By Founder & Executive Editor Nehemiah D. Frank
When African-American leaders from North Tulsa echo white supremacy, it hurts the entire black community as a whole.
Echoing white supremacy can be defined as reinforcing racist stigma or perpetuating racial falsehoods for the purpose of personal gain or out of plain ignorance. Unfortunately, this ignorance or unrighteous act is harmful for the community and the race. And the predicable, unpredictable-unforeseen damages to come will have a long-lasting impact into the future on Tulsa’s African-American community and other historic African-American towns across the nation.
In the case of the 1921 Greenwood Massacre, referring to the horrific event or pogrom or black holocaust to a riot echos the racist plans white insurance companies used as the excuse to not pay claims filed by African-American citizens living to the north of the San Francisco Railroad tracks.
If African Americans could go back in time to change the narrative of Whites referring to it as a riot and blacks being led to call it a riot, I’m pretty sure they would call it a massacre so they could have received insurance claims. However, we know the racial climate of the ‘20s in America. White business would have not paid for African American citizens to rebuild their homes for two reasons.
1. Their business would have been criticized for helping black citizens in Greenwood
2. They would have found some other excuse to not pay the claims filed by African-American victims.
Just think about it, Black citizens who did what they were supposed to do but sadly became the victims of institutional racism in the city of Tulsa.
What’s worst, the lie of the massacre of 400 people is perpetuated as being a riot through the decades.
Interestingly, so African-American leaders don’t mind referring to the event as a riot because they say it was historical called a riot, but fail to forget the purpose white insurance companies called it a riot.
How does the dictionary define a riot:
RIOT as a noun
RIOT as a verb
Some of our white so-called leaders refer to the event as a riot and force our African-American politicians and community leaders to refer to the massacre as a riot or riot-massacre. This is social conditioning at its finest for the rest of to watch how white supremacy works.
If community members continue to refer to it as a massacre why would you call it other? Lets look in the dictionary. Or is the dictionary only relevant when non-black people use it.
MASSACRE as a noun
MASSACRE in the British Dictionary
Do not tell students or citizens to decide if it’s a riot or a massacre when the dictionary clearly has a definition of what to call it.
Furthermore, lets Google images of a massacre and riot and see what it comes up with.
150 People Murdered burned, shot, or hung among other things. What happened in Rosewood was referred to a massacre.
Over 400 souls lost. It is difficult to determine the exact number because many African Americans who migrated from the South were born without record because Whites did not give blacks birth certificates. Imagine dying without a trace you even exist. Some community elders say thousands died in Greenwood.
Lets look further at google images of riot verses massacre.
Greenwood Massacre of 1921
There may have been a riot in Tulsa, but there was a massacre in Greenwood.
Referring to the event as a riot is a form of social conditioning. You are telling the children that what happened in Greenwood was a disturbance and not a deliberate attack on a community. And when adults tell students that they get to decide if it was a massacre or riot that is also harmful? We should not perpetuate FAKE NEWS on to our children. White supremacy has used social conditioning especially through classrooms as a means to oppress marginalized people through the centuries. It must end with us!
Nehemiah D. Frank is the Founder & Editor in Chief of the Black Wall St. Times. Frank is also the Co-Executive Producer of the “Dominic Durant Sports Show.” Frank graduated from Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL in General Studies, and earned a 2nd degree in Political Science from Oklahoma State University. He is highly involved in community activism, a middle school teacher at Sankofa School of the Performing Arts, a blogger for Education Post, and dedicates most of his time to empowering and uplifting his community. Frank is a 2017 Terence Crutcher Foundation Honoree and has been featured on NBC, Blavity, and Tulsa People.