Saturday, February 14, 2004

Tulsa: 1921

CNN.com - Extension sought in 1921 race riot lawsuit - Feb. 13, 2004

What this article doesn't say is that Tulsa was the first city to be firebombed from the sky (scroll down--or search the article for the word 'Tulsa'). This was done as an attempt to terrorize the African-American population, who had rioted in protest over the arrest of a black man who had been accused of hitting a white woman. Sixteen years before Guernica, African-Americans in Tulsa had the dubious distinction of being the first victims of this modern form of warfare. Sure, the planes were primitive--but the damage they caused was significant. Additionally, the indiscriminate violence inherent in this type of campaign resonates through the modern age as an ugly example of of our capacity for brutality.

Whether or not the extension is granted, I hope that the families of the victims will eventually receive some sort of apology and/or compensation for their suffering. And I hope that one day we will all remember Tulsa just as we remember Guernica: as an event that should never happen again.

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