For Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, President Biden will have received his daily brief. The President will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he will tour the Greenwood Cultural Center, before delivering remarks to Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
President Biden on Tuesday tweeted, 1 time so far, saying that as many as 300 Black Americans were killed 100 years ago when a white supremacist mob attacked them.
On Monday the White House offered the following Proclamation:
One hundred years ago, a violent white supremacist mob raided, firebombed, and destroyed approximately 35 square blocks of the thriving Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Families and children were murdered in cold blood. Homes, businesses, and churches were burned. In all, as many as 300 Black Americans were killed, and nearly 10,000 were left destitute and homeless. Today, on this solemn centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, I call on the American people to reflect on the deep roots of racial terror in our Nation and recommit to the work of rooting out systemic racism across our country.
Before the Tulsa Race Massacre, Greenwood was a thriving Black community that had grown into a proud economic and cultural hub. At its center was Greenwood Avenue, commonly known as Black Wall Street. Many of Greenwood’s 10,000 residents were Black sharecroppers who fled racial violence after the Civil War.
In the decades following the Civil War and Reconstruction, Greenwood became a place where Black Americans were able to make a new start and secure economic progress despite the continued pain of institutional and overt racism. The community was home to a growing number of prominent Black entrepreneurs as well as working-class Black families who shared a commitment to social activism and economic opportunity. As Greenwood grew, Greenwood Avenue teemed with successful Black-owned businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and offices for doctors, lawyers, and dentists. The community also maintained its own school system, post office, a savings and loan institution, hospital, and bus and taxi service.
Despite rising Jim Crow systems and the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan, Greenwood’s economic prosperity grew, as did its citizens’ demands for equal rights. This made the community a source of pride for many Black Americans. It also made the neighborhood and its families a target of white supremacists. In 2 days, a violent mob tore down the hard-fought success of Black Wall Street that had taken more than a decade to build.
In the years that followed, the destruction caused by the mob was followed by laws and policies that made recovery nearly impossible. In the aftermath of the attack, local ordinances were passed requiring new construction standards that were prohibitively expensive, meaning many Black families could not rebuild. Later, Greenwood was redlined by mortgage companies and deemed “hazardous” by the Federal Government so that Black homeowners could not access home loans or credit on equal terms. And in later decades, Federal investment, including Federal highway construction, tore down and cut off parts of the community. The attack on Black families and Black wealth in Greenwood persisted across generations.
The Federal Government must reckon with and acknowledge the role that it has played in stripping wealth and opportunity from Black communities. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to acknowledging the role Federal policy played in Greenwood and other Black communities and addressing longstanding racial inequities through historic investments in the economic security of children and families, programs to provide capital for small businesses in economically disadvantaged areas, including minority-owned businesses, and ensuring that infrastructure projects increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access.
A century later, the fear and pain from the devastation of Greenwood is still felt. As Viola Fletcher, a 107-year-old survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre courageously testified before the Congress recently, “I will never forget the violence of the white mob when we left our home. I still see Black men being shot, Black bodies lying in the street. I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see Black businesses being burned. I still hear airplanes flying overhead. I hear the screams. I have lived through the massacre every day. Our country may forget this history, but I cannot.”
With this proclamation, I commit to the survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre, including Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis, and Lessie Benningfield Randle, the descendants of victims, and to this Nation that we will never forget. We honor the legacy of the Greenwood community, and of Black Wall Street, by reaffirming our commitment to advance racial justice through the whole of our government, and working to root out systemic racism from our laws, our policies, and our hearts.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 31, 2021, a Day of Remembrance: 100 Years After The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. I call upon the people of the United States to commemorate the tremendous loss of life and security that occurred over those 2 days in 1921, to celebrate the bravery and resilience of those who survived and sought to rebuild their lives again, and commit together to eradicate systemic racism and help to rebuild communities and lives that have been destroyed by it.White House.gov. 05/31/2021.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.
The Tulsa Historical Society and Museum has a timeline of events that took place over May 31st through June 1st, 1921.
When Monday’s Open Thread was posted President Biden had issued 2 tweets and 0 retweets. He finished Memorial Day by adding 2 tweets. Giving him a Monday Tweeting Total of 4 tweets and no retweets.
On Friday the White House published the following Proclamation regarding Memorial Day, 2021.
On Memorial Day, we honor and reflect upon the courage, integrity, and selfless dedication of the members of our Armed Forces who have made the greatest sacrifice in service to our Nation. Whether in the waters of the Pacific, on the beachheads of Europe, in the deserts of the Middle East, or in the mountains of Afghanistan, American service members have given their lives to uphold our Constitution and to defend the safety and freedoms of our citizens. These patriots embody the best of the American spirit. They put themselves on the line for our shared values — for duty, honor, country — and they paid the ultimate price. Our Nation can never fully repay the debt we owe to our fallen heroes and their families.
Jill and I know what it means to have a child serving in a war zone — the ever-present concern for your loved one and their fellow service members. Today and every day, we ask God to protect our troops. We also recognize the tremendous loss endured by America’s Gold Star families — the families of military members who died in conflict. We have a sacred obligation as a Nation to support those families and to always honor the memories of their loved ones.
That is the vow we make each year on Memorial Day. Our Nation will never forget the courage and patriotism demonstrated by the countless women and men who laid down their lives so that we may continue to pursue a more perfect Union and to protect the unalienable rights Americans hold dear. They came from every part of the country, of every background and belief, united by a shared belief in our uniquely American creed — that all people are created equal. We will honor their legacy by continuing our work to live up to that commitment and to advance the values they lived and died to defend. We will continue to fight for equity and inclusion in our country and institutions, and ensure every qualified American who is willing to serve our country — regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or background — has a fair and equal opportunity to do so.
We will continue to honor our fallen service members through the actions of a new generation who volunteer to serve in uniform, who anchor our military to our democratic values, and who stand ready to deter aggression from our enemies and, if required, fight and defend our Nation. Today — as we keep true to the memory of our fallen heroes — we will endeavor to meet their legacy and once more lead the world through the power of our example and not just the example of our power.
As our Nation’s service members continue to risk their lives to protect our homeland and thwart our enemies, we must not lose sight of our desire for enduring peace. Every day, countless Americans pray and work for peace so that we may one day live in a world where American patriots need not make the ultimate sacrifice, and where all people live in freedom and prosperity. As a Nation, we are grateful to the brave members of our Armed Services — both past and present — who have forged the legacy for that possibility.
In honor and recognition of all of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested that the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer and reflection. The Congress, by Public Law 106-579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 31, 2021, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer and reflection. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance. I further ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.
I request the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control. I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half-staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.White House.gov. 05/28/2021.
The video clip is 41 seconds long. It’s snips taken from remarks he gave on Friday from Joint Base Langley-Eustis located in Hampton, Virginia. He was addressing service members and their families. His full remarks can be found here.
The video is 31 minutes and 38 seconds long. It’s cued to when President Biden begins his remarks (8:48 ish mark).
President Biden (31:09): You are the spine of America–the spine.
President Biden (14:32): And, you know, you only — you make up 1 percent of the population. You’re defending 99 percent of the rest of us. And we owe you.
President Biden (26:54): Each year, Memorial Day offers us a chance to reflect on the enormity of the sacrifices that generation after generation of Americans has made.
President Biden (18:24): So my message to all of you is quite *simply [simple]: Thank you. Thank you
President Biden (31:30): May God bless you. And may God protect our troops
*That is a White House transcription error, President Biden says “simple.”*
President Biden’s remarks are scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. Oklahoma time.