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Teaching the Tulsa Race Riot

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This weekend was the anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, one of the most horrifying episodes of organized violence against African-Americans after emancipation.

Linda Christensen, a high school teacher in Portland, has some excellent thoughts on the importance of this event and the potentials of teaching it, especially to her group of mostly African-American students.

Like pearls on a string, we can finger the beads of violent and “legal” expulsions of people of color from their land in the nation: The Cherokee Removal and multiple wars against indigenous people, the 1846-48 U.S. war against Mexico, the Dawes Act, government-sanctioned attacks on Chinese throughout the West, the “race riots” that swept the country starting in 1919, Japanese American internment, and the later use of eminent domain for “urban removal.” The list is long.

This year, Tulsa was one of the instances we studied to probe the legacy of racism and wealth inequality. To stimulate students’ interest in resurrecting this silenced history, I created a mystery about the night of the invasion of Greenwood. I wrote roles for students based on the work of scholars like John Hope Franklin and Scott Ellsworth that gave them each a slice of what happened the night of the “Tulsa Race Riot.” There’s a jumble of events they learn: the arrest of Dick Rowland, a young African American shoe shiner, who allegedly raped Sarah Page, a white elevator operator (later, students learn that authorities dropped all charges); the newspaper article that incited whites and blacks to gather at the courthouse; the assembly of armed black WWI veterans to stop any lynching attempt—26 black men had been lynched in Oklahoma in the previous two decades; the deputizing and arming of whites, many of them KKK members; the internment of blacks; the death of more than 300 African American men, women, and children; the burning and looting of homes and businesses.

Because not all white Tulsans shared the racial views of the white rioters, I included roles of a few whites and a recent immigrant from Mexico who provided refuge in the midst of death and chaos. I wanted students to understand that even in moments of violence, people stood up and reached across race and class borders to help.

That’s some good teaching there. But this is even more important:

Sarah feared that bringing up the past would open old wounds and reignite the racism that initiated the riots. Vince and others disagreed: “This is not just the past. Racial inequality is still a problem. Forgetting about what happened and burying it without dealing with it is why we still have problems today.”

And this was exactly what we wanted kids to see: The past is not dead. We didn’t want students to get lost in the history of Tulsa, though it needs to be remembered; we wanted them to recognize the historical patterns of stolen wealth in black, brown, and poor communities. We wanted them to connect the current economic struggles of people of color by staying alert to these dynamics from the past. We wanted them to see that in many ways that historical black communities like Tulsa are still burning, still being looted.

For most of you, I don’t need to make the case why history is important, but I do get not infrequent comments from random people here on the irrelevancy of studying the past. The work I do on the history of organized labor and environmental history has important implications of understanding these issues in the present; in fact, I’d argue that an argument about what to do going into the future about the present without a grounding in the past is an argument likely to fail. Similarly, not understanding the history of discrimination and violence toward people of color in our nation founded on white supremacy allows people to blame current inequality on people’s laziness, bad morals, or racial characteristics.

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  • Sheeze, Loomis, don’t you know that teaching this stuff just fans the fires of racial resentment and grievance?

    This is liable to make those kids even more sullen and resistant to properly constituted authority than they were before!

    In fact, this is pretty darn close to SEDITION!

    • (Just like that study that let slip that 40% of households have female breadwinners. Pretty soon we’ll be having pretty blonde women leaving their babies at home, getting jobs where they’re allowed to scream at men on the TV!!!)

    • Hogan

      Anyway, all this just proves that blacks have never been able to keep their neighborhoods looking nice.

      • Mean Mister Mustard

        After the Watts riots (’65) anchor stores refused to rebuild and the neighborhoods decline was further abetted by a liquor-store on every corner and plenty of paycheck usury businesses. Any produce needed could be found in an expired can.

        • DrDick

          Demonstrating once again your near total ignorance of pretty much everything. Why don’t you stick with Stormfront, where your profound brain damage and lack of any measurable cognitive skills will not stand out from the crowd of your fellow cretins.

        • DrDick

          I would like to say that this, as well as the ongoing legacy of racism in the state up through the 80s is a major reason I became interested in race and ethicity.

          • DrDick

            OK, for some reason, this comment is completely out of place. It should be an independent comment and not a response to anyone except the post itself.

