Reparations for Racist Violence?

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S1: This is a word, a podcast from Slate. I’m your host, Jason Johnson. The slaughter of black Americans has a long history in this country. While the nation is still grappling with the aftermath of the mass shooting in Buffalo. The victims and descendants of the Tulsa race massacre are still fighting for justice. More than a century later.

S2: How is it that our government, in a matter of days can marshal billions of dollars, can go and visit, can do everything for Ukraine. But in over 100 years, almost 101 years next week have not done one thing or Tulsa haven’t provided one penny for Greenwood, have not provided any level of justice for survivors and descendants in this community.

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S1: The Tulsa Massacre and the long battle for justice. Coming up on a word with me, Jason Johnson. Stay with us. Welcome to a word, a podcast about race and politics and everything else. I’m your host, Jason Johnson. Black communities have long been targets of white violence. The slaughter of ten people, many of them elders in Buffalo, is just the latest example. Although a single gunman is in custody in that case. For centuries, this kind of violence was deliberately overlooked or even orchestrated by local white leaders. Perhaps the most notorious example is the 1921 Tulsa race massacre and the summer of that year. The Greenwood community, known then as the Black Wall Street, was attacked by its white neighbors. Hundreds of people were brutally murdered. Many more were injured, and a once thriving community was burned to the ground, its assets destroyed and remaining wealth seized by government or financial institutions. While many white leaders long denied the slaughter or mislabeled it as a race riot, there has been a steady fight to honor the victims and survivors of Tulsa and to win some measure of justice for them and their descendants. In fact, just this month, a court ruled that a lawsuit seeking reparations for Tulsa can move forward. The man leading that suit is Damario Solomon-Simmons. He’s a civil rights attorney and the managing partner of Solomon-Simmons law in Oklahoma, and he joins us now on a word Damario. Thanks for joining us today.

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S2: Jason, and excited to be here with you, brother.

S1: You’re not just a lawyer for the Tulsa victims. You’re actually a member of this community. Just tell me, what’s the most important thing that most Americans don’t understand about what happened in Tulsa, 1921? What’s something that you still think people kind of overlook or haven’t paid attention to or don’t realize was the case?

S2: Well, they don’t realize the scope and magnitude of what happened, as you stated in your opening massacres and destruction of black bodies in black cities. And black wealth is as American as American pie. Right. So this Tulsa is not unique for that particular standpoint. But what makes it so unique is that the scope and the scale of the destruction we’re talking about 40 blocks, city blocks. We’re talking about 10 to 15000 permanent residents. But at any time there were 20 to 25000 people in Greenwood. Over 1500 homes were destroyed. Over 200 businesses were destroyed. According to Harvard University, conservatively, $200 million in property damage alone. That’s not talking about the loss of lives, which is really untold. We don’t know the amount of lives that were lost. So people estimate to be 300. We think it’s in the thousands. We do know that people were just disappeared. They were never heard from again. And I think people really not understand the scope and scale of the destruction and how the destruction of Greenwood, the Black Wall Street, as some people call it, of America, how it impacted not just black people in Oklahoma, but the entire African-American community of this nation.

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S1: How did you become the attorney for the survivors?

