Listen to this article here
WASHINGTON D.C.,—The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, welcomed a ruling by Tulsa County District Court Judge Caroline Wall that a lawsuit seeking reparations for survivors and descendants of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre may go forward.
Judge Wall ruled against the City of Tulsa’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed under the state’s public nuisance law.
It means, For the first time in 101 years, attorneys representing historic Greenwood District, home to the original Black Wall Street, will force the City of Tulsa and other entities to take the stand and defend their role in the destruction of businesses, homes, and over 300 Black men, women and children of the prosperous Greenwood community in 1921.
“We welcome the decision to allow this important case to move forward and hope it will lead to some sense of justice for the survivors and for the descendants of those killed and injured in the massacre,” CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper said in a press release.
He said CAIR and the American Muslim community stand in solidarity with all those challenging antisemitism, anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and white supremacy.
Historic Tulsa Massacre lawsuit moves to historic trial
The last three known living survivors of the Massacre: “mother” Viola Ford Fletcher, who turns 108 on May 10, her little brother “Uncle Redd” Hughes Van Ellis, 101, and “mother” Lessie Benningfield Randle, 107, sat in the front row of the packed courtroom on Monday, May 3, as the historic ruling came down.
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
The organization’s support for the lawsuit comes as the stakes remain high.
With no support for reparations from city, county or state elected officials, the judicial system appears to be the only viable route towards reparations and restitution for the Greenwood community.
“We got a lot of work to do to prove. And we can prove it, we will prove it. But I appreciate her giving us the opportunity to show that we had the necessary information to move past a motion to dismiss,” Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said on Monday.
Follow The Black Wall Street Times for updates on the Greenwood public nuisance lawsuit.