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This month marks the centenary of the Tulsa Race Massacre which occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma in June, 1921.
It is considered one of the most vicious race riots reported in the United States.
For many years, efforts were made not to discuss those horrible events.
Tulsa was a thriving black community, with its centre at Greenwood.
This Black American community had established their own banks, commercial and educational institutions.
This community was so progressive that it was familiarly referred to as the Black Wall Street, a source of envy and jealousy by the white supremacist.
In a few days, white supremacist including city officials using air crafts, vehicles, bombs and guns reduced this attractive and thriving centre to death and rubble.
Several enquiries were held but nothing concrete came out as to the real cause, save that there was an alleged issue between two teenagers, one white, one black.
This alleged black-white relationship was the little spark, in the tense environment that developed in that part of the US as a result of Tulsa’s sterling achievements.
People who read this letter must obtain at least a few lessons from this incident, which is relevant to the present Guyana situation.
First, to recognize an environment of envy exists, we should all be careful about the things we say and do., and to guard and overcome our prejudices. Second, there is the reality of polarization, and racial tension; real or perceived racial incidents should be handled professionally and with great care to prevent any sparks from flying that lead to trouble.
The First World War began because the heir to the Austrian throne was assassinated by a teenage Serb in a tense ethnic environment and third, we must learn the virtue of accommodation, mutual respect and justice in a community where there are two or more racial groupings.
Finally, the Police and those responsible for law, order and justice should always be professional and avoid being misguided by a political directorate, as happened in Tulsa.