S2: I want to be very, very clear. I’m just standing on the shoulders of a long line of advocates and attorneys, those starting with Bobby Franklin and his law partners. And on June 2nd, 1921, I don’t even want to go back a couple of days during the massacre. I want to make it very clear. You ask another thing that people don’t know about this. Our community fault, they were overran, they were outgunned, they were outnumbered. But the black men who many of them were World War One veterans, they fought to the death to protect their properties, their children and their women. And they did that. And I’m so proud to be from a community that people that started fighting from the day it started. But after the massacre ended, about 24 hours of destruction, people started filing lawsuits literally days later. BK Franklin Famous lawyers, a very famous picture, heartbreaking picture of this lawyer and his law partner, his legal clerk practicing law after the massacre in a tent, whatever remaining law books he had because everything else had been destroyed and burnt down. And so lawsuits have been filed since that day. Over 100 or so lawsuits have been filed, and they’ve all been dismissed. And how I got involved in this was, like you said, I’m an eighth generation Oklahoman. My family’s been here since The Trail of Tears, Black Creek ancestry. I didn’t know anything about the massacre. I went to school on Greenwood Avenue, a Carver middle school. I went to school at BOOGITY, Washington High School, the pride of Greenwood in North Tulsa. And I didn’t know anything about the greatness of Greenwood or the massacre until I went to play for playing football at the University of Oklahoma City. The intro to African-American studies class with Dr. Keppler knew Rock Hill, and he’s talking about this great community in Tulsa. And while these black folks are done and I’m sitting in there thinking, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’m from Nor Tulsa and I raise my hand and I say, Man, you don’t know what you’re talking about. This is my community. And of course, I was wrong. He gave me all the smoke, embarrassed me. And from that date, I was 24 years ago. Ever since that day, I have been obsessed with learning as much about Greenwood, the massacre, and trying to get justice for Greenwood and advocating for the policies and rebuilding of my community. At that time, we had over 150 living survivors that we were able to find. And I got a chance to really spend time with so many survivors and many survivors I knew my whole life. I didn’t know they were survivors. I had never heard it. They never talked about a couple of 75 years. There was a conspiracy of silence. So this was the early 2000. That case was filed in 2003. It was dismissed, I believe, based on racism. The legal term, the legal reasoning was statute of limitations issue that was bogus. 2005 We go to the United States Supreme Court and they dismiss this quote without comment. Then we started legislative you know, we started working on trying to get legislation to go 25, 26, 27. I testified at Congress. I traveled again to D.C. with survivors. And we finally got a bill introduced by the late, great Representative John Conyers. We worked really close with him. He filed a bill. We had a hearing in 2007. He knows a little known Indiana representative that was at the hearing that said, you know, this is really bad. I feel for you from a moral standpoint. But this just too long ago, you might have heard this guy’s name was Mike Pence. And no, our bill didn’t go anywhere, you know, and so we introduced it. It was introduced for seven years straight to 2014. It didn’t go anywhere. Didn’t go anywhere. And our survivors were dying, dying, dying, dying. So we were down to less than ten or so known survivors around 2000, 16, 20, 15, 60. And so we’re just trying to figure out at this time, you know, now I’m not a baby lawyer and another law student. I’m 15 years into my career. I’m writing blogs. I’m still traveling the nation talking about this issue, giving presentations. But it’s like, what can we do to actually get real justice? And 2019, in May, the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, knowing that the 100 year centennial was coming, the city decided we’re going to put together this marketing plan to say that Tulsa’s moved on. They call it a hashtag Tulsa Times. That infuriated me to a point. I’m going to file a lawsuit. I don’t care if I have a theory or not. All this stuff, this is ridiculous. We put together a couple of other lawyers. It was a small group of us and we started researching. And then we looked at this opioid case that the state of Oklahoma was utilizing the Oklahoma public nuisance statute. And that statute is 111 year, 12 years old from 1980. And we looked at the statute, we said we fit right perfectly in this, we can do this. And we researched that claim for a year and we filed this current lawsuit on September 1st, 2020. Most people thought this was crazy, this was novel. We were just trying to get publicity. But we believe that this claim was a good, solid legal claim. And we litigate over the last, what, 18 months or so the Fed is trying to kick us out of court. On May 2nd, 2022, we made history for the first time in over 100 years. A lawsuit for survivors and descendants related to the Tulsa race massacre is going to move forward in some form or fashion.

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S1: So you found this statute that sort of fits in the opioids from 1910. So it’s over 100 years old. When you filed the lawsuit in 2020, who were you suing and what are you actually asking for?

