Monday, June 20, 2011

Lives Erased

While I was eating lunch this afternoon, I read this article about the Tulsa race riots of 1921 where about 300 African Americans were killed and 8,000 more were left homeless.  The article says that like many other incidences during this era, this all started because a black man was accused of assaulting a white woman.  After this riot, the charges were dropped.  What's funny is that this never made it into the history books, much less the newspapers.  It was as if those lives didn't matter, don't count.  After failed lawsuits to compensate the survivors or to even recognize them, the Tulsa Public Schools will be adding this to their curriculum next year.  The memorial that was started for this may be forced to shut down due to their lack of funding.  

After reading this article, I couldn't help but wonder how the hell was this able to covered up for so long?  The oldest survivor is 108 and there are maybe 40 of them left.  So, what was the plan...wait for them to die, taking this tragic event with them?  I know that this isn't the only tragedy or racial "incident" that has been covered up in history, but come on!  Even people of power turned their heads to the incident after pointing their fingers at the black community for starting the whole thing.  What's crazy is that about three quarters of the Tulsa residents knew about this incident. 

Maybe, I'm making a bigger deal out of this than necessary, but this just shocked me a little bit.

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