Joe Biden delivered remarks in Tulsa to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the city’s race massacre. The president emphasized the importance of acknowledging the lives and livelihoods lost in the massacre, which resulted in the death of at least 300 African Americans and the destruction of 35 blocks of Black real estate. “For much too long, the history of what took place here was told in silence, cloaked in darkness,” Biden said. “My fellow Americans, this was not a riot, this was a massacre.”
Biden met with the three living survivors of the massacre before delivering his speech. All three survivors – Viola “Mother” Fletcher, Hughes “Uncle Red” Van Ellis and Lessie “Mother Randle” Benningfield Randle – are over 100 years old. Biden acknowledged them in his remarks, saying, “Now your story will be known in full view.”
Ahead of the trip, the Biden administration announced a series of initiatives aimed at narrowing the country’s racial wealth gap. The administration pledged to take action to address racial housing discrimination and use its purchasing power to direct an additional $100bn to small disadvantaged business owners.
Biden will meet tomorrow with Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito to discuss a potential compromise on infrastructure. The meeting comes a week after Republicans outlined their latest offer, which called for spending $928bn on infrastructure over the next eight years, far less than what Biden has proposed.