S2: So, number one, this public nuisance statute from from 1918 has been used thousands of times in Oklahoma. I want to be very clear about that. This is not something that oh, my God, they’re trying to do something special for these Negroes. No, we’re utilizing the law that’s been used for things such as public hospitals, sanitation issues, smoking indoors, or there is even a Supreme Court Oklahoma Supreme Court case about a public nuisance because a person had 40 cats in their home. My point is, it has been used from a raw variety, a fact pattern. So that’s number one. Number two, let me break it down real clear and simple for anyone that’s listening. A public nuisance is anything that calls is a criminal activity or causes damages to property or makes property uninhabitable. So let’s think about this. Think about the oil spill that happened down in New Orleans a couple of years ago, the BP oil spill. And we all saw those pictures. And that all just I mean, just like a jet engine coming down into the ocean, that’s the start of a nuisance. So the first thing you have to do is you got to plug that hole. But when you plug that hole, that oil has still been polluted. And so that, too, the water is still washed on shore, it still has covered the animals, is still polluting drinking water. That’s the nuisance. So until that oil is completely eradicated and it starts polluting, killing and hurting the environment and people, the nuisance is ongoing. And so as long as the nuisance is only going to be one year, ten years or a hundred years in our case, then there is a statute. The statute of limitations does not apply. So we’re simply saying and we can prove it. I mean. Only one can even just. No one can even argue it that the massacre was a nuisance. The city of Tulsa, who we are suing, the Chamber of Commerce, who are suing the Tulsa County, who are suing Tulsa Sheriff’s Office, the Oklahoma National Guard, Tulsa Metropolitan Area Commission, and the Tulsa Development Authority. They all admit that 1921 happened. They all admit that the the disparities and the problems that Greenwood faces today is a direct result of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre and is continuing harm. That’s the same as if this oil spill, the BP oil spill here has been plugged but is still causing harm. So it must continue to be abated.

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S1: We’re going to take a short break. When we come back, more on the Tulsa race massacre reparations lawsuit. This is a word with Jason Johnson. Stay tuned. This is Jason Johnson, host of a Word Slate’s podcast about race and politics and everything else. I want to take a moment to welcome our new listeners. If you’ve discovered a word and liked what you hear, please subscribe, rate and review wherever you listen to podcasts and let us know what you think by writing us. And a word at Slate.com. Thank you. You’re listening to a word with Jason Johnson today. We’re talking about the century long fight for justice for the survivors of the Tulsa race massacre. Our guest is Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons. This happened in 1921, so it was 100 years last year. And you had hundreds of people who were killed. Tremendous amount of violence. And you said, you know, when you first started hearing about this, when you were in college, you had over a hundred survivors. How many actual survivors are there from Tulsa?

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S2: We’re three. Survivor Islamic. Tell you their names. I’m very proud to be a lawyer, but I want to be clear that the language here is not survivors of Tulsa, survivors of Greenwood. And I make that distinction because it was Greenwood, the black community of Greenwood, that was bombed from the sky, that was burnt down, that was looted, that had its leaders either killed or exiled and never come back, not Tulsa. And that’s important because Tulsa wants to utilize the history of their perpetrating the massacre on our people to raise money for themselves. And they’ve done that. They’ve raised $30 million plus for themselves. And they’ve taken over so much of the Greenwood District for themselves. Well, they own everything in Greenwood. So to your question, though, we have only three known living survivors, and I smile when I talk about them. I love them so dearly. We have our oldest living survivor, 108 year old Viola Ford Fletcher. She came to DC last year with me when we testified in front of Congress. I mean, the lady was amazing. Then you have our second oldest living survivor, 107 year old Lesley Benefield. Randle And then you have Mother Fletcher, the oldest living survivor, her baby brother, who’s 101. Plus his name is Hughes, then Ellis, we call him Uncle Red. He’s not only a Tulsa race massacre survivor who was six months old when he was bombed and his family had to flee for their lives. But he’s also a World War Two combat veteran. And I want to say one other thing about Lesley Benefield around to our second oldest survivor. She was with her grandmother at the time of the massacre. Her grandmother’s name was Molly Benefield. Molly Benefield was born enslaved in 1859 in Missouri. So when I was sitting with mother Mother Randall, we were doing our deposition first. Depositions ever happen in this case, another historic milestone. And we’re talking I’m like, man, I’m sitting with a lady whose grandmother was enslaved and she’s sitting here telling me about how her formerly enslaved grandmother, how they were running from being bombs dropped by the city of Tulsa. Like when you think about the history of it and the connection, how close we are to our history. It’s not some far distant eons and ancient history ago. Like, No, these are people that are living that went through this and were with people that were actually enslaved, you know. So I just I just always make that put a pin in it because I think we need to be very conscious about what we’re talking about.

