“Filling the silence”: Biden becomes first president to visit Tulsa on massacre anniversary, pushes policies for racial equity

2 mins read

US President Joe Biden made a call on Tuesday for his country to “come in terms” with the down times of US history as he visited Tulsa, Oklahoma during the 100 years anniversary of the Black Americans death, following the burning of the “Black Wall Street” which also displaced thousands.

The president turned the nation’s focus to the Tulsa Race Massacre which has long been shelved. His visit marked the first time a US President attended an anniversary in the most devastating racial massacre in the US.

“I come here to help fill the silence. Because in silence, wounds deepen,” the president said.

He mainly tackled racism concerns in his speech, making a “through-line” from the Tulsa massacre to what happened in Virginia back in 2017, where a white mob was joined by protesters carrying tiki torches, speaking and singing racist chants.

Vice President Kamala Harris, according to Biden, will lead a measure that will puch for voting rights protection. He said the right to vote “is under assault with incredible intensity like I’ve never seen” amid the state bills led by the conservatives.

In the afternoon, the president arrived in Tulsa. He visited the Greenwood Cultural Center and met Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis and Lessie Benningfield Randle, who are in their 100s, and are the last survivors of the race massacre.

“You are the three known remaining survivors seen in the mirror dimly. But no longer,” the president said. “Now your story will be known in full view. The events we speak of today took place 100 years ago, and yet I’m the first president in 100 years ever to come to Tulsa.”

“Hell was unleashed. Literal hell was unleashed,” the president said as he described the happenings during the bloody massacre.

He mentioned how the Greenwood’s Black neighborhood was rained by explosives, noting that the victims were left uncompensated on their losses. No one was also held accountable or penalized over the massacre.

Before his Tulsa trip, the president has already announced policies to support racial equity, addressing housing discriminations and business ownership concerns.