President Joe Biden issued a proclamation Monday, marking the centenary since a “violent white supremacist mob” descended on the prosperous black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 31, 1921, destroying businesses, destroying homes and killing hundreds of blacks.
In the proclamation, Biden pointed to the racist mob who “raided, incendiary bombs and destroyed… the thriving black neighborhood of Greenwood.”
“Families and children have been murdered in cold blood. Houses, businesses and churches were set on fire. In total, no less than 300 black Americans were killed, ”the proclamation reads. “Today, on this solemn centenary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, I call on the American people to reflect on the deep roots of racial terror in our nation and to re-engage in the work of eradicating systemic racism through our country.”
The 1921 Tulsa racial massacre, which took place from May 31 to June 1, was one of the deadliest acts of domestic terrorism in US history. A white mob destroyed about 35 blocks of a thriving community known as Black Wall Street. Today, survivors and descendants still fight for justice and responsibility.
In testimony before Congress Earlier this month, Viola Fletcher, a 107-year-old survivor, said: “I will never forget the violence of the white crowd.
“I still see black men being shot, black bodies lying in the street. I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see black businesses burnt down. I still hear planes flying overhead. I hear the screams, “she added.” I experienced the massacre every day. Our country can forget this story, but I cannot. “
In the presidential proclamation, Biden noted the federal government’s own role in perpetuating racist damage in the community of Greenwood, noting that it was highlighted by mortgage companies and deemed “dangerous” by the U.S. government, preventing Blacks access home loans. Later, the construction of a federal highway also destroyed and ravaged parts of the region.
“The federal government must take into account and recognize the role it has played in suppressing the wealth and opportunity of black communities,” the proclamation read, adding that the Biden-Harris administration is “committed to recognize the role federal politics have played in Greenwood and other black communities and address long-standing racial inequalities. ”
The President ended the proclamation with a pledge to the survivors and descendants of the victims of the racial massacre: “We will never forget”.
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