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S1: Your legal efforts aren’t just for the people whose family members were killed. You believe that all members and descendants of the whole community should be compensated. Why do you think there should be sort of a collective compensation?

S2: Well, it was a collective destruction. You know, there’s destruction of Greenwood. I mean, obviously, the individuals were impacted, but the entire community was destroyed. And that’s the beauty of our public nuisance case. It is truly a case for the community at large. That is what a public nuisance is. So in our case, we’re asking about our remedies. We’re not saying that, Hey, Mother Fletcher, she should receive check for X, Y and Z, although I believe that 100%. And that is something that is part of our overall remedy scheme that we’re saying there should be a victim compensation fund, but we think that the entire community needs to be rebuilt because the entire community was destroyed. When you think about I just gave you three examples how the decimation of Greenwood impacted the entire community, not just of Tulsa, but the entire black community for this of our entire nation. First, let me start with Dr. A.C. Jackson. Maybe you never heard of him. He was considered the finest, quote unquote, Negro surgeon in the nation by the Mayo brothers of the Mayo Institute. That’s what he trained with them. They went to him for counseling. He was the president of the Oklahoma Medical Association, not the president of the Black Oklahoma Medical Association, but the entire medical association in 1920, which was extraordinary because Oklahoma was a southern segregated state. But this is how much respect and love and they had for his acromion and his skill. This is a man that ran the Booker T Washington Hospital. This was a man that was world renowned. This is a man who was shot down with his hands in the air, shot in the stomach four or five times as he was coming out of his house. This is an eyewitness report that was that was given by a white judge who was a friend of Dr. Jackson, who went to Dr. Jackson’s house to try to save him. And as he was coming out of his house with his hands up and say, hey, guys, I’m not armed. Three or four of these white terrorists like this guy we saw in Buffalo said, we don’t give a damn who you are. And the greatest surgeon in the nation, black surgeon, bled out over four or 5 hours in the concentration camps. So that means his practice went away. That means that his hospital practice went away. That made the greatness that he had to give to our community and our greater African-American community went away forever. That’s now. Well, that’s just one example. Second example, J.B. Strafford, attorney J.B. Strafford, the richest man in Greenwood, Morta millionaire from 1918, owned lots of real estate, including the largest African-American owned hotel in the nation. Not in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the largest in the nation. But he was his all his property was burnt down. He was ran out of town, went to Chicago, and he could never come back to Tulsa because they put false felony indictments on him as being the cause of the so-called riot, as they called it. Now, imagine this. We see Marriott all over the nation in the world. We see Hyatt all over the nation, in the world we see Hilton, etc., etc.. What about his efforts? Well, all over the nation, in the world and it was centered base headquarters here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That’s why we were going to it. And then the third example I give you is attorney A.J. Smitherman owned the first African-American newspaper, the Tulsa Star first African-American newspaper in the nation, not in Oklahoma in the nation to have a national circulation. This was a man who was a national leader. He was a nationally known journalist. His property was burnt down. His business was burned down. He was ran. In fact, he had to go to Buffalo, New York, of all places, because he was willing to put his family close to the Canadian border because they were trying to extradite him back to Oklahoma. He could never come back. So imagine if he could continue to be in Tulsa, continue to grow, continue. He was the first African-American newspaper in a nation of national circulation. What that would have done for our community in Tulsa and Greenwood and for our national community. So that’s why it must be a community wide remedy, a community wide collective understanding and collective rebuilding.

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S1: How did the white folks who engage in this terrorism benefit from what they did to Greenwood? And what are some institutions today in Oklahoma or even nationally that got their start or benefited from that terrorist attack?

