Saturday, June 20, 2020

'60 Minutes' and Vox on the Tulsa Massacre 99 years later

As I write this, President Trump's campaign is preparing a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was originally scheduled for Juneteenth but was postponed until today.* The combination of the locale and date made for a callous statement in the midst of nation-wide protests against police militarization and brutality. To explain why, I turn to "60 Minutes," which uploaded From the archives: Tulsa burning, a 21-year-old segment, on Flag Day.

In 1999, 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon reported on the 1921 Greenwood massacre, one of the country's worst incident of racial violence.
As Bob Simon observed in his introduction to the report, this was the first time many Americans had ever heard of the massacre. It wouldn't be the last. Twenty years later, Vox uploaded The massacre of Tulsa's "Black Wall Street."

White mobs destroyed "Black Wall Street" in 1921. But where are the victims' bodies?
Nearly 100 years ago, a white mob destroyed an American neighborhood called “Black Wall Street,” murdering an estimated 300 people in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That incident — known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre — has been largely left out of US history books. Today, a century later, the city still has a lot of questions. For one, where are the bodies of the victims? As the city's mayor re-opens the search for mass graves, we take a look at what happened back in 1921…and why finding these graves still matters to the people of Tulsa.
Notice how little things have changed during the intevening 20 years. May the next 20 years bring more progress.

*The story of the rally is still developing, as CNN reported an hour ago that Six Trump campaign staffers working on Tulsa rally test positive for coronavirus. Americans may be getting tired of the pandemic, but the pandemic isn't getting tired of us.

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