer Isis; copyright 2005 Isis. Things got crazy, and we were swapping memory cards back and forth, but 90% of this work was hers. You can see more of the work of Isis at Yellowcakewalk.net.


IsisDC said...

Oshai Crenshaw needs to run for office there.


SHE has the leadership that city needs.

Anonymous said...

the nazis turned tail and ran. what a joke

M A F said...


I found you through the blog "Liberal Common Sense." I am saddened and dismayed to see that a small band of people were so successful in provolking the larger crowd into actions that better served to validate the stuperior beliefs of the Nazi's marching in Toledo.

I learned through folks wiser than me that the best way to defuse the racist/hate groups is to deny them of what they so desperately want, and that is attention.

Rather than offering Nazi's the confrontation they want, that they need to exist and appear relevant it is better to hold counter events that gives strength to the anti-hate movement a opposed to the decention into riotous behavior.

I will look forward to returning to your blog. I was thinking of adding you to my list "Interesting People You Don't Know (Yet)."

Anonymous said...

you told this story better than any other media

IsisDC said...

MackieD- I would normally agree with you and your assesment, yet this could have been much easier done IF these Nazis were rallying and doing their "thing" in "town" on the steps of the couthouse, or a city captiol building.

But, when a hate rally is being held across the street from were the people live, and to make mattters worse, in the field of their local school which is supposed to be a safe and encouraging place for their children, the people have a right to get angry and fight back.

It was not just the Nazis that set the crowd off, it was the approach from the cops who were reacting in panic and inexperience who first jumped into the crowd with horses and tried to tell them they could not stand where they had a right to or have any personal freedoms or civil rights on their own properties.

I would really like to see the reaction of an all white Republican neighbourhood if the Taliban decided to march in and insult their "heritage" and scare their children on the grounds of their own local schools.

I say the scene would be met with gun fire, aand there would be people left dead in the streets.

Hooda Thunkit said...

”…his band of two dozen supporters would have been slaughtered by the angry crowd…”

Environmental Cleanup; Cleans the air and removes toxins, making the neighborhood better. Probably doesn’t require a permit.

Offhand, I don’t see a down side…

As for Oshai Crenshaw, she is a perfect example of what our politicians are and should have been doing, sensible, caring, and involved. Hello Nobel Prize Committee…

”I see the tiny young faces, and pray for a world where babies never have to see hate and violence.”

Or, see it if they have to, and learn from it, so that it might never happen again.

Mike & Isis, you did a wonderful job of covering this event.

Sadly, Toledo’s tarnished reputation will have to heal itself over time, and that could take several years…

IsisDC said...

Oh, it gets worse, the Toledo freepress won't print my photos because I refuse (out of safety)to use my real name.

historymike said...

Sorry, Nazis.

Go to your own website to post hate messages.

Thank you, and have a nice day.

Bill White said...

The crowd didn't swell to 700 until they started looting stores.

There were less than 50 people involved in violence at the beginning of the rioting, 20 pudgy, nerdy high school and college kids from ARA and about 36 black juveniles. I probably could have fought them off myself.

In fact, the only people who didn't turn and run when the rioting began was our men -- who refused to leave until forced to by the police.

You have a very distorted view of the world, historymike.

historymike said...

I've got the crowd pictures, Mr. White. At the time (11:30-ish)that your group was escorted from Stickney Avenue to the safety of the park for the press conference, there were hundreds of people lining the street.

The crowd was 6-8 people deep for over 60 yards. Maybe the dozens of officers protecting your group obscured your view?

Also, perhaps you were too busy on your cellphone to notice the crowd; most of the pics of you show you chatting on the phone.

Or maybe it was when you were changing into your Nazi uniform (you know, the one with the clip-on tie?) from your casual blue shirt that the crowd grew into the hundreds.

Anyways, have a nice day. I'll post crowd pics for you in a few days.

liberal_dem said...

Here's the joke of the day:

You have a very distorted view of the world, historymike.

[he wipes his eyes from laughter]

Anonymous said...

HistoryMike said: "White's claims that his group was denied constitutional rights are ludicrous"

How so?

M A F said...


It is precicely then, in these moments when the NSM rallies not on the courthouse steps that they should be thwarted not by confrontation but by counter protests where their message of hate is silenced.

These few people who profess their stuperior logic purposefully seek confrontation. And as the pictures clearly demonstrate, the NSM find themselves (and in a perverse way) their ideas, being supported/protected by the local law enforcement. (Just read the comments of Bill White.)

And to liberal_dem,

Thanks for redirecting my attention to the sardonic.

IsisDC said...

Hey I just find it funny that poor Bill here has the nerve to call ANYONE "Pudgy".;-P

MackieD- I think you missed my point. I am not saying the Nazis don't have a right to rally, because I honestly believe they do, but, political rallies as such should not be in residential neighbourhoods.

