As things have been happening across our country in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis last week, I have been sharing my thoughts on Facebook. I have decided to share them here, as well, going back a few days. Here is what I posted this morning:
Today marks 99 years since white Tulsans began looting and rioting, destroying the wealthiest black community in America. That rioting and looting has not yet ended. In fact, it’s been going on for 400 years, since the first black bodies were looted from their home and brought to this continent to serve as wealth generators for whites.
Are you having a hard time understanding the anger and pain and outrage you are seeing across our nation right now? If you are, I invite you to Google the Tulsa Race Massacre and read as much as you can about it. Read about how an entire swathe of Tulsa was destroyed and hundreds of innocent lives lost, all over fear, jealously and lies. Then, multiply that one incident by the number of days since August 1619, when the first slaves arrived on these shores. And try to imagine the amount of grief and frustration that has been held down and controlled during all that time. And think about 250 years of outright, state supported slavery, and then 150 year of state sponsored segregation and Jim Crow and racism. And think about how, when black Americans stood up and peacefully marched for their rights 60 years ago, how the leader of that movement was assassinated, despite his pledge of nonviolence. And think about the countless black bodies oppressed and murdered by the state in the form of the police. And then, after you’ve read and thought and studied: try to understand the pent up rage and emotion coming to the forefront.
Dr King once wrote, “300 years of humiliation, abuse and deprivation cannot be expected to find voice in a whisper.” Truer words have never been spoken. Remember Black Wall Street today. Show your support for protesters across this country by marching in solidarity and showing those in power they cannot continue to destroy and kill the people they rely on for their power and authority. The actions of the police and authorities across this country over the last 48 hours is a continuation of the violence found at the end of a slave driver’s whip, at the back of a segregated bus, in the streets of north Tulsa, in the trigger finger of a rifleman taking aim at Dr King. It’s all the same and it can’t go on.