June 18, 2021

In Tulsa, Joe Biden wants to “break the silence” on the massacre of African Americans

United States President Joe Biden surrendered on Tuesday 1is June, at the scene of the massacre of African Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to“Help break the silence” which has long weighed on one of the worst episodes of racist violence in US history. “Because in the silence, the wounds deepen”, he insisted.

“The events we are talking about took place a hundred years ago, and yet I am the first president in a hundred years to come to Tulsa”, recalled the Democrat, saying he wanted “To break out the truth”.

Read also Tulsa massacre: a hundred years later, the United States tries to end its amnesia

The racist massacre in Tulsa has “Too long been forgotten in our history. As soon as it happened, there was an obvious effort to erase it from our memory ”, he denounced by emphasizing the presence in the public, in front of him, of three hundred-year-old survivors of this massacre: Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis and Lessie Benningfield Randle.

The oldest survivor of the Tulsa (Oklahoma) massacre, Viola Ford Fletcher attends Joe Biden's speech, on the occasion of the 100 years of the tragedy, on June 1, 2021.

“Some injustices are so atrocious, so terrifying, so painful that they cannot remain buried”, continued the former vice-president of Barack Obama.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Joe Biden in Tulsa, scene of a long-forgotten racist massacre

Exposing attacks on the suffrage of African Americans

Joe Biden used this historic speech to denounce the attacks “Absolutely unprecedented” against the right to vote of African Americans, “The most fundamental right”, through laws restricting access to the ballot box in some conservative states. “This sacred right is attacked with an intensity that I have never seen”, said the Democrat.

Since the presidential election, bills limiting access to the vote have multiplied in the States at the initiative of the Republicans. They are denounced by the Democrats as particularly striking minorities.

In Tulsa, the president therefore promised to “Beat” for an electoral law supposed to protect access to the ballot boxes to be passed in June by Congress, as well as another text named in tribute to John Lewis, a figure in the fight for civil rights, who died in 2020. The House of representatives, controlled by the Democrats, approved in March the first bill (HR.1).

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also The death of John Lewis, civil rights activist in the United States

“The Senate will consider it later this month and I will fight like hell, with all the tools at my disposal, to get it passed.”, he said, while admitting that his majority in the upper house was too narrow to guarantee this vote.

Read Washington’s letter (in 2019): Tulsa, site of the most important lynching in American history, comes out of oblivion

The World with AFP