Letter from a supporter of Revolution Books

Carl Dix on 100 Years Since the Tulsa Massacre
These Racist Horrors Must and Can End...Through Revolution, Nothing Less

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On June 1, Revolution Books in New York City and the Revolution Club hosted a powerful talk by Carl Dix on the horrifying, white supremacist mob destruction of the Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 31 and June 1, 1921... and the lessons for today. The title of the talk was 100 Years Since the Tulsa Massacre: These Racist Horrors Must End... Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution! Some 30 people attended this nationally livestreamed program. It was an evening both deeply felt and challenging.

The program started with a showing of the short, riveting documentary on the massacre—produced by filmmaker Dave Zeiger for The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less—Show. Carl then began his talk by reading from Bob Avakian’s statement on the Tulsa massacre (see video clip here). Then he went into the genocidal dimensions of what happened in 1921 in Tulsa—and how, on top of that, the system has worked to suppress and erase this history—with none of perpetrators brought to justice (see clip here).

The Savage Destruction of Greenwood... The Role of Official Authority in This Massacre

Some 300 Black people were slaughtered in this massacre... thousands were forced into internment camps by the state police and National Guard... and thousands more were forced to flee this genocidal rampage. Think about the Black homes and businesses that were looted and destroyed, the Black schools and churches razed to the ground: almost 40 square blocks of the prosperous Greenwood neighborhood were reduced to smoldering rubble in those two days. The property destroyed or stolen would amount to $200 million in today’s dollars.

And the Tulsa massacre wasn’t some spontaneous racist outburst. The local newspaper ran a headline that read: “To Lynch Negro Tonight.” The city authorities deputized white vigilantes to attack Black vets who had organized to prevent the lynching of a Black teenager held in the city jail on trumped-up charges of assaulting a white woman. (For a full account of the Tulsa massacre, see American Crime Case #12: Tulsa Massacre and the Destruction of Black Wall Street at revcom.us.)

Putting the Tulsa Massacre in Context... Drawing the Necessary Lessons

Carl put this barbarous racist bloodbath in historical context: “This massacre was an extreme example of the oppression America has inflicted on Black people, but it is not an isolated case. It is a part of a long, unending chain of savagery this country has inflicted on the African-American people. Out of this history, we can identify an ugly truth and draw an important lesson. The ugly truth, to quote from Bob Avakian For the Liberation of Black People & for the Emancipation of All Humanity: ‘for the powers-that-be in this country, the humanity of Black people has never counted for anything—they have never been valued as human beings, but only as things to be exploited, oppressed and repressed.’

“Billboards are not justice... commemoration isn't justice. Justice is making sure this savage oppression of Black people is finally ENDED once and for all. AND that will take a REAL Revolution.”

There Is a Way Out... There IS the Leadership to Make the Revolution to End These and Other Horrors

In this light, Carl brought out the rare and precious leadership that we have in Bob Avakian (BA) (see clip here):

“Yes, I’m saying you should follow an old white man. I’m saying this because he has figured out how to make revolution and how to bring into being a world where exploitation and oppression are no more—a classless, communist world. If you are serious about wanting to see something done about the suffering of today, you have to get serious about it, get scientific about it. You gotta engage the work that BA has done, and you have to take it up and act on it, taking up spreading the need for and possibility of revolution, and the leader we have for this necessary revolution. There’s never been a leader like BA in this country, and I say that as someone who was inspired to join the revolutionary movement of the 1960s by Malcolm X and the leaders of the Black Panther Party. For all their courage and determination, those leaders were never able to develop the strategy for how to make revolution in this country or to develop a vision of the future society that could be brought into being through revolution. BA has done that.”

Carl encouraged people to get into the film of BA’s talk, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Make A Real Revolution and the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

“All this,” Carl went on to say, “is why I am a follower of BA, and why, if you want to see an end to the horrors this system perpetrates on humanity, you need to follow him too.”

Carl drew from the Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now for a Real Revolution about how we have entered one of those rare times when revolution becomes possible. And Carl talked about some of the features of the current situation that heighten the possibility for revolution, both the intense in-fighting among the Democrats and Republi-fascists at the top of society and the revolutionary potential revealed by the beautiful uprising of last summer in the wake of the murder of George Floyd (see clip here).

There was lively discussion and Q&A: more about the Tulsa massacre; Carl’s experience refusing to go to Vietnam to fight an imperialist war; what the real “soul of America” is (genocidal and exploitative); the role of the Democrats in roping people back into the system.

After the talk, a representative of the NYC Revolution Club talked about and invited people into the planning for the June 12 march in NYC in conjunction with the march in Los Angeles that day: Show the World — We Are Getting Organized NOW for Revolution — Nothing Less.



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