Teens and Race, Part II

1921 Tulsa Race Riot

My Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma

This was my city of birth, in a state whose name translates to “Land of the Red Man” in a native American language. I spent my first 14 years there and can’t recall ever meeting a black (or, for that matter, an Asian or Hispanic one) person.  I did occasionally see some of them from a distance and the “n-word” was widely heard.

Oklahoma became a state in 1907 and a couple of years later oil was discovered and Tulsa became a boom town.  I can recall seeing “Tulsa, Oil Capitol of the World” signs in my childhood, back in the 1950’s, an idea that seems absurd today.  A positive side effect of this boom was that many new oil field workers were needed and hundreds of black workers filled the void. They lived in a section of Tulsa known as Greenwood and it soon became known as “The Black Wall Street”-the most prosperous black district in the nation (see link at the top).

However, by 1921 oil prices had fallen, the entire nation had been through a severe post-war recession (actually a far more serious one than that of 2007-2009 that the media exaggerates so heavily) and the hard times lead to increasing tension between poor whites and the blacks of Greenwood.  I never heard of the “race riots of 1921” while I lived in Tulsa and the media has consistently ignored it over the last century.

As one can see in the link, it took till the 1990’s for the local government to research the history of the event and to learn that approximately 300 people died and that probably 200 or more of them were black (last month’s Orlando massacre thus was NOT, as the media incessantly insisted, the biggest American mass shooting ever). In fact, Wikipedia refers to the 1921 riots as a “pogrom”, a term usually associated with Jews in Medieval Europe.

My son has been able to become friendly with both African Americans and Hispanics thanks to my girlfriends of the past dozen years but his school in small town NE California is, as was said in MY childhood, “lily-white”, with only a couple of Hispanics and Indian-Americans thrown in.  Therefore, he really needs to read this so he can, at the very least, refine his media BS detector.


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