Shaun King: The Tulsa Race Massacre

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Good Morning Everybody!

I have a few things I wanna cover so I’ll just jump right in. 

This weekend, HBO premiered a brand new television show that’s based on a comic book called The Watchmen. I love the comic and loved the movie based on it as well. But something deeply fascinating happened on the show’s premier. 

See, The Watchmen is normally about an alternate reality. They normally tell the story of an alternate past or an alternate future if the past played out very differently, but this weekend, they did something that truly shocked viewers, particularly white viewers. 

They showed this old town, with thousands of Black businesses, and in this old town, white folk killed hundreds of people, burned down ten thousand homes owned by Black folk, and destroyed all of the businesses, and permanently injured a thousand more people. They arrested and detained over 6,000 Black men, women, and children. 

And it was awful.

But as people watched the show, and typed about how awful the scenario was that they were depicting, something truly fascinating happened. White folk, including white journalists, and film critics, didn’t know that the story being told wasn’t an alternate reality, not at all. It wasn’t a fake, alternate past or future. 

They told the story of the Tulsa Race massacre. Sometimes it’s called The Tulsa Race Riots, but we don’t call it that anymore. First, in this nation, when the word riot is used, people automatically assume we’re talking about Black folk. It is literally used exclusively for Black folk. And The Tulsa Massacre was not a riot being lead by Black folk. It was an all out massacre being lead by white folk.

It was the single largest mass shooting in modern American history. 

Listen – I mean no disrespect to survivors of mass shootings that happen in this generation, and I’ve come to know many of those survivors and their families, but when we say that the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history took place at a school or movie theater or night club, we suddenly pretend as if the Tulsa Race Massacre never took place. 

It is the deadliest hate crime in modern American history. Over the past few years we’ve had horrible hate crimes, at Wal-Mart’s against Latinos and at churches against African Americans, but when we say those are the deadliest hate crimes, we deny our own history. It’s a form of erasure. As if what happened on May 31st and June 1st of 1921 in Tulsa, Oklahoma never happened. 

Those two horrible days changed the entire future of Black America. 

Now, when we think of the Capitol of Black America – we might think of Atlanta, but in 1921, without a doubt, it was Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was the biggest concentration of Black wealth, Black business, Black success, Black home ownership, and it was growing rapidly, not just year over year, but month over month, week over week really. 

I was just a teenager at Morehouse when I first heard about what happened in Tulsa on those two fateful days, and I remember being so shocked because I had been to Tulsa and Black folk were struggling. It didn’t have a Black Wall Street. 

And it was wild to see this weekend on social media, as white folk bravely admitted that they thought they were watching a horrible, fictional story about this country, when, instead, they learned that the show decided to tell the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre. 

Parents and families – we have to teach these lessons to our children. We have to tell them these stories. Or our history will be erased.

I’ve gotta run in a second, but I do want to give us an update on the impeachment of Donald Trump. This week, the impeachment inquiry continues and momentum continues to build for his impeachment – particularly after his own chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, last week openly, brazenly admitted in a press conference that The White House withheld foreign aid for their own political gain.

Soon after it blew up, because what Mulvaney admitted to was a crime, he tried to backtrack and say he misspoke, but he was as clear as day. 

But here’s the thing – we have enough votes in the House to impeach Trump. We’ve got that covered. What we don’t have are enough votes in the Senate. It’s going to take 67 Senators. 

That’s why we formed a brand new tracking tool to tell you who’s on board in the Senate @ 67Senators.com. If you go there now from your phone or computer, you’ll see that only 2 US Senators have said that they will vote for Trump to be impeached and removed from office. Just 2.

We need that number to grow. And if you go to 67Senators.com we have tools to help you call and tweet the other 98 Senators who need to get on board. Join us today. 

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