S2: The banks. Let’s talk about the banks. The banks, when they went to go get their money, the surviving members of Greenwood went to the white banks to get their money. They said, hey, where your bank book? You know, now that’s something that you and I don’t know much about because, you know, technology. But back then, you had to have the actual document come in and say, this is my money is in the bank. Well, the bank books burnt up. They said, hey, sorry. And some of those banks today are owned. About 12 of those banks today are owned by a little known bank you may have heard of called Chase. Chase Bank owns about 12 of those banks. And the other bank that owns about eight of those banks is Bank of Oklahoma. Another national bank, Bank of Ohio is based here. Obviously, Chase Bank is based in New York, but they actually held the money of a of survivors. They never could get their money back. Then you had insurance companies. You had insurance companies like Hartford and Chubb, who had insurance policies that they didn’t pay. And we’re talking about millions of dollars in insurance policies that were not paid because they Bogusz utilizes race riot clause to say, Oh, we can’t pay because it was a riot. So this is where this whole conspiracy to call it a riot, and this is why they call things riots across the nation, because now you can they destroy property, then they can make sure we could collect on our insurance payments. So you have these sophisticated people who have business in home and fire insurance pay their premiums and never got anything back. So it’s a double whammy. So even if you were able to to to survive, right. If you if you somehow you didn’t get shot or stabbed or burned a bomb from the air, if somehow you were able to come back and you didn’t have to be in a concentration camp where people were dying and living in tents for up to 18 months in the brutal Oklahoma heat and the frigid Oklahoma weather winter. If somehow you survived that and now you’ve got to try to rebuild. Oh, my God. You have no money. You have no insurance benefits. You literally starting from scratch. And so that’s why so many people did not get a chance to rebuild. So many people did not get a chance to come back. And that’s why it is so important that not only do we fight for accountability for those who perpetrate the massacre, who still benefit from the things that they did, that we’re doing our litigation, do our justice for Greenwood Foundation, our project is also important. We properly document all of the individual stories of the individual families, and we properly understand who was in Greenwood at the time. Look, we know that 10 to 15000 residents lived in Greenwood, but we also know that over 20, 25,000 people angry at any time. For your listeners who are familiar with the New York area, you know you’ve got the bureau, but everybody calls Manhattan a city, right? What if a Greenwood was for all these black towns there around Oklahoma at this time? Oklahoma, it still does, but it had the most al black towns in the history of this country. And Oklahoma was a vastly more black state at that time because of the black Native Americans and all the blacks who came in to Indian territory. You had a very substantial black population. I mean, Oklahoma’s became a black state. A lot of people don’t know that. Obviously now we only have 7% of the population that is black. In part, that’s because of the massacre and they continue harm. My point, Jason, is there are institutions, as you alluded to today, that are benefiting from the massacre, that they stole money from massacre survivors. They refuse to pay insurance policies. And we contacted many of these institutions trying to negotiate with them, but they don’t want to play ball with us. So we you know, we’re going to escalate that. And maybe your audience can help us say, hey, Chase, you know, you own these banks. You know what they did do the right thing. Bank of Oklahoma, Hartford Insurance Company, Chubb and as many others.

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S1: You mentioned something in here that I want to make sure we get to as well. This idea of you’re collecting stories and information, what information are you still looking for and who’s trying to stop you? I mean, you still trying to find minutes from white city council meetings at the time. You’re trying to find out, you know, what’s the airfield that the bombers were launched from? What’s the information you’re finding and what’s the holdup?

S2: All of the above. See, Jason, I know because of the last couple of years with Watchmen and Lovecraft and Trump coming to Tulsa on the centennial, this has gotten a lot of a lot of airplay and a lot more people have learned, at least know it happened. First of all, it’s still a significant amount of people who don’t know anything about it. And then there’s still I mean, we probably only have about 3 to 5% of all of the information that’s available because the white institutions who perpetrated the massacre, I’m gonna be very clear about that. This was state sponsored. It was the white government entities that deputized. And I hate to use the word mob, because it was it was the city deputized thousands of white men and they arm them. That’s very key, very important. But they have here the information. For a hundred years, they have hid the fact of their involvement. We don’t know the names of the perpetrators. We want to know the names of the perpetrators. We know that our survivors. Told us how many times they will go into the homes of white Tulsans as a repair person, as a domestic, as a delivery person. And they will say things that were stolen from their home, stolen from their neighbor, stolen from their businesses. We want to know where that is. That’s why we want to know everything about the massacre. We want to identify every family and individual that was impacted by the massacre. We want to know every individual that perpetrated the massacre. And we want those who perpetrate it to be held responsible. And when I say those, I’m talking about the entities that are still living today, the perpetrators of the massacre, the city of Tulsa, the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, Tulsa County Government, the Oklahoma National Guard, Tulsa Development Authority, and Tulsa Metropolitan Area Commission. They perpetrated the massacre in the 100 plus years of continued harm. And we want them to be held accountable.