            • Mean Mister Mustard

              OK, for some reason, this comment is completely out of place.

              No doubt you were confused about up/down in the same manner as Right/Left. Wasn’t Dr. Dick married to the Red Queen?

              • DrDick

                No, that is your confusion. Projection is always conservatism’s strongest trait.

              • SV

                WHUT? And, is this anything like the confusion regarding how avatars work?

        • witless chum

          Are you Loomis’ sock puppet?

          Similarly, not understanding the history of discrimination and violence toward people of color in our nation founded on white supremacy allows people to blame current inequality on people’s laziness, bad morals, or racial characteristics.

          Because he posts things and then some dingleberry proves him right in the comments. It’s too perfect, I tells you!

          • Mean Mister Mustard

            It’s synchronicity, for sure,

            It’s funny how that top/down thinking works.

  • I read about this, years ago.

    And it seems that, after the hatred, fear, and fury, had finally spent itself, the white people couldn’t even look one another in the eye, let alone any black survivors.

    And, yeah, racism is still alive, and well, and living in all 50 states, and US territories.

    There was a Cheerios commercial that came out recently, which had an inter-racial couple and their child, and the racists went so ape-sh*t, that the company had to shut-down comments on its website.
    http://crooksandliars.com/tom-sullivan/it-s-what-s-your-heart-matters

    So, yeah, if anyone’s wondering if racism is still around, just ask the Cheerios people.

    Now, imagine the insanity, if there was a commercial with a black man popping his little blue pill in the bathtub next to his white wife, as the moon rose, and a log went over the waterfall.

    Why, that might even make Mr. and Mrs. Thomas blush, at the level of racism their chums exhibit.

  • JoyfulA

    Years ago, I had a friend at work whose husband was transferred to Oklahoma, and she refused to move. “It’s the worst place in the country for a black person to be,” she said, and wouldn’t say more. A long time later, I read about Tulsa, and I knew what she meant.

  • Caroline Abbott

    It was a horrible event, and it merits both deeper study and broader discussion. Hurray for Linda Christensen — I hope that other teachers find ways to incorporate this into their courses.

    This year Tulsa marked the riot weekend commemoration with its fourth annual John Hope Franklin Symposium on race and inequality. The Symposium and the John Hope Frankin Center need more attention, but as they mature the deeper issues contingent upon inequality become more central to the event.

    Naturally, we have detractors (a population which feels empowered by anonymous newspaper comment threads), but the number of people outside the usual suspects who are paying attention seems to be growing.

    • Hogan

      Best of luck. I advise against reading online newspaper comment threads; other than state legislators, those commenters tend to be the worst people in the world. Either that or people in the world at their worst.

  • I would say that, as a white person, knowing about the Tulsa Pogrom is probably the single most important thing I can know about the African American experience in this country. As important, or more important, than the Tuskegee Experiment or even regular voter supression. Its somehow even more hidden and even more significant for understanding what you might call the invisible history of settlement and unsettlement in this country. A friend of mine taught a course (briefly!) in Israel where she made her students go through old phone books and city maps for before Israel existed as a state. It made them understand, viscerally, what they had known intellectually: there were entire cities and streets and communities of Palestinians who were displaced, house by house. Ditto for the US. The places where Black people aren’t, are not the same as places where black people weren’t–from towns to houses to jobs there was a forcible emptying out, an act of violence, that produces what we see today.

    • DrDick

      Having grown up in Oklahoma, just 40 miles north of Tulsa, I never heard about this until I was in graduate school (from some history grad students and professors I knew). While not as bad as in the 20s, or even the 60s and 70s when I came of age, Oklahoma still has a very long way to go when it comes to race relations.

    • witless chum

      Just understanding the post Civil War history, where black people were told they were free, got to act like it some and then were crushed, was a huge lightbulb for me. I first had that laid out for me in Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen, which I read at 17 or so. My high school’s history department was pretty much Loewen’s worst nightmare and I was nerdily interested in history, but mostly that involving wars, the Old West and Native Americans. So, the concept that things had gotten a lot worse from the end of federal enforcement of democracy in the South to around the 1930s sorta blew my mind, as I’d previously unconsciously bought into the idea that history always involved things getting more enlightened, or something.

