Wednesday, June 02, 2021
Dozens of blacks lynched
Biden commemorates the victims of the Tulsa massacre
On June 1, 1921, a white lynch mob stormed the African American neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa. The attackers massacre, plunder and pillage hundreds of residents. In his address on the occasion of the 100th anniversary, US President Biden warns of current attacks on the civil rights of black people.
Exactly 100 years to the day after a black massacre in the city of Tulsa, US President Joe Biden has called on Americans to address racism in their country’s history. “That’s what great nations do. They work on their dark sides,” said Biden during a visit to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Racist hatred has shaped the laws and culture in the USA. “We’re doing ourselves a disservice by pretending that none of this happened and that it doesn’t affect us today.”
Biden is the first US President to attend a memorial service. He emphasized that according to the US intelligence services, right-wing extremist terrorism posed the greatest threat to the US. On the occasion of the event, he also condemned the fact that 100 years later the right to vote for blacks in the USA was being “attacked”.
The “sacred” African American franchise is currently under attack “with an incredible intensity that I have never seen before,” said Biden. Several states, including Texas, are planning electoral law changes that critics say would make voting more difficult for non-whites. The changes include a ban on so-called drive-in voting, a limitation of postal voting options and shorter opening times for polling stations.
Last witnesses at the memorial event
The US must learn from the events 100 years ago, warned the president. The massacre was “one of the worst in our history” and has been “forgotten by our historiography for too long”. “I came here to help break the silence, because the silence deepens the wounds,” he said at the event attended by the last three surviving witnesses of the massacre. The White House on Tuesday announced multi-billion dollar investments to tackle the disadvantages of blacks in terms of wealth and home ownership.
In Tulsa in 1921, a white mob killed up to 300 black people. The starting point of the violence were allegations against a black woman that he had offended a white woman. As a result, there were clashes between armed groups of black and white people in front of the courthouse where the man was being held.
On the morning of June 1, a white mob overran the African American neighborhood of Greenwood, Tulsa. The attackers shot dead many black people, ransacked the neighborhood and burned down more than 1,200 houses, as well as churches, schools and shops. Greenwood had been a place where a very successful black community had grown, despite the discrimination against blacks that was still enshrined in law in the USA at the time. The neighborhood was therefore often referred to as “Black Wall Street”.