“An emotional President Joe Biden marked the 100th anniversary of the massacre that destroyed a thriving Black community in Tulsa, declaring Tuesday that he had ‘come to fill the silence’ about one of the nation’s darkest — and long suppressed — moments of racial violence.
‘Some injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous, they cannot be buried, no matter how hard people try,’ Biden said. ‘Only with truth can come healing.’
Biden’s commemoration of the deaths of hundreds of Black people killed by a white mob a century ago came amid the current national reckoning on racial justice.” —— Jonathan Lemire and Darlene Superville in the AP
Neither my American history class in West Columbia, Texas in 1963 nor my American history lectures at the University of Texas in Austin in 1966 mentioned the Tulsa Massacre of 1921. “Just because history is silent, ” President Biden said today, “does not mean that it did not take place.”
Today we as a nation have an opportunity to acknowledge an oppressive silence about an unspeakable horror that created a generational deprivation of justice and equality which should be the rights of every American. We must not only admit the betrayal but also support actions to make amends to those survivors of the Massacre, their descendants, their home town.
I believe as individuals we also have an opportunity, an obligation, to speak truth to our families, friends and elected officials at all levels of government about the importance of equal treatment for everyone regardless of our differences. Nelson Mandela said:
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
May that be our truth.
Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.