  • merl

    When I lived in Oklahoma in the ’70s there were a few black townships fairly close to where I lived, does anyone know if they still exist? I think it was Pretty Boy Floyd who tried to rob a bank in one and barely escaped with his life.
    I actually lived in a sunset town at the time.

    • DrDick

      Boley(founded by followers of Marcus Garvey) still exists, but appears to have integrated now (in college, I knew a guy from Boley who had never seen a white man until he was in high school and the football team played against white schools). Langston is still overwhelmingly black. I also knew a guy from Langston in college, which is home to Langston University (then college), the only historically black college in Oklahoma

  • Mark Jamison

    The past irrelevant? Every time I read a RW revisionist attack on the New Deal or one of those dissembling attempts to embrace the Republican Party as the unbroken thread leading back to Lincoln standing in the way of those ugly Dixiecrats I am more sure than ever that the study of history is essential if we are to have any sort of meaningful social progress. A lackadaisical approach to the teaching of history is a surefire way to fall prey blind managed populism.
    And if understanding the past as a means of understanding the present is not reason enough for solid teaching in history then I would suggest that history along with other disciplines like philosophy is where students learn to write well, learning to digest, analyze, and form cogent arguments and discourse.
    The Tulsa incident is one of many that gives context and sense to our current understanding of race in this country.

  • Are people really saying the past is irrelevant? That is, people you would take seriously, not pancake addicts.

    • Around here it isn’t too bad–the occasional random commenter who probably hates what I write anyway. In the larger society of course, it’s a bigger deal. including in my own university administration. Soon after I arrived here, I was at a sustainability workshop and a high-ranking administrator was shocked that a historian would be there since what did a historian have to say about the present.

      • DrDick

        I hear this kind of thing fairly commonly, given that I teach rave & ethnicity and Native American classes. My sense is that large swathes of white America just want to sweep all of this under the rug and not have their white privilege challenged.

        • DrDick

          That should be “race and ethnicity”. My kingdom for and edit button!

          • Rave and ethnicity really sounds fun though. Party on, dude.

            • sharculese

              Considering the propensity of wealthy assholes to pick completely inappropriate themes for their parties, ‘rave and ethnicity’ could very well be a fertile field of study.

            • Yes, too bad the course name is permanently entered here as the History of Race and Ethnicity. Otherwise I could teach Race, Rave, Ethnicity, and Hiplife as a graduate class. ;-)

        • JkL

          This is certainly true for a large portion of whites. I also think there is a segment of Asians and Hispanics who are agnostic about the relevancy of US History for different reasons.

      • A spectre is haunting this thread: the spectre of a Faulkner quote.

        “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.”

        • Warren Terra

          Yeah, that’s what I thought of the moment I read Erik’s bit about people complaining that he was dwelling on the bygone, irrelevant past.

        • When people take extremist or extremely stupid view points, I have to think about how much fun it would be if they were forced to live the theory. The past is irrelevant? All right, your life now begins 5 years ago. Anything you done, acquired, been, prior to that date doesn’t count.

          Yes it does sound like some sort of horrible novel.

          Call your family? What family?

    • P.S. 1st violence in 1st paragraph sb violent.

    • Sly

      You get this a lot from people who treat history as either trivia or an anchor. The first treat it as something to be used in casual conversation to show how intelligent you are but has no other real purpose. The second are under the misapprehension that talking about the past will cost them something, often literally. Incidentally, the flip-side of that coin are the people who put to much faith in the predictive value of history; who do not understand what teleological thinking is and why it can very easily lead a person down a mistaken path. In other words, those who do not accurately quote George Santayana are doomed to take what he said out of context.

      The real utility of historical scholarship is that it tells you how you got to where you are, and the high value of that kind of knowledge may seem self-evident but it very often isn’t.

      • Henry Stephen Ford-Daedalus

        History is a double bunk from which I am trying to climb down.

  • Mike Schilling

    Dennis Lehane’s This Given Day gives a portrait of pre-riot Tulsa, which was probably the best place in the country for blacks to live. It ends with the unstated irony that the main black character’s happy ending is to move there to be with his wife and child. In 1919.

    • Bruce Vail

      I wish Lehane was a better writer, because the setting for ‘This Given Day’ is so incredibly rich with possibilities. He deserves a lot of credit, though, for taking on the project. Did Hollywood ever pick up the story for film/tevee?

