Survivors of the Tulsa race massacre explained on Wednesday how violence tore their lives and communities 100 years ago, and they urged the US House of Representatives subcommittee. Helps ensure justice and financial compensation.
“We will never forget the violence of the white mob when we left home,” testified Viola Fletcher, a 107-year-old survivor of the 1921 massacre.
“I still see a black man shot and a black body lying on the street. I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see black companies burning I see. I hear planes flying overhead. I hear screams. I have lived a slaughter every day. “
Mr Fletcher said the judicial subcommittee on constitution, civil rights and civil liberties “has the power to guide us on a better path.”
“Open the court door,” she said.
Fletcher was one of the three survivors who testified to the Sub-Committee, which was the second on the slaughter and potential legal pathways to compensate the victims and their offspring. We held a public hearing.
It is estimated that the attack killed hundreds of people and left thousands homeless in the Greenwood district of Tulsa in 1921.
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The previous committee hearing on the slaughter was 14 years ago
The 2007 subcommittee hearing was accompanied by a law allowing victims to pursue legal claims in federal court, despite the court’s ruling that claims were banned by prescription. It was.
The law was never approved. Subcommittee member Hank Johnson (D-Calif.) Enacted a similar law on Wednesday paving the way for damages to death and destruction that occurred on May 31 and June 1, 1921. He said he would introduce it this week.
Hughes van Ellis, a Masaka survivor, told the subcommittee on Wednesday that “if something is stolen, we may have been told that we can go to court and complete it. Court for justice. You can go to. “
“This didn’t apply to us. The courts in Oklahoma didn’t listen to us. The federal court said we were too late. We felt our struggle wasn’t worth justice. I was forced to. “
A lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma last year under state pollution law, and the “pollution of racial inequality, economic inequality, anxiety, and trauma” caused by the city of Tulsa and other defendants in 1921 continues today. Claims to continue. The proceedings are ongoing.
“… the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma, Tulsa is responsible for getting it right.”
Recalling a subcommittee that passed the corpse during the slaughter at the age of six, Lessy Benningfield Randall said:
“The only three of us here today are the rest we know. But just because these men are probably dead, the cities and counties of Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce. The chamber is still responsible for getting it right. “
Randall accused the city and the Chamber of Commerce of benefiting from the massacre and the next compliance of the 100th anniversary, as other witnesses on Wednesday did.
“They raised over $ 30 million and refused to share it with me and two other survivors,” Randall said. “They used my name to promote their funding goals without my permission … and misrepresented my support for their next 100th anniversary.”
Eric Miller, a law professor at Loyola Marymount University in California, told the subcommittee:
“The cities and chambers of commerce that cashed and sold the slaughter in 1921 are doing it again, talking about the victims and creating tourist attractions designed to attract blacks to Tulsa. There is no input from survivors and their descendants. “
The allegations are part of a proceeding filed last year. A spokesman for the Tulsa Regional Council said Wednesday that the proceedings had not commented on the proceedings.
A city spokesperson said the Greenwood Rising History Center was founded by the Tulsa Race Centennial Commission in 1921. Black Tulsa is leading the project, and the city of Tulsa has not benefited financially from its construction, a spokesman said.
GT Bynum, Mayor of Tulsa, said: “I am very grateful to the philanthropic donors who funded the construction and the scholars who made it possible. The generation grew up in Tulsa without public dialogue on genocide. Greenwood Rising Guarantees that it will never happen again. “
Former Speaker of the House TW Shannon criticizes Speaker of the House
Also at a hearing on Wednesday, former Oklahoma House chairman TW Shannon spoke against a resolution adopted by the US House of Representatives this week in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the slaughter.
Shannon, a descendant of African-Americans and Chickasaw Nation, said the solemn opportunity for the 100th anniversary was “diluted by those who seek to further fuel racial division and foster hostility to law enforcement.” ..
Republican Shannon said Americans should be aware of the brutality and atrocities of the slaughter, but “history is politically prejudiced and responsible for ancestral sins to certain groups, genders, and ethnic groups. Should be taught without the intention of making them feel. “
The House resolution condemns “past and present efforts to cover up the truth and protect white communities, especially state and local civil servants, from accountability for the Tulsa race massacre.”
The resolution also condemns “a continuous legacy of racism, including systematic racism, and white supremacism against blacks in the United States, especially in the form of police atrocities.”
The resolution was drafted by Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, with 99 co-sponsors and all Democrats.
This article was originally published in Oklahoman: Survivors of the Tulsa race massacre explain fear and seek help from legislators