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A fact from Ronnie Thompson (Georgia politician) appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the Did you know? column on 15 April 2008, and was viewed approximately 645 times (disclaimer)(check views). The text of the entry was as follows: "Did you know
I may be wrong on this, but in the history of 1970 that I can find in the archives of the Telegraph, the rioting actually occurred earlier in the year when the forthcoming desegregation of the schools was announced. Thompson issued the "shoot to kill" order in the summer, in order to quell potential riots that he was anticipating when school opened that August. Check this site: http://www.mindspring.com/~teeth/caution/macontg100years.htm—Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 03:02, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
The Telegraph reported late. Thompson was reacting to perceived and expected agent provocateurs whom he expected every day, and he reported sniper fire directed at him, etc. He offered up multiple, "I would tell them to shoot to kill" and "There is only one way to deal with those who want to burn" quotes throughout the election. In fact, the real issue of the "shoot to kill" order shows up in the imposition of a curfew within the city (targeted, of course, at those urban people). For better documentation, look at the court papers during the trial on wrongful death and police brutality. The common textbook Making the Case, edited by Lawrence Behrens, has a nice presentation of the materials. The question of whether the rhetorical "I would shoot to kill" was literal was decided by the courts.
The introduction here says that
"Buddy Kelly Moore, who completed a master of artsthesis on Thompson's career in 1976 at Georgia College & State University, opined that Thompson "shocked and fascinated observers with hard-line approaches to law-and-order, municipalunionism, and race relations.""
Does this mean that Thompson’s hard-line views shocked observers, or that observers who themselves had hard-line views were shocked by him?
On a broader issue, it’s a nice quote, but is Buddy Kelly Moore’s MA thesis a reliable source? Is it published anywhere? Accessible? Verifiable? Swanny18 (talk) 16:35, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
It's a thesis. I came to look at this article to give a class background in Thompson and his strange position in Georgia history. Race relations in Macon, GA are strained today. Anyone looking at Georgia history recognizes that Macon has a hostility and entrenched resentment that is lacking even in Atlanta, where white resentment resulted in Lester Maddox being a hero to resistant conservative forces for his vow to beat any interracial couples that tried to enter his restaurant with an axe handle. Atlanta had multiple counteracting voices -- all of whom now better known to history than Lester Maddox, but Macon? Well, folks in Macon and who go to Georgia College (outside of Macon) are going to have to wonder at the retrograde, entrenched positions. Why, indeed, would there be a crack in the Democratic machine (the Talmadge machine)? Why would this go on so long? The opening here is what we call a thesis -- a position to be defended. This thesis is supported by facts. The rest of the article supports the thesis. Thus, it constitutes useful writing. The quote's grammar may be imperfect when pressed to the limit, but it's not bad. However, when I wanted my students to know who Ronnie Thompson was, it was jarring to see "Huh?" in the text and childish caviling over, "Is this an opinion? Do encyclopedia articles ever have synthesizing statements that might be construed as positions, and how can I prove those are neutral" written across the text.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs) 15:22, 20 October 2013
I brought up the "imperfect grammar" of the quote because I was tickled by the shades of meaning it threw up.
But the second point is serious.
If this is “what you call a thesis” (and yes, I know what a thesis is) it is also what we call Original Research, which has no place in WP. Are you saying this whole article is simply a re-hash of someone’s master’s thesis? Because that raises all kinds of problems.