      • Mike Schilling

        Not that I know of. (I know what you mean. The opening scene where the black factory workers beat the white World Series team is just idiotic.)

        There’s a sequel out, but I haven’t read it.

        • wjts

          According to this article, Warner Brothers bought the rights to The Given Day but there apparently aren’t any solid plans to do anything with it.

          And I think you guys might be giving Lehane short shrift as a writer. I thought The Given Day was pretty good, and I like his Kenzie and Gennaro novels quite a bit as well (to say nothing of his scripts for The Wire).

          • Mike Schilling

            Most of the K/G novels are fun because everything’s turned up to 11. (Even Mystic River has some of that. Jimmy wasn’t just an ex-burglar, he had been a Mozart-level prodigy of burglary.) Moonlight Mile is awful, though, just incoherent.

            • wjts

              Moonlight Mile was pretty bad. I didn’t like Shutter Island very much, either.

              • Darkness take my hand was so scary I still have nightmares about it.

                • Mike Schilling

                  That one was the emotional linchpin of the whole series. You knew Patrick and Angie would eventually wind up together, because they couldn’t possibly explain what they’d been through to anyone else.

                • wjts

                  I’m rereading that one right now. Probably his strongest book.

              • Mike Schilling

                Me either. I think our tastes are not that far apart.

                • wjts

                  I think you’re right.

  • John Emerson

    I’ve read most of the books about this riot. One thing that comes out is that there was about 20-30 years of total silence. Black parents didn’t tell their kids what happened. A junior college teacher (an outsider, natch) was told not to discuss it in class. Even in the early 70s, a retired military man received death threats when he published an article about it.

    Tate Brady, by consensus the instigator and leader, had earlier been a member of the Democratic National Committee. His name is honored in several places in tulsa. The newspaper editor who fanned the flames, Richard Lloyd Jones, was a Republican from Wisconsin, an admirer of Lincoln (though a KKK supporter), and an estranged former supporter of Robert LaFollette Sr. That’s bipartisanship for you.

    • DrDick

      It was not mentioned in high school history classes when I was in school there in the 60s or in college history classes in the early 70s when I went to a state school.

      • Anonymous

        Oh noes!!!

      • delurking

        I never heard about it (at all) until the movie Rosewood came out, which prompted me to do research into race riots in general. Never had it mentioned in any history classes through the graduate level, including Southern history classes.

        • ChrisTS

          Ah, thanks for reminding me of the title of that film. It was also my introduction to the story; when I looked into it, I was astonished to find out how much worse the truth was than the film portrayal.

      • thelogos

        Nor in my high school, until my senior year. I graduated in 1993 from Tulsa.

  • Anonymous

    I believe there was a short paragraph in “Harlow’s Oklahoma History,” the standard Oklahoma history book for state schools (typically 9th graders) for decades, from at least the 50s to 80s. Mixed in with every other one-paragraph topic. Or easily passed over by any teacher. Wasn’t til my 30s that the import became known. Sadly, the state of Will Rogers and Woodie Guthrie shares this as well—and this schizophrenic (or more precisely MPD) personality.

  • wjts

    Gimme your lunch money. I wanna buy an abortion, gay sex, and some drugs.

  • Jordan

    Wow. I … had never heard of this before.

  • Boots Day

    “Invasion” is a really good word for a teacher to use in relation to this incident. “Terrorism” would be another good word. “Riot” isn’t strong enough for what became basically a civil war.

    • thelogos

      I described it more like a genocide, but someone above calls it a pogram, which seems more fitting.

  • Mean Mister Mustard
    • ChrisTS

      That is a very strange story. But, what does it have to do with Tulsa?

      • Mean Mister Mustard

        Absolutely nothing. Sorry if I misled you.

        • DrDick

          No you are not. Misleading and muddying the waters is exactly what you intend to do.

          • I figure he/she was trying to imply that the whole thing was a put-up job.

            • DrDick

              I most heartily encourage him to publicly proclaim that in Greenwood today (still a black neighborhood).

            • Mean Mister Mustard

              What’s all the mystery? The story is there for you to read, but gawd forbid;

              Oh, the toppppiiiiicccccc, oh the humanity. Going off topic is like posting the Papal Bull. Traditionalist’s horror….

              • DrDick

                Coming from a brain dead conservative troll, this is rather rich.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Anyone who would think putting crepe-paper on a pile of shit to make it look marketable is as stupid as the G-8, and that it would be a conservative pointing out this sham, is just well, a shamster.