And I do not believe that the city would have allowed this rally to happen in the weathy side of town.

There should be zoning laws for such assembly as well as required permit purchases.

If Bill and his buds wanted to just walk down the side walks as a free citizens and bother the people, they should then do so, but without any organized help from the city.

If they want an official organized rally it should be in a zoned city area on city government property w/permit.

And as far as the reation from the crowd, as you were not there, have no idea how the people of that neighbourhood feel about how they are valued and regarded by their own city officials and what it must be like to be invaded by a hate group, I would reserve judgement.

liberal_dem said...

If Bill and his buds wanted to just walk down the side walks as a free citizens and bother the people, they should then do so, but without any organized help from the city.

Indeed, indeed. In fact, one can only wonder what might have been if these miscreants had donned those Halloween costumes and walked, all alone, down Mulberry Street.

To paraphrase Dr. Seuss, "Nothing," I said, growing red as a beet, "but plain horses asses and wagon on Mulberry Street..."

IsisDC said...

LiberalDem- It was like watching a twisted SCA WW2 reenactment game.
Like they were trying to play act their twisted fantasies about being Nazis.

I would like to believe that some of those guys are just going through a bad phase. Some even smiled in a way that gave me the feeling that they were really good people inside. I had the feeling they were just very mixed up and I hope they can find their way out of that bottemless pit of hate.

I, for one, would welcome them back to society with open arms and praise their courage to learn to love and except all humanity and we should then with hold any judgement of this unbalanced phase of their life.

It is so easy to hate. Hate is an instant reaction to a scarey and/or unfamiliar situation. It takes thought and energy to understand what causes the fear and uncover the ignorance within us.

I do really hope at least of few of those 28 men (and women) can find their way out of the tangled web they have woven themselves into.

M A F said...

IsisDC you and I are on the same page. I understood your position in your previous response to me. And while I understand your points about limiting the location of the rally (as has happened on previous occassions(?)) I believe that my point still stands.

It clearly would have been better if the city had prohibited the NSM from entering a local neighborhood to protest. I found your conservative neighborhood not permitting a Taliban rally a fair comparison. The difference from my perspective is that the conservatives would have attacked the Taliban protestors.

I was saddened to see the that the NSM was able to elicit responses from the opposition protestors. When you have a group such as these NSM folks, they are seeking attention. They seek confrontations knowing that they police will be forced to protect them which further embellishes their delusions as Mike has commented.

And alow me this belated opportunity to congratulate you on your photographs. You wre able to capture the days events (good and bad) with a focused clarity.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike, as i sit and listen and monitor the toledo Police radio there is still gangs of blacks roaming groups of 30-40 breaking windows, fighting and any other such thing.

I know you won't believe this but if you have a radio monitr it and see that this savage un-called-for gang roaming in the same area that the NSM never got to march in is still going on.

Are you going to blame this on white protesters to? They have been gone for about a week now! Why all the continued violence ?

This is the hypocracy of your reports. Tere is no need for this kind of violence . It was going on before the NSM came and it still continues. Perhaps you may be able to find another white scapegoat to blame this on.

You act as if blacks have no mind or moral responsibility. When are you going to put the blame were it really belongs instead of blaming a peaceful march on the violent actions of others?

Its still going on . When is a good reporter like you going to wake up to that fact? will this become part of your so called historic review or will yu find some way to report on it and cover it up?

Dick in Toledo

historymike said...

Gosh, Dick, I have been in the North End numerous times in the past week, and I don't see any of those 30-40 strong gangs roaming the streets?

Are there gang problems in the North End? Most certainly, just as there are in the South End, Old West End, central city, and West side.

Could you give examples of the "continued violence?" I have yet to see any evidence of this, either in the media, the police blotter, or in talking with residents yesterday.

All seem to be saying that things are calm at the moment.

Sorry, I am not placing all the "blame" on one racial group. For starters, there were people of all colors particpating in the riot.

Secondly, the crowd got riled up by the NSM members and their racial taunting. I also put some blame on police command officers, who failed to communicate to the front line officers that the Nazis had left. If an announcement had been made around noon on Mulberry and Central, my belief is that the crowd would have dispersed and the riot could have been avoided.

I was in that crowd, Dick. I heard what people were saying. They were convinced most of the afternoon that the Nazis were still two blocks away, and that the police were "protecting" the Nazis.

This disturbance was a lot more complex than you would like to think. Add in poverty, lack of economic opportunity, and the perception that the Toledo Police have been systematically harassing young black men, and you have a very multi-faceted confluence of conditions that exploded on October 15.

I may have been wasting my keystrokes, as I suspect that your mind is already made up, but I thought I would attempt to raise the level of discourse here.