Warren, Jackson Lee, and 127 Members of Congress Unveil Resolution Recognizing the Forthcoming Centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) unveiled a resolution to mark the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. The resolution is a reminder that the fight to end racist violence against Black people in the United States -- often state-sanctioned and at the hands of the police -- continues.
The resolution honors the lives and legacies of the estimated 300 Black individuals who were killed during the Massacre and the nearly 9,000 Black individuals who were left homeless and penniless -- and it condemns the white mob, including white municipal officials and law enforcement who directly aided and abetted the unlawful violence but were never held accountable. The resolution also encourages schools and colleges to teach the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre and recognizes the commitment of Congress to acknowledge and learn from the history of racism and racial violence in the United States, reverse the legacy of white supremacy, and continue the fight for racial justice.
"The Tulsa race massacre was one of the largest single instances of state-sanctioned violence against Black people in American history, and the white mob and law enforcement officers who committed this act of domestic terrorism were never prosecuted or held accountable," said Senator Warren. "With this resolution, we recommit to fight the racist violence against Black Americans often at the hands of the police and reverse the legacy of slavery and white supremacy in our country."
"I am honored to be the lead House sponsor of this bicameral resolution recognizing and acknowledging the forthcoming centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a horrific event that is the largest single instance of State-sanctioned violence against Black people in American history This resolution honors the lives and legacies of the estimated 300 Black individuals who were killed during the Massacre and the nearly 9,000 Black individuals who were left homeless and penniless and it condemns the participants of the Tulsa Race Massacre, including White municipal officials and law enforcement who directly participated in or who aided and abetted the unlawful violence.
"This resolution is particularly timely because it condemns the continued legacy of racism, including systemic racism, and White supremacy against Black people in the United States, particularly in the form of police brutality; encourages education about the Tulsa Race Massacre; and recognizes the commitment of Congress to acknowledge and learn from the history of racism and racial violence in the United States, including the Tulsa Race Massacre, to reverse the legacy of White supremacy and fight for racial justice. Finally, this horrific terroristic act of the 1900s further shows the need for H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals. The victims of the Tulsa Riots are crying out for a response. This resolution and further legislation will give that community relief. My thanks to Senator Elizabeth Warren for her leadership," stated Congresswoman Jackson Lee.
The resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Robert Casey (D-Penn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Chris Coons (D-Conn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Representatives Henry "Hank" C. Johnson (GA-04), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Karen Bass (CA-37), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), David Scott (GA-13), Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC- At Large), Stacey E. Plaskett (VI- At Large), Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Joseph D. Morelle (NY-25), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Nikema Williams (GA-05), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Grace Meng (NY-6), Marie Newman (IL-03), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Al Lawson (FL-05), Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), Val Demings (FL-10), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), André Carson (IN-07), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Kurt Schrader (OR-5), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Brian Higgins (NY-26), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Lisa Blunt Rochester (Delaware At-Large), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Filemon Vela (TX-34), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Kaiali'i Kahele (HI-02), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-03), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Al Green (TX-09), Jason Crow (CO-06), Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), David Price (NC-04), Robin L. Kelly (IL-02), Adam Smith (WA-09), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Elaine Luria (VA-02), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Jim Costa (CA-16), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Mike Doyle (PA-18), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Peter Welch (VT-At large), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03).
The resolution is endorsed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Action Network, Human Rights Watch, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Color of Change, the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the National Coalition for History, the Tulsa Historical Society and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.
"The resolution sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is an important step in memorializing a seminal moment in America's tortured racial history. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the 100th anniversary of which will be May 31 - June 1, 2021, is emblematic of the historical racial trauma visited upon African Americans throughout the nation in the early part of the twentieth century. So bleak was the outlook for Black citizens that sociologists and historians routinely refer to the period as the 'nadir of race relations in America.'
"The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre temporarily stilled a teeming economic and entrepreneurial hub dubbed 'Black Wall Street,' birthed out of racial constriction and sustained by necessity. It did not suffocate the human spirit. Post-Massacre, Greenwood District denizens recommitted, rebounded, and rebuilt. The community thrived for decades thereafter, though never fully escaping the trauma heaped upon it in 1921.
"This is 'must know' history." - Hannibal Johnson, Education Committee, 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission
"This resolution confers important Congressional recognition on one of the worst incidents of racial violence in US history, as well as the continuing, systemic harms experienced by Black Tulsans," said Dreisen Heath, racial justice researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch. "The congressional commitment to acknowledge, learn from, and account for this history, is an essential step if the US is to begin addressing the legacy of slavery and achieving racial justice."
"Everything has a history, including white supremacy and the many forms of violence, coercion, and cultural practices that legitimated and enforced it. What happened in Tulsa was extreme, but not unusual. It is part of our nation's heritage. We must acknowledge that heritage, learn from it, and do whatever each of us can to ensure that it is just that - heritage, rather than continuing practice." - James Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association
"The Organization of American Historians supports the resolution introduced by Sen. Warren to mark the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, and applauds the call for education about this brutal attack on Black individuals, homes and businesses, and the white supremacy that fueled it. As a nation, we cannot meaningfully move forward on a path toward racial justice without purposefully acknowledging, interrogating, and reckoning with our country's deep and long history of racism and racial violence." - Beth English, Executive Director at the Organization of American Historians
"The unanswered and often overlooked events of the Tulsa race massacre leave a deep gash on the fabric of this country," said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, NAACP. "In our fight for racial justice and equity, we must acknowledge the ills of our past while intentionally working to create a society that condemns racism and bigotry. The NAACP fully supports this resolution and the commitment put forth by Congresswoman Jackson Lee and Senator Warren to fight white supremacy."
"Over 100 hundred years ago, this June, we will recognize another domestic terrorist attack. The irony is from 1921 to 2021; nothing has changed. When you have privilege, equality feels like oppression. Black people created their own spaces to build wealth in a segregated system after slavery, targeted and killed as a result. This resolution recognizes this violent act on innocent Americans in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, while acknowledging acts of state-sanctioned violence that target Black people now. National Action Network stands in remembrance of our people killed, left homeless, and penniless during the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. We also support the efforts of groups who work daily to support Black residents in Tulsa today." - Ebonie Riley, Washington, DC Bureau Chief, National Action Network
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