Joe Biden Acknowledges Tulsa’s Massacre of African Americans 100 Years Later with a Visit to the City

The president meets with the survivors of the massacre and announces a series of measures to favor the economic development of minorities in the United States.

Probably had it not been for the protests, often accompanied by vandalism and looting, sparked after George Floyd’s death a year ago , the centennial of what in America is charitably referred to as the “Tulsa race riots.” they would have gone unnoticed.

However, the United States is experiencing a moment of tension in its race relations, and today President Joe Biden did something exceptional: he traveled to the city of Tulsa, in the state of Oklahoma, met with the survivors of the massacre, and announced a series of measures to favor the economic development of minorities in the US. These measures include giving priority to companies owned by ethnic minority groups in the awarding of public contracts, granting non-refundable loans to favor the development of services and infrastructure in these communities, which are often isolated due to the lack of communication means and the absence of public transport. These are decisions with which Biden hopes to strengthen his support among the African-American electorate., who voted overwhelmingly for him, in a country in which, more and more, the Republican Party is that of whites, and the Democrat that of minorities. Some minorities that in some cases – black – are marginalized economically, in others – Asian – politically, and in some more – Hispanic and indigenous – both.

That is a consequence of the “disturbances” in Tulsa . Although applying the word “riot” to Tulsa in 1921 is imprecise. What happened in that city in 1921 was actually a pogrom in the strict sense of the word, in which several hundred blacks were hunted like animals in the city of Tulsa , Oklahoma. It was more of a war of extermination than a mass lynching. At least eight of the fifteen planes at the local airfield were used, first to identify where there were blacks, and later to drop firebombs on houses. This is how the neighborhood of Greenwood, Tulsa’s so-called ‘Black Wall Street’, was destroyed: an area in which the descendants of slaves were achieving a considerable degree of prosperity.

The properties were lost. There were no indemnities or insurance. And, as a consequence, the road to prosperity in the neighborhood disappeared. This is how he recalled this week in the financial magazine Barron’s John Rogers, who in 1983 became the first person from a racial minority – black, Hispanic, Asian or indigenous – to found a fund manager on Wall Street, Ariele Investments, which currently has 15,000 million dollars (12,250 million euros) in assets.

Rogers’ maternal great-grandfather’s name was JB Stradford, and he was not only the first member of his family to be born a free person, but also the owner of the largest black-owned hotel in America, the Stradford Hotel. three floors and 54 rooms, located at 301 North Greenwod Avenue, in the heart of the massacre. On May 31, on the first day of the massacre, Stradford managed to defend the building accompanied by two armed African Americans . On June 1, the hotel was attacked by a small plane, and a mob set it on fire. Not even the foundations were left. His other 15 buildings in Greenwood also burned. Stradford went from being the richest black man in Tulsa to having nothing.

This pattern of impoverishment is a constant in the history of minorities in the United States. In many cases, the absence of legally recognized property titles has led to the members of these groups being progressively deprived of their assets. It is something that continues to happen today in areas like the coast of South Carolina and Georgia, a region in which the descendants of slaves lived practically independently for a century, to the point that they maintain African words., but which is currently experiencing a real estate ‘boom’. People of low socio-cultural level do not have property titles and, when they do, they are defective, or do not define well the boundaries of the parcels, or the heirs. All these factors make it relatively easy for a developer to get hold of land at a price well below the market price.

In fact, while the Tulsa massacre was taking place, less than 100 kilometers away, in the Osage Indian Tribe Reservation, an even greater one took place: the murder and disappearance of hundreds of people from that community to seize their water wells. oil . His property titles were for whites. Oklahoma’s oil has no longer belonged to the Indians. Same as JB Stradford’s hotel.

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