                • sharculese

                  Yeah, I mean, you would have to be the kind of idiot who invests emotionally in whether someone real life gender matches their online avatar to fall for that shit, or something.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Doubling-down on the OCD, I see.

                  It must really bother you that someone actually called you out from underneath that disguise you wear with apparent pride.

                  Sock-puppet gotta sock-puppet.

                • Malaclypse

                  Sock-puppet gotta sock-puppet.

                  Someday our troll is gonna learn what a sock puppet actually is.

                • sharculese

                  Actually have OCD irl but I’m not sure what my need to repeatedly check the front door to make sure it’s locked before I can go to sleep has to with… anything.

                  Or how you flipping the fuck out about something that I freely admitted because seriously, it’s trivial and nobody cares except you counts as getting ‘called out’ but w/e, as we have established, you are super crappy at words so it’s not like I’m trying to figure out your weirdgross logic.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Actually have OCD irl but I’m not sure what my need to repeatedly check the front door to make sure it’s locked before I can go to sleep has to with… anything.

                  Anything, like not letting go? The day after that exchange you dropped the Shark-eyz avatar, and it must have been your mistake because you promptly reinstated after I commented on it.

                  I don’t know if it’s some perverse pride, or OCD that makes you return to the vomit. It don’t matter why you lie fmp.

                • Malaclypse

                  The day after that exchange you dropped the Shark-eyz avatar, and it must have been your mistake because you promptly reinstated after I commented on it.

                  This, one sentence before accusing someone else of OCD, is awesome, and a true use of geometric logic. Well played, troll, well played indeed.

                • sharculese

                  Anything, like not letting go? The day after that exchange you dropped the Shark-eyz avatar, and it must have been your mistake because you promptly reinstated after I commented on it.

                  Yeah, that didn’t happen. What can I say dude, you got tricked by a disqus error and decided it was some sort of victory. That is like a new low for sad and desperate.

                  I don’t know if it’s some perverse pride, or OCD that makes you return to the vomit. It don’t matter why you lie fmp.

                  Um, duh, it’s perverse pride. Your meltdown was hilarious and you’re not going to be allowed to forget it. But thanks for letting us know about your dumb, backwards ideas about OCD.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  You have a few chapters missing from your little book Malaprop.

                • sharculese

                  Gravatar, not disqus, woops.

                • sharculese

                  You have a few chapters missing from your little book Malaprop.

                  Wasn’t there another troll who was really shitty at pejoratives but obsessively used the same ones over and over? Or is that like half of trolls?

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Um, duh, it’s perverse pride. Your meltdown was hilarious and you’re not going to be allowed to forget it.

                  *chuckle* I have no intention of forgetting, but I don’t have to allude to it on every comment, so I wonder who is the prisoner, here.

                • sharculese

                  Well, you’re tantrum was captivating, but by most measures I’d say it’s the dude who keeps making passive-aggressive comments on a blog he loudly proclaims not to appreciate.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Yeah, that didn’t happen. What can I say dude, you got tricked by a disqus error and decided it was some sort of victory.

                  Yeah. My mistake. I hoped you had a conscience. Too bad for me.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Ok. The grammar posse is here with the rope.

                • sharculese

                  Yeah, every time some diaperbaby throws a hissy fit over something trivial and superficial it just tugs at the ol’ heartstrings. Especially the part where compared finding out someone you’ve never met isn’t the gender you thought they were to drunk driving. That wasn’t hilariously overwrought and I totally didn’t bookmark it to go back and gawk at later.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Yeah, every time some diaperbaby throws a hissy fit over something trivial and superficial……..

                  See. This is where the OCD comes in. The same collection of idioms,(thank the gods it’s not the same words everytime) have been written like, twelve times. I’m glad you recognize the problem. Now if you could just transfer that energy to say, Claymation.….

                • Malaclypse

                  I totally didn’t bookmark it to go back and gawk at later.

                  We used to have a troll soullite. Then he said this, and I bookmarked it. We don’t have that troll any more.

                  But GENDERFRAUDGATE is funnier.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Too funny, Malaprop. I bet you find Claymation to be gut-busting humor.

                • Malaclypse

                  I pity the troll too stupid to get Wallace and Grommit.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  I pity..

