Guest Post by Scott Greer
President Biden condemned and slandered the American people in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday. He spoke on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race riots. “My fellow Americans: this was not a riot,” he declared. “This was a massacre — among the worst in our history, but not the only one. And for too long, forgotten by our history. As soon as it happened there was a clear effort to erase it from our memory — our collective memories.”
He shared grisly details meant to horrify his audience:
Literal hell was unleashed through the night. In the morning, the mob terrorized Greenwood [the black neighborhood affected by the riot] with torches and guns shooting at will. A mob tied a Black man, by the waist, to the back of their truck, with his head banging along the pavement as they drove off. A murdered Black family draped over the fence of their home outside. An elderly couple knelt by their bed, praying to God with their heart and their soul, when they were shot in the back of their heads. Private planes dropping explosives, the first and only domestic air assault of its kind on an American city here in Tulsa.
10,000 people were left destitute and homeless, placed in interment camps. As I was told today, they were told, “Don’t you mention you were ever in a camp or we’ll come and get you.” That’s a survivor story. Yet no arrest of the mob were made, none. No proper accounting of the dead. The death toll records by local officials said there were 36 people. That’s all, 36 people. Based on studies records and accounts, the likely number is much more than the multiple of hundreds. Untold bodies dumped into mass graves, families who at a time waited for hours and days to know the fate of their loved ones, are now descendants, who’ve gone 100 years without closure.
The purpose of Biden’s Tulsa speech was to promote his own agenda. He unveiled a plan that would give $100 billion and other benefits to minority-owned businesses. White-owned businesses appear ineligible. This aligns with administration policies that prioritize minority business owners for COVID relief and exclude white farmers from farm aid.
The other point was to emphasize the danger white Americans allegedly pose to our nation. He connected Tulsa to Charlottesville and January 6, saying: “What happened in Greenwood was an act of hate and domestic terrorism with a through line that exists today still.” He asserted: “Terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today — not ISIS, not al-Qaida, white supremacists.”
Biden’s Tulsa narrative serves two purposes. One, it justifies reparations. Two, it justifies state repression against Trump supporters and other domestic enemies of the Globalist American Empire. In Biden’s telling, the ordinary Americans who attended Stop The Steal rallies are no different from the angry mob that burnt down “Black Wall Street” in 1921.
But to build his libel against his present-day political enemies, Biden presented exaggerated and flat-out wrong information on the Tulsa Riots.
Let’s review the President’s story: An “innocent interaction” between teenagers led to a horrible headline of an assault by a black teenager against a white teenage girl. “A white mob of 1,000 gathered around the courthouse where the black teenager was being held,” Biden said. He recalls that 75 armed black men arrived to challenge the mob. Then, “a scuffle” broke out and the massacre began. This massacre killed “hundreds,” planes dropped explosives, the story was completely buried by authorities, blacks were herded into internment camps, and bodies were dumped in mass graves throughout Tulsa. The main impression: savage whites murdered hundreds of innocent blacks, solely due to racism.
Every part of this story is built on distortions of the factual record. First, there’s some background information needed here. The 2001 Tulsa Commission Report notes that Tulsa suffered from a crime epidemic in the early 20s. The city was an oil boomtown that had quadrupled in size between 1910 and the date of the riots. Both whites and blacks felt authorities did little to stop crime and they had to rely on themselves. This feeling animated the confrontation that sparked the violence on May 31st, 1921.
The “innocent interaction” involved a 19-year-old black man, Dick Rowland, allegedly assaulting a 17-year-old white girl, elevator operator Sarah Page. What happened on the elevator is lost to history, but all we know is that some type of physical encounter happened. Page screamed and Rowland fled as a nearby store clerk rushed to the scene. The clerk claimed it was an attempted rape, but we don’t know what the girl told police. Police arrested Rowland for assault, but would later drop charges against him a few months later. (Rowland, despite being the alleged target of the lynch mob, survived the riots unscathed.) Popular accounts claim Rowland accidentally tripped onto Page as he entered the elevator, but there is no real evidence for that. All we know is that some kind of interaction occurred that made Page scream and Rowland run away. It’s unlikely police arrested a man Page probably knew over a harmless accident.
Police were committed to protecting Rowland’s life from the mob. Law enforcement guarded the jail where he was housed and were insistent whites would not get ahold of him. The large gathering of whites, who were mostly unarmed according to news reports, were eventually met by several large groups of armed blacks. Biden is right that a scuffle ensued and violence broke out soon after. What he didn’t mention is that blacks got the better of this first clash, as the battle killed ten whites versus two blacks. In Biden’s story, it’s strongly implied that the mob quickly overcame the armed blacks and then went on a murderous rampage against an entirely unarmed population. That’s not necessarily the case. According to news reports, the armed black groups fell back to the Greenwood neighborhood and erected crude fortifications. There were also several reports of black snipers firing into white neighborhoods and onto any whites they saw.
The riot resembled urban warfare, with people on both sides firing wildly and carrying on armed assaults. Much of the buildings destroyed during the riot were set on fire due to the ongoing fighting that happened. Armed blacks turned many buildings into fortresses where they fired on their enemies. Biden claims planes dropped explosives, but there’s little evidence for this. The 2001 commission report found that, while it couldn’t rule out the possibility of incendiary devices being dropped from the air, no military planes were involved and it’s more likely that the private planes that flew over Tulsa were dropping messages to the authorities rather than dropping bombs on houses.