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S1: We’re going to take a short break. When we come back, more Damario Solomon-Simmons about reparations for the survivors and descendants of the Tulsa race massacre. This is a word with Jason Johnson. Stay tuned. You’re listening to a word with Jason Johnson. Today we’re talking about reparations for the Tulsa race massacre with attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons. So Damario last year was the 100 year anniversary of the attack on Greenwood. I’m curious as to what you think about what the president did last year. Last year, the president comes and give speech. He talks about what happened. He says the massacre was a shame. And then he, you know, makes Juneteenth a federal holiday. What did you think of the sort of federal response to your lawsuit that you saw during the anniversary last year?

S2: Well, I answer that question by quoting or paraphrasing my client, 101 year old Hughes Van Ellis, who say a couple of weeks ago to me, he said, you know, I’m just so disappointed in President Biden because he sat with me. He did. He said what? The survivors. And he promised me he would do everything in his power to make sure I and our community gets justice. He’s done nothing. And so to hear what I can say, he’s a nominee. The Tulsa race massacre survivor. He’s a World War Two survivor, a combat veteran. And he proudly met President Biden. He told him, I voted for you. I believe in you. I believe you. Bring justice. President Biden said to his face, I’m going to do everything in my power. And then he’s done nothing. He’s done zero. And for my client, when I see how quickly the president and Congress can move to send $40 billion plus over to Ukraine, they devastated because, as they said to me and I wrote about this in the USA Today on March 11, op ed, War is bad. Bombs being dropped on men, women and children. No one wants to see that. But how is it that our government, in a matter of days can marshal billions of dollars, can go and visit, can do everything for Ukraine, but in over 100 years, almost 101 years next, we have not done one thing for Tulsa. Haven’t provided one penny for Greenwood. Have not provided any level of justice for survivors and descendants in this community. It is insulting. It’s infuriating. It’s grotesque. And it’s something that is just so if I’m trying to contain myself because as I think about it, I think about Buffalo and I think about this slaughter that’s going to happen. I think about the performative actions that’s going to happen. And people are going to go and make speeches, but they’re not going to do anything. They’re not going to do anything. They’re going to pass any particular policy. They’re going to put, you know, double the budget to stop domestic terrorism. They’re not going to provide reparations and restorative justice for those families. They’re not going to expel the members of Congress who are no open white supremacist that they could do under the 14th Amendment. They’re not going to sign an executive order to say, you know what, Congress, if you want, do this. I’m going to utilize my executive power to give justice to Greenwood, to give justice to these survivors, or to do anything besides give a speech. So that’s how I feel about it. That’s how my clients feel about it. These people are 108, 107 and 101 plus. They’ve lived through everything the president can’t and nothing has changed. We are still trying to get the Department of Justice to open an investigation into the largest crime in the history of this country. The largest crime it’s the largest crime scene you’re talking about in modern American history. Right. The largest crime scene is in Tulsa, Greenwood. And it’s never been investigated ever by any law enforcement agency.

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S1: One of the other things that’s happened I want to make sure we get to this before we close, is there’s this sort of renaissance that happened literally within 18 months. You had two very popular television shows come out that talked about the Greenwood Massacre. You had Lovecraft Country and you had Watchmen. What impact do you think those kinds of shows have had? I mean, did that encourage you? Because it’s like, okay, look, now we got national attention. We can do this suit. Or have there been some negative elements of that was like, okay, I think these shows, it was a good idea, but they’re downplaying how bad it was or they’re making this look like something that it wasn’t.

