Konch Magazine - John F Kennedy by John

John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas the next morning while I was shopping with my niece on Olivera Street. She tuned in her transistor, an instrument she is never without. Sobbing and broken voices rushed out of it; facts were helter-skelter and being altered every ten seconds. 

"Close your mouth," I said to her. It was hanging open as if to trap flies. 

Customers gathered near the small battered radio, stood shoulder to shoulder. One woman burst into tears on the spot. A Negro man was reported to have fled the scene. A Negro boy was reported to have seen two people struggling on an overpass along the route of the Kennedy car. "Negro" kept running through the reports like some lesser theme in a wild symphony, a theme that would at the finale become dominant. 

At home my niece wandered around the house saying, "Uh, uh,uh." We watched a man-on-the-street show and heard an interviewee say, "Some nigger did it." And later in the afternoon my sister called to say that they had announced in her school over the public address system that a Negro had murdered Kennedy. "Johnny, we would never do a thing like that! We're not crazy like they are."

The reports of a Negro murderer seemed to prove how fearful the white public is, at least in Los Angeles, of an outbreak of racial violence. They expect it. When Lee Harvey Oswald was taken in, a sense of relief seemed to descend over the city, which had probably come closer to a race riot than it dared dream. (I later learned that only two or three other cities had been bombarded with such racially slanted news.) -- John A. Williams from his book, "This Is My Country Too" published in 1964.