President Biden pledges new efforts for racial equity 100 years after Tulsa massacre

President Joe Biden traveled to Oklahoma on Tuesday for the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. On May 31 and June 1, 1921, an armed White mob ravaged the wealthy Black neighborhood of Greenwood, a hub of Black-owned businesses known as “Black Wall Street,” in Tulsa. The mob destroyed 35 city blocks.

During his visit to the Greenwood Cultural Center, Biden spoke about the diminished impact of the 1921 Tulsa massacre in which a White mob killed hundreds of Black Americans. Biden pledged to expand access to two key wealth creators — home ownership and small business ownership — in communities of color and disadvantaged communities.  Said Biden: “My fellow Americans, this was not a riot. This was a massacre. Among the worst in our history. But not the only one — and for too long, forgotten by our history. We do ourselves no favors by pretending none of this ever happened,” Biden said. “We should know the good, the bad, everything. That’s what great nations do. They come to terms with their dark sides.” 

Biden announced efforts to block racial discrimination in the U.S. housing market, including an inter-agency effort to address inequity in home appraisals. The White House said the government will use purchasing power to grow federal contracting with small disadvantaged businesses by 50%, which it said would result in an additional $100 billion over five years. To end housing discrimination, the White House said the Department of Housing and Urban Development will move toward “traditional interpretations of the Fair Housing Act” and “more vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act.”

Editorial credit: Nick_ Raille_07 /