Biden Issues Proclamation on Anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre
Category: News & PoliticsVia: john-russell • 2 weeks ago • 9 comments
By: Katherine Huggins (Mediaite)
By Katherine HugginsMay 31st, 2021, 10:32 pm
President Joe Biden issued a proclamation Monday that May 31, 2021, will be a "Day of Remembrance: 100 Years After the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre."
The Tulsa Race Massacre took place between May 31 and June 1 in 1921, when mobs of White rioters attacked Black businesses and people in Oklahoma. More than 300 Black Americans were killed and the area known as "Black Wall Street" was destroyed.
"I call upon the people of the United States to commemorate the tremendous loss of life and security that occurred over those 2 days in 1921, to celebrate the bravery and resilience of those who survived and sought to rebuild their lives again, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism and help to rebuild communities and lives that have been destroyed by it," Biden said Monday.
In the proclamation, Biden noted the systemic racism that prevented the Tulsa-Greenwood area from recovering economically.
"In the aftermath of the attack, local ordinances were passed requiring new construction standards that were prohibitively expensive, meaning many Black families could not rebuild," Biden said. "Later, Greenwood was redlined by mortgage companies and deemed 'hazardous' by the Federal Government so that Black homeowners could not access home loans or credit on equal terms. And in later decades, Federal investment, including Federal highway construction, tore down and cut off parts of the community."
Biden called on the federal government to "reckon with and acknowledge the role that it has played in stripping wealth and opportunity from Black communities."
The proclamation comes about a week after the oldest living survivor of the massacre, 107-year-old Viola Fletcher , testified before a House Committee "seeking justice" and acknowledgment that the tragedy occurred.
To date, survivors of the massacre and their families have received no reparations, and insurance companies declined most Black victims' claims, which according to Politico, would have been worth more than $27 million in today's money.
While Biden did not address financial compensation, he did commit to "never forget."
"With this proclamation, I commit to the survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, including Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis , and Lessie Benningfield Randle , the descendants of victims, and to this Nation that we will never forget," he said. "We honor the legacy of the Greenwood community, and of Black Wall Street, by reaffirming our commitment to advance racial justice through the whole of our government, and working to root out systemic racism from our laws, our policies, and our hearts."