Tulsa survivors demand compensation hearing

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Lacey Benningfield Randall, Viola Ford Fletcher, the late Hughes Van Ellis, Source: Brandon Bell/Getty

Imagine looking the sole survivors of one of the worst and most infamous racial massacres in American history straight in the eye and being told they are owed nothing for what they endured. Imagine saying this to black people who are demanding reparations not as descendants of victims, but as victims themselves.

This is exactly what is happening to 109 year old people Viola Ford Fletcher And lacey beningfield randall and the estate of Fletcher’s late brother Hughes Van Ellis, who died at the age of 102. All three black American citizens were personal victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, in which hundreds of black people were brutally murdered and resulting in the destruction of Black Wall Street.

Survivors of the Tulsa race gather in Washington DC on Juneteenth

Viola Ford Fletcher/Source: Anadolu/Getty

Tulsa prepares for 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre

lacey beningfield randall, Source: Brandon Bell/Getty

Today, April 2, the Oklahoma Supreme Court will hear oral arguments not only on whether Tulsa survivors will receive compensation, but whether they even have the right to go to trial to argue for compensation.

Randall and Fletcher jointly said, “We are grateful that our now weary bodies endured long enough to bear witness to America and Oklahoma providing survivors of race genocide the opportunity to access the legal system. ” statement, “We have come across many people who have knocked on the doors of the court and have been either beaten back or not allowed to enter the door. Now, our quest for justice is in the hands of our Oklahoma Supreme Court. They have the power to open the doors of justice and give us an opportunity to prove our case.”

Randall and Fletcher should spend their final years relaxing and enjoying time with their family. Instead, they are “grateful” to still be alive and to endure court battles in an arduous effort to convince Tulsa (and by extension, America) that it needs to right the wrong that left a thriving black Devastated the community, destroyed black families and took hundreds of black lives.

In 2022, a Tulsa judge allowed a lawsuit to move forward accusing the city of Tulsa and other related departments of complicity in the massacre, and its impact is still being felt today by survivors and their families.

women told cnn They have argued that the damage caused during the genocide was a “public nuisance” from the beginning and are seeking relief from the nuisance as well as recovery of “unjust enrichment” received by others from the “exploitation of the genocide”.

Generally, according to the Legal Information Institute, a public nuisance occurs when a person or entity “unreasonably interferes with the common right of the general public”.

However, on Fletcher’s 109th birthday, May 10, 2023, she was back in court fighting a new motion to dismiss the case.

“I didn’t feel very good about it,” Fletcher told CNN.

“It was really unpleasant to be there for so many hours but you know I’d be willing to do it again,” Fletcher said.

Unfortunately, just a few months later, a Motion to dismiss case granted The City of Tulsa argued in part that “merely being associated with a historical event does not give an individual unlimited rights to seek compensation related to the event”.

So the families appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which took up the case in August 2023.

Now, Randall and Fletcher are in a last-ditch effort to get a chance to argue for reparations once again.

Imagine working so hard to keep direct survivors of horrific crimes from being denied justice and fighting for justice more than a century later. The callous indifference that Tulsa and its legal representation are showing these survivors is indicative of America’s indifference and refusal to properly atone for its racist, deeply oppressive, and oppressive past. And this is the America some Americans want Make it great again.

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