A guy like Rupert Murdoch doesn’t even have to try. You just put it out there under the banner of the newspaper you own, the one with the fourth largest circulation of any US newspaper (as of 2019, anyway) et, voila, millions influenced! Tulsa “massacre” a hundred years ago? BULLSHIT. Biden’s a liar like the rest of them, trying to divide us with hate.
This one you have to see to believe, the clip is less than two minutes long. It is not remarkable because the claims of the Post are incendiary, or because of clever editing of the president’s remarks or the heavy laying on of editorial spin. It is amazing because they don’t even bother, the title does all the work — read the headline and you’ve digested the story. Case closed, fucking Biden’s a divisive liar.
What is divisive, according to Murdoch, is presumably the president’s assertion that politicians in most states are trying to restrict the right to vote. He’s presumably lying when he falsely claims that voting is an essential right of democracy. Maybe Biden was lying when he called the orgy of racially motivated mass-murder in Tulsa a “massacre”, rather than the more popular, race-neutral “riot” usually applied to uprisings (real or imagined) of Black people.
Biden’s divisive and false Tulsa speech
I know it gets tedious, me constantly trying to bring facts and reason into a conversation where hot-blooded patriots are ready to kill as many fellow citizens as it takes to avoid their worst nightmares, where a single lie does the work of all of your so-called libraries, all your maddening so-called facts. A violent mob doesn’t need the truth, they need the fuse lit.
In Tulsa, one hundred years ago, a false accusation against 19 year-old Black man Dick Rowland lit the fuse. Rowland’s crime? He’d gone to use the only colored bathroom in segregated downtown Tulsa, and in the elevator, he supposedly made a seventeen year-old white girl, Sarah Page, who was operating the elevator, shriek.
What happened next remains murky, according to historians and reports about one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. Rowland may have accidentally stepped on Page’s foot, prompting her to shriek. Or tripped and bumped into her.
When the elevator doors reopened, Dick Rowland ran, and a clerk in Renberg’s called police.
Rowland was arrested and accused of assaulting a White girl. Though the charges were eventually dropped and Page later wrote a letter exonerating him, the accusation was enough to infuriate White Tulsa.
Three hours after the Tulsa Tribune hit the street with the headline “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl in Elevator,” hundreds of White men gathered at the Tulsa courthouse, where Rowland was being held.
Black World War I veterans who wanted to protect Rowland from being lynched rushed to the courthouse to defend him. A shot was fired and “all hell broke loose,” a massacre survivor recalled later.
“As the whites moved north, they set fire to practically every building in the African American community, including a dozen churches, five hotels, 31 restaurants, four drug stores, eight doctor’s offices, more than two dozen grocery stores, and the Black public library,” according to a 2001 report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. “By the time the violence ended, the city had been placed under martial law, thousands of Tulsans were being held under armed guard, and the state’s second-largest African American community had been burned to the ground.”source
All hell broke loose, indeed.
The white lynch mob went on an eighteen-hour rampage, a pogrom, during which, with the assistance of law enforcement, they murdered a few hundred blacks while burning down a 35 block black neighborhood in Tulsa. The mob employed airplanes to drop incendiary devices on buildings and American citizens. Whites were deputized to join the free-for-all arrest and murder of hundreds of Black citizens, people not even accused of any crime, outside of being “n-words” with no rights a white mob was bound to respect. Virtually every home in Greenwood was destroyed, along with dozens of prosperous black-owned businesses. Thousands were left homeless, the area, reduced to smoldering rubble, looked like a city ravaged by American fire bombs in World War Two. The thousands of Tulsans detained under armed guard after the massacre were all, coincidentally, Black. The brutality of the attack is sickening to read about. The exact number of dead is impossible to reckon, bodies were dumped in the river, the sites of mass graves are still being searched for, a hundred years later. No member of the murderous mob was ever arrested, tried or convicted of anything .
Dick Rowland, the intended victim of the original lynch mob, was not among the murdered Blacks.
While smoke still rose from the ashes of Greenwood, Tulsa’s sheriff, Willard McCullough, and his deputy, Barney Cleaver, one of the first Black lawmen in Oklahoma, hustled Dick Rowland out of town.source
Though witnesses and memory can be unreliable, particularly years after the fact, we have this:
Ellouise Cochrane-Price, the daughter of massacre survivor Clarence Rowland and a cousin of Dick Rowland, claims Dick and Sarah not only knew each other before he stepped on the elevator but were in love and were planning to defy Oklahoma’s ban on interracial marriage.
“They were planning on getting married,” she told an audience at the Oklahoma Black Caucus gala last month. “They had spent many Sundays over my grandma’s house, at family dinners.”
When the White mob gathered outside the Tulsa courthouse, she said, “the mayor, the sheriff and the marshal were aware that Dick had not attacked Sarah. There had been no attempted rape of any kind. However, that information was not given up or not received by the mob that was gathered to hang Dick Rowland.”
In September 1921, the charges against Dick Rowland were dropped, according to records.
Charles Franklin Barrett, the Oklahoma National Guard adjutant general whose troops were called into Tulsa during the rampage, concluded the massacre was caused by “an impudent Negro, a hysterical girl and a yellow journal.”
Now as Rupert Murdoch and his fellow yellow journalists and right-wing entertainers claim — we have that deranged, violent demagogue Biden, digging up this ancient filth, dividing and lying to this great nation, and smearing our good name with feces and calling our finest white citizens the descendants of murderous racists. How are we supposed to heal when insane, doddering, “woke”, “politically correct” old men like that are divisively and lyingly picking at long closed scabs? The past is called the past because it’s in the fucking past. Jesus… what don’t you pathetic history-citing eggheads not understand about how the world actually works?
Outside of the corrupt Tulsa chief of police, who lost his job for “negligence” in not stopping the massacre, often called the “riot”:
[John A.] Gustafson was found to have a long history of fraud pre-dating his membership of the Tulsa Police Department. His previous partner in his detective agency, Phil Kirk, had been convicted of blackmail. Gustafson’s fake detective agency ran up high billings on the police account. Investigators noted that many blackmail letters had been sent to members of the community from the agency. One particularly disturbing case involved the frequent rape, by her father, of an 11-year-old girl who had since become pregnant. Instead of prosecuting, they sent a “Blackhand letter.” On July 30, 1921, out of five counts of an indictment, Gustafson was found guilty of two counts: negligence for failing to stop the riot (which resulted in dismissal from police force), and conspiracy for freeing automobile thieves and collecting rewards (which resulted in a jail sentence).source