icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
29 May, 2021 01:12

100th anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre event CANCELED over last-minute money demands

100th anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre event CANCELED over last-minute money demands

The main event commemorating the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, featuring singer John Legend and politician Stacey Abrams, had to be canceled because lawyers for the survivors demanded more money than previously agreed, organizers said.

The ‘Remember and Rise’ ceremony was canceled on Friday, with the organizers blaming “unexpected circumstances with entertainers and speakers.”

Some activists were quick to pin the blame on threats of “white terrorism,” pointing to reports of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bulletin alleging possible violence at the event.

“We assess that upcoming commemoration events associated with the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre in Oklahoma are probably attractive targets for some racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist white supremacists to commit violence,” is what the DHS bulletin obtained by NBC News reportedly said.

Later on Friday, however, the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission revealed what had actually led them to call off the main event: last-minute demands from the lawyers for the three elderly survivors for far more money than had been initially agreed.

The original agreement was for $100,000 for each survivor and a $2 million “seed gift" to a reparations coalition fund, the commission’s chair, State Senator Kevin Matthews (D), said in a press conference on Friday afternoon. At the last minute, Matthews said, the lawyers had changed their mind and asked for $1 million for each survivor and $50 million for the fund.

“We could not respond to those demands,” he told reporters. “I absolutely want the survivors, the descendants, and others who were affected to be financially and emotionally supported. However, this is not the way, no matter how hard we try.”

Organizers are expecting around 15,000 people to attend the series of events being held over the weekend to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the riot, which began on May 31, 1921. President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Tulsa on June 1.

The Tulsa neighborhood of Greenwood, dubbed ‘Black Wall Street’, was razed to the ground in the pogrom, which spiraled from allegations that a black teenager had sexually assaulted a white woman. Armed veterans of the First World War, black and white, took part in the clashes.

More than 1,200 businesses across 35 blocks were destroyed, and over 10,000 people lost their homes. The official death toll of the violence was 36, but some estimates have put it as high as 300. Local authorities are still searching for the sites of suspected mass graves. 

Also on rt.com Possible mass grave from 1921 Tulsa race massacre, featured in HBO’s ‘Watchmen,’ uncovered

Like this story? Share it with a friend!