                  Sociopaths can only mimic human emotion, so I’m afraid I have to use that word…….

                  Fraud.

                • Malaclypse

                  Sociopaths

                  Am I a GENDERFRAUD as well? As they say, girls will be boys and boys will be girls;
                  it’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world, except for cartoon avatars.

                  But no matter how much you seem to be interested, I’m never gonna fuck you. It seems we need to clear that up.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Am I a GENDERFRAUD as well?

                  I dunno. Are you? When someone starts talking about a sexual relationship on the internet, I get worried. I don’t like surprises.

              • Hogan

                Posting the papal what now?

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Papal who? Poppy Francis?

                • Hogan

                  So you’re just talking baby talk? That’s a relief. I thought you were actually trying to make sense, and it was horrifying in a Red Wedding, can’t-look-away kind of way.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  You mean people here like to converse? I just thought it was a snarkofest, with each little widget clambering for a higher perch in the pecking order.

                  Maybe you should stop telegraphing your punches.

                • Malaclypse

                  I just thought it was a snarkofest

                  Well, mainly it is about mocking your concerns about GENDERFRAUD-GATE.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  Well, mainly it is about mocking your concerns about GENDERFRAUD-GATE.

                  I have concerns about pathological prevaricators. Snark is your strong suit, but we’re not playing Old Maid, so your skillset has a ways to go.

                • Hogan

                  We have trouble with people posting their Crying Game freakouts in public, but we struggle on somehow.

                • Mean Mister Mustard

                  We have trouble with people posting their Crying Game freakouts in public, but we struggle on somehow.

                  You have lots of troubles, but it seems recognition is not one of them.

                • Anon for This

                  You have lots of troubles, but it seems recognition is not one of them.

                  See, that’s impressive, the way at first glance that looks like it actually is a sentence on some topic, but then you look closer, and it isn’t.

                  Nicely spelled, though.

          • sharculese

            Would you say he’s some sort of fraud?

  • Davis X. Machina

    In 2011, the Greenwood Cultural Center lost 100% of its funding from the State of Oklahoma. As a result, the center may be forced to close its doors. A fundraising campaign is now underway to try to raise private funds to keep the educational and cultural facility open.

    • priorities

      The GCC loses its funding by the Jeff Davis home/library received
      $14M in FEMA money.

      • MAJeff

        Items like that remind me of when a friend, after living in Atlanta for a year (following a lifetime in Minnesota and Wisconsin), said to me, “Sherman didn’t burn enough.”

  • Tyro

    The ongoing them I seem to observe about these incidents is that whites target middle class blacks. It is the act of blacks owning property and business that seems to be the consistent target of white hatred, despite their claims that they simply wish blacks would adopt middle class norms. But when they so and succeed on those terms, the whites destroy it.

  • Anonymous

    Evil flourishes where good people do nothing. Welcome to Tulsa. Welcome to Oklahoma, the reddest of red states…since 1921, and proud of it and would rather go to hell than change.

  • A Silberman

    I first heard about it when reading an oral history interview of my great-grandfather. He was a Russian Jew who immigrated to the US in 1910 (by deserting from first the Russian Army, and then the Russian Merchant Marine), and he owned a cobbler shop in Tulsa. During the riot, he sheltered a young man from the mob in the back room of his shop.

    Interestingly enough, governor Jack Walton was impeached because he unconstitutionally declared martial law in parts of Oklahoma to try to stomp out the Klan.

  • theresaphan

    Do they teach black children anything positive these days, like the life of George Washington Carver?

    • witless chum

      Teaching kids of any color happy lies instead of history will only make them shitty when they eventually figure out the truth. But judging by my anecdata, pretty much all kids learn about George Washington Carver.

    • DrDick

      If you are talking about black (or ethnic) history in this country, there just is not a lot of “positive” to teach. There is a reason that students call my race and ethnicity class the most depressing (though very good) class on campus.

  • Kiwanda

    I wonder to what degree the Tulsa riots, and the 38 riots and 43 lynchings during the “Red Summer of 1919“, were intended to create “Sundown towns”, with the conscious goal of driving black people out. In the case of Tulsa, I read that there were attempts afterward to not allow reconstruction of the destroyed black district. The effect is the same, so the intention probably doesn’t matter, I suppose.

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