S2: There are positives to the mass marketing, if you may, of the story and giving it more awareness throughout the nation, throughout the world. So I definitely think there’s a lot of positive there, and I think there were some negatives, too. And one of the negatives that people don’t think about again is, one, they exploited this history. They didn’t bring anything back to Greenwood. They didn’t provide any money to the survivors in The Descendants. You know, people like the Williams Dreamland Theater. When you watch Watchmen, the first scene is the Williams Dreamland Theater. When they when a guy goes in there and he gets his wife who’s playing the piano, that’s the way it was. Dreamland Theater. They didn’t give the Williams family any money for utilizing the theater. They didn’t give anybody to my not well, I understood them or not. Didn’t get anybody any decent, any survivor, any revenue, anything off those films. I think that’s a problem. I think anybody and you see a lot of people. And we’re in contact with these folks. We firmly believe and we unapologetically believe if you use Greenwood using Tulsa in your name and your marketing, if you’re not giving something back to the Greenwood community and the survivors and descendants you are exploiting, period. That’s why I’m of little small organization, Justice for Greenwood with small forward. Want to see three. We’ve given over $355,000 to survivors and descendants over the last year and a half. You know, that’s a huge amount of money for us to give. So that’s why I ask you, if your listeners are listening, go to just for a reward, make a donation. Help us do this work. That shouldn’t be our role, but we feel like that’s we want to mirror what we want other people to do. Another way is negative. And people don’t think about this when you showing us Williams Dreamland Theater being bombed, there are Williams family members still alive. There is real trauma in this. This is not some historical incident that happened a thousand years ago. There are people’s grandchildren and children still living. And so when they see that on scene and they see that on TV and they know that they’re showing is destruction. There is no have never been any mental health opportunities set aside for survivors of the Senate, which is something we’re fighting for, something we’re advocating for, something we believe must happen. But when they see that now you’re seeing this destruction, but in a knowing these groups are making money off them. So we’re creating harm and trauma all over again. And they are so appreciative you asking that question, because it’s something that people have to understand. This is real. It’s just like in Buffalo. Those when I saw the pictures of those people being killed, those mothers. And understanding that people are going to tweet about it, talk about it. But are they going to give them services to help them really deal with the grief and help them? Are they going to do real things? And as you know, Jason, I do a lot of police cases. And I just have to say this, the trauma that our community sees when white people can kill and destroy us being in 1921 without any repercussion or buffalo, when you see this white boy get arrested without a scratch on his head, when they roll up and they know he didn’t kill ten black people, that he’s armed and he doesn’t get shot. It’s the same mentality of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, and it’s the same level of harm. You say, Man, how can we be? How can this happen? How can this happen? What if we can be destroy like this? And it’s okay. And no one is held accountable. So from 1921 to Greenwood, Mass. Tulsa Race Massacre, they called it History to Buffalo this weekend. It’s the same spirit. It’s the same violence that we’ve experienced in this country for 500 plus years. And that’s why, again, I’m disappointed in Joe Biden. That’s why I’m disappointed the Department of Justice. That’s why I’m disappointed congressional leaders, because they have not done anything to protect us. They haven’t done anything to give us remedy. They haven’t done anything to make sure that this does not happen again. And far as massacres or these white terrorist attacks, this can happen again. It will happen again. And not just these little small incidents. Tulsa can happen again. That’s why we must have full understanding and full appreciation of Tulsa and get the full remedy of it.

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S1: Damario Solomon-Simmons is a civil rights attorney and the managing partner of Solomon-Simmons law. He’s leading an effort to win reparations for the Tulsa race massacre victims. Thanks so much for joining me on a world map, Jason.

S2: I appreciate you and all you do for our community.

S1: And that’s a word for this week. The show’s email is a word at Slate.com. This episode was produced by Jasmine Ellis. Alicia montgomery is the executive producer of podcasts at Slate. Our theme music was produced by Don Will. I’m Jason Johnson. Tune in next week for Word.