When we think of a terrorist, what are we conveying in our minds? First, let’s figure out the definition of a terrorist or terrorism. Terrorism is a noun that has three meanings, depending on how the word is used in a sentence. The first meaning is the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. The second meaning is the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism. The third meaning is a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government. With all of this said, one group of people can cause fear into another group of people and it would be considered as terrorism. Would Klu Klux Klan be considered as a terrorist organization? Would the Black Panthers be considered as a terrorist organization? Would Communism be considered as a terrorist organization?
The United States of America has a long and said history of terrorizing its own citizens. I would expect that from other countries as a result of change of power or civil wars within their own country due to religious beliefs. The United States of America is supposed to be a land of the free. This means we are free to do whatever we desire and be whoever we desire to be within the law of the land. After all, this is one of the lyrics in the United States National Anthem. The Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key, September 14, 1814 while watching the British attack Fort McHenry, Maryland. Now here is a man, an immigrant from another country, who wrote an anthem to signify freedom in the “new world,” called the United States of America. Why would I call Mr. Key an immigrant although he was born in the United States? Even though he was born in the United States, his ancestry is not from another country or combination of countries. The Natives from northeast Asia were the first in North and South America who migrated via Siberia from a bridge that lead into Alaska.
Since we understand the terminology of what a terrorist is, we can get into a terrorist bombing forgotten. As I searched the internet to find information on all terrorist bombings in the Unites States of America, only one source revealed the information that I am going to present. I was surprised not to find this information on foxnews.com. Foxnews.com has a page dedicated to “History of bombings in the US, including famous attempts that failed since the late 1800’s,” and this story is not on included on this specific page of their site. When someone thinks of the first bombing ever on American soil, what comes to mind? Some may say the bombings against us by us during the American Civil War. Others may say the bombing of an Oklahoma building in 1995 by Timothy McVeigh, which is considered one of the deadliest terrorist attacks. Even so, some may say the two airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Towers, also called 9/11 may be the first. This attack is something different and should be considered as one of the most despicable attacks against American people by American people in our history; a history silenced. Why would the Civil War not count as the first bombing on American soil? It’s simple. The Civil War was between two countries; the Confederate States of America (also called the Rebels with Alexander, Virginia as their headquarters after being moved from Montgomery, Alabama) and the United States of America (also called the Union with their headquarters in Washington, District of Columbia). Because this nation was not considered one complete country, we cannot use this as the first bombing on American soil by Americans.
I will set the stage for you. The date is 1921. The place is Tulsa, Oklahoma. Most people don’t know or have not heard of this, or what actually happened during this time. This was called the Tulsa race riot of 1921. How did this come to pass? The attack was carried out by air and ground, destroying more than 35 blocks of the Greenwood district, one of the wealthiest communities of those of African descent. More than eight hundred people were admitted into hospitals and over six thousand residents were arrested or detained. Sources estimated over three hundred people of African descent dead. What caused this riot? A woman of European descent accused a man of African descent in raping her. After finding out the suspect may be lynched, the residents charged into the police station with weapons to stop the injustice. During the confrontation, many people died, including people of European descent. This led to thousands people of European descent destroying stores and homes. The rampage left over ten thousand residents of the community homeless as well as over one and a half million dollars in property damage and seven hundred fifty thousand dollars in personal damages. This was a community that had a few European descent residents and people of African descent were doctors, lawyers, optometrists, bank owners, and had other successful businesses.
Why did people of European descent destroy the homes and business of the residents of Greenwood? Why were there airplanes dropping dynamite on the rooftops of buildings? Why were the police and National Guard helping those of European descent run those of African descent out of their community? We all can come up with a lot of different reasons. Some of these reasons may be good, and other reasons may be skeptical. Some would say “playing the race card” and others would say let’s be realistic.
As we look throughout the history of the United States of America, we can see this country was divided among itself; the Confederacy that were for slavery and the Union that were opposed to slavery. In my opinion, this division was about money, not slavery per say. Just like people of European descent migrated from their respective countries to America, people of African descent were forced from their respective countries to become slaves and less than a man or woman. Being oppressed by the lack of education and refused rights under the United States Constitution, tribes were separated and looked upon as “property” not humans. As society grew in the years that led to this event, it was evident that people of African descent were not supposed to have anything, and God forbid they had more than those of European descent. The society was turning into white was right and black is bad. After all, the term white is to mean innocent or not intended to cause any harm. The term black is to mean wicked or characterized by hostility. Anyone would believe this because the pictures of Jesus in the church are of a European Jesus. When you have a people that are suppressed, they may not know any different. In Revelations 1:13-16, it speaks of Jesus as having feet of bronze and hair like white wool. If we look at the definition of bronze we find out that bronze is a metallic brown color. In history, we know people of African descent were called colored because their skin completion is not that of Europeans. Wooly hair is often associated with Negroid hair. As we know from the original Middle Easterners, they are of brown skin and their hair can be wooly or tight-curled. In any event, when someone put a picture of what they think represents good and you have a race of people that are uneducated, it is easy to believe what you may not know or understand. For these reasons I usually don’t use black or white in describing any one person or people. I met “white” people in my life who are not innocent. I met “white” people who really don’t intend on causing harm. I met “black” people in my life who are not wicked. I met “black” people in my life who are wicked. I am sure we all had met “whites and blacks” who may and may not fit the definition. Therefore, I use European and African descent to describe a people. The 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma bombing is not in any history book as part of the United States of America History. It seems like this part of history has been… silenced.
There are other countries that have people of African descent living among them. When they are speaking of themselves, they would always say “I am French.” “I am from the United Kingdom.” You would not hear them say I am Italian English. You would not hear them say I am black living in France. In America, we have citizens that would say “I am Italian.” “I am Irish.” America, the melting pot of the entire earth, yet we are the most judgmental and prejudice. If you don’t believe me, just look around. Look at the injustice and countless killings by police on the citizens they are sworn to protect. Look at the many racially motivated groups and the killings by those groups. Look at the recruitment by racially motivated groups to overpower another racial group. America, the terrorist country within itself and if we don’t stop as a nation to recognize each other as a human being, we will continue to stereotype others and tear ourselves apart.
~CF Boston Brian~
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