Biden’s reference to internment camps is a clear allusion to concentration camps. It implies Tulsa was America’s own Holocaust. But the camps were used to house the hundreds of black combatants who surrendered, as well as thousands of residents who lost their houses in the fighting. Should authorities have not provided shelter at all for these individuals?
The authorities themselves tried to suppress the violence on both sides. When the National Guard was fully mobilized on June 1st, their primary mission was to disarm the white mobs. This does not sound like a party that was committed to racist oppression.
Biden also claims there was a cover-up and no one knew about the riots until recent times. If the authorities tried to cover it up, they did a horrible job of it. The riots were covered by outlets across the globe, including the New York Times and the Times of London. These accounts did not try to downplay the violence or pretend the riots never happened. Local papers covered the violence in-depth and provide many of the accounts we have on this grim event. These contemporary reports are the chief sources, in fact, for the most spectacular claims about the riot, like bombing from the air or a death toll in the hundreds.
And that’s the final and most important question: How many died in the riots? Biden mocked Tulsa authorities for only counting 36 dead at the time. As stated before, the president claims hundreds died. He’s not alone in this as every media outlet reports that “hundreds” or “up to 300” died in the violence (the AP’s original write-up claimed that at least 300 were killed!).
But while more than 36 may have died in the riots, we have no solid proof that “hundreds” died. The 2001 commission counted 39 confirmed deaths; 26 blacks and 13 whites. It also included a stillbirth in its death toll. This was an exhaustive review of available information. The report did say that more could’ve died, but it could find no hard proof of the deceased: No names, no cause of death, and of course, no bodies.
Biden said that the dead were buried in mass graves. But the hunt for these mass graves have been ongoing for over 20 years, and not a single mass grave site has been found. The 2001 report openly stated that most claims of mass graves were fanciful legends passed down through oral history, but it pointed to three possible locations as being more credible. All three were partially surveyed and no graves were found (though researchers did not check every square inch).
The effort has increased in its diligence over the last few years. It was reported last year that excavators may have found something when twelve coffins were discovered in a local cemetery. This is the only possible grave site that has been found and it’s not confirmed if it’s a riot grave site. So far, it’s not even known when the coffins were buried or how the people in them died. Even if these bodies are previously-unknown riot deaths, twelve more fatalities would still leave a death toll just one-sixth of what the press has credulously repeated.
Based on the currently known death toll, it is not accurate to describe Tulsa as a massacre rather than a riot. A massacre implies only one side was armed and killing people. In reality, it was an ugly battle between armed whites and armed blacks, with deaths on both sides.
This doesn’t deny that the Tulsa riots were a black mark in American history. But it is necessary to put the riots into perspective. The 39 deaths are comparable to many other race riots in American history. The 1992 Los Angeles riots caused 63 confirmed deaths. Eighteen died in the 1980 Miami riots, 43 died in the 1967 Detroit riots, and 34 died in the 1965 Watts riots. The only difference between these events and Tulsa is that Tulsa was an armed conflict between black and white mobs. The others witnessed black mobs rampaging throughout a city (destroying mostly their own communities).
Biden and others also bemoan how the riot destroyed a prosperous neighborhood. The claimed damage amounts to just over $27 million in today’s dollars. Studies estimate that the unclaimed damages figure may take the total up to as high as $200 million. That is certainly a lot of money, but even the highest figure is roughly the same or less than the typical race riot in American history. The damage caused by the LA riots amounts to more than $1 billion in today’s dollars. The riots of 2020, up to September, were expected to cost as much as $2 billion. The George Floyd riots in Minneapolis alone caused at least $350 million in damages.
So what makes Tulsa different? The answer is that it can be blamed on white people and exploited to support a liberal agenda. The race riots of 2020 and the 1960s raise uncomfortable questions for those in power, thus they are shunted aside. Don’t expect Biden to visit Kenosha to bemoan the incredible damages caused by rioters acting out on a lie.
The elevation of Tulsa into the one race riot worth remembering furthers the Critical Race Theory agenda of anti-white racism. The riot reinforces the idea that whites are guilty of heinous sins and they must atone for these unparalleled crimes. If Biden’s Tulsa narrative is taught in schools (in many places, it already is), the purpose will be to instill in students a hatred for whites and this country’s past. The only acceptable solution will be race-based reparations and putting white Trump supporters or their children through re-education. We can’t let those whiteys do another Tulsa!
Of course, no amount of reparations or discrimination will actually expiate the crime of Tulsa. Just like slavery, redlining, or Jim Crow, the further the event recedes into the past, the more powerful it will grow, and the greater the punishments that will be necessary for present-day white Americans for the crime of having the wrong skin color.
And it’s not going to stop with Tulsa. The Washington Post published an article demanding that other non-white groups have their own Tulsas equally remembered. We may have a whole calendar of days to remember how evil white people are. This is the only history liberals want our kids to know and remember.
Tulsa should not be forgotten, but it should also not be turned into a blood libel against white Americans. But sadly, those blood libels are the only historical events our ruling class wants to remember.
Scott Greer is author of No Campus for White Men and host of the “Highly Respected” Podcast.