On Tuesday, Joe Biden, the President of the United States, became the first serving president to memorialize the anniversary of the destruction of a well-off Black community in Tulsa by a white mob that leftover three hundred people dead and ten thousand homeless.
In remarks to survivors of the massacre and their families during his address at the Greenwood Cultural Center, the president said that just because the country’s history is silent, it does not mean that it didn’t take place. Some injustices of the past are so terrible, so grievous, and so horrifying that they cannot be hidden, no matter how hard the community tries.
In a tweet, Biden wrote that hundred years ago, a white supremacist mob ruthlessly attacked the flourishing Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a result, three hundred Black Americans lost their lives, and ten thousand people were left homeless. In another tweet, he adds that America cannot just choose to learn what it wants to know – and not what it should know.
100 years ago, the thriving Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma was ruthlessly attacked by a white supremacist mob—as many as 300 Black Americans were killed and 10,000 were left homeless. Today, I’m visiting the Greenwood Cultural Center and meeting with survivors.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 1, 2021
What Happened to Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma?
A hundred years ago, on 31st May and 1st June, Tulsa white racists, along with the virtual support from the all-white Tulsa Police Department, looted the black community of Greenwood, a neighboring area that then named Black Wall Street. They also burned their houses, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and theaters to the ground. In short, the White mob segregated the 35-square-block community by racism. Many o them were successful owners of law firms, hotels, restaurants, theaters, hospitals, churches, and doctor’s offices.
The massacre was a result of several years of white hatred and racial tensions, but it sparked because of events surrounding the arrest of a nineteen-year-old Black guy for allegedly assaulting a seven-year-old white woman. Furthermore, with no official casualty count from the U.S. government, it believed that up to three hundred people killed and buried in mass graves, and doctors treated more than eight hundred for injury. The attackers detained and held around 6000 survivors in internment camps.
For many decades after the massacre, the deadly attack suppressed and not well known on a national scale. However, as the state discussion increasingly focused on the issue of general racism and police violence, the violent incident received more attention in pop culture and media. The American president met with three surviving members of the terrible massacre, such as Hughes “Uncle Red” Van Ellis, Lessie “Mother Randle” Benningfield Randle, and Viola “Mother” Fletcher – who were all now over a hundred years old.
U.S. President Unveils Steps to Narrow Racial Wealth Gap
Joe Biden announced moves to narrow the racial wealth gap in the country. His government plans to invest tens of billions of dollars to expand federal contracting with minority-owned businesses in disadvantaged communities and reverse two Trump-era rules that restrict fair housing practices.
The centenary of the Tulsa massacre came just after one year since the death of George Floyd, a Black Guy, under a white police officer’s custody. Moreover, the event triggered the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the United States and all across the world. For the last some months, Democratic and Republican leaders struggled to reach an agreement on police reform legislation activists pushed since the death of Floyd.
Activists said that the visit of the president serves to communicate the reality and sad history of the cruelty of African Americans. In addition, the expurgation of black wealth and an all-out racial local terrorist attack within America, according to the founder of the political media organization Democracy in Color and author of the book ‘brown is the New White,’ Steve Phillips.
In addition, Philips said the steps the Biden government is taking to address the racial wealth gap are not almost enough to address an issue. During the last century since the massacre in Tulsa, Black Americans continue to be discriminated against in banking, employment, education, and housing. According to the statistics of the government, the typical white family has eight times the wealth of the common Black family. In the same way, the racial wealth gap expanded further during the coronavirus pandemic.
Reparation Should be Paid to Survivors
The Oklahoma Commission released a report after studying the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, which recommended that compensations should paid to survivors of the incident and their descendants. During his comments, the U.S. president, who campaigned on a pledge to deal with systemic racism, didn’t mention reparations. But he didn’t mention a legislative bill to study compensations for slavery, known as H.R. 40.
The legislation, initially introduced in 1989, would form a commission to study discrimination and slavery in America from 1619 to the present and suggest proper remedies. Philips said that what owed to African Americans who did the work to pick the cotton that sold that made America wealthy?
Democratic representative Sheila Jackon Lee of Texas once gains introduced the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act in January 2021. Moreover, Lee added the descendants of slaves and laborers continue to suffer from the legacy of that brutal system in the country.
Voting Rights for Black People
The Democratic president’s visit comes as several conservative states, including Texas, are making efforts for voting legislation that supporters say would reduce fraud. However, critics see it as discouraging Black voters, including other minority voters. Biden criticized those state lawns in his remarks. This holy right is under assault with unbelievable intensity.
We can’t build back better without tackling the systemic racism and disparities that have plagued our nation for far too long. That’s why today, we’re taking additional steps to advance racial equity, narrow the racial wealth gap, and build Black wealth. https://t.co/7mP3mvhSgc
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 1, 2021
Biden assured that he would fight like heck for passing the For the People Act from the Senate – a deferral voting-rights bill passed in the House of Representatives in March that would counter several voting restrictions approved by Republican-controlled state legislatures. Republican leaders named the bill as a power grab. Kamala Harris, the Vice President, will lead the government’s efforts on voting rights.
We’re witnessing an all-out assault on our democracy — and we need to act swiftly to protect the sacred right to vote.
We need the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 2, 2021