GCC Asks City Of Tulsa For Security Help After Threats 

The coming months will be a time of remembrance and grief as the City of Tulsa recognizes the 1921 Race Massacre and prepares for the world to cast their eyes on our city. It is anticipated that thousands of people will also come to witness how Tulsa and the Greenwood area remembers the darkest of days. Those thousands of people will no doubt put a strain on the infrastructure in ways that could leave the area strained beyond reason. Well, that is the belief of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce (GCC) Freeman Culver. Specifically, Culver wants help with security. 

Culver sees the need for more and better lighting and repairing aging sidewalks. Sadly, there are threats being made and a security consultant has recommended closing Greenwood Avenue between Archer Street and the Interstate 244 overpass. It is unclear how credible the threats are and what Tulsa Police plan on doing. The threats according to Culver are aimed at Greenwood business owners and members of the GCC. Apparently, the threats were found on the “dark web” and detailed the targets of racial hatred.  

The city has acknowledged the request and plans on addressing security. The plans regarding police actions are not likely to be announced, nor to what lengths the city of Tulsa is taking the threats seriously. Unfortunately, we live in times where words can turn into action and unhealthy minds are liable to act on sick impulses.  

The city in typical fashion sent a press release stating that private business owners are responsible for sidewalks. As the city prepares to show the world it is healing the scars left a century ago, it is hoped it is more attentive to the needs of the Greenwood area.  

Dallas Set To Rename A Street After Botham Jean 

Some cities really step up to the plate in doing what they can to heal acts of hatred within their borders. Dallas, Texas is the latest progressive city to do the right thing. City officials have decided to rename a portion of a Dallas street for Botham Jean, the unarmed black man who was fatally shot in his apartment by his neighbor and former police officer who claims she mistook his apartment for her own.  

During these times when we ask each other to say his or her name in remembering those shot down by police or others in acts of senseless violence, Dallas is taking that a step further. People will write down his name on mail going to the renamed street. They will also drive past and remember a life struck down before its time.  

It is of course an act of civic kindness and tender mercies for Botham Jean’s family. This occurred in a ceremony last weekend where the city and family came together to reveal the newly minted street signs for Botham Jean Boulevard.  

The murder and trial will be remembered for some testimony for the kind of man Jean was and the expressions of ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger who in September of 2018 entered the apartment of Jean and shot and killed him. Guyger claims she was tired and thought she entered her own apartment and shot Jean thinking he was a burglar. She was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison for the killing.  

Jean was by all accounts a wonderful man. He worked as an accountant and was from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia. Perhaps in a tribute to the Jean family, Guyger asked the judge if she could hug Jean’s brother. The judge also hugged her.  

It remains to be seen if the interactions and expressions of love and forgiveness are right in all situations, but there are times harmony is just what we all need.  

Suppressing Black Votes Is Played With Bare Knuckles 

Is Georgia still smarting from losing both United States Senate seats to the democrats or are they returning to the Jim Crow era of the south? Probably a little of both and you could add that the Governor has a history of raw efforts to suppress the black vote. He was no doubt effective in the past when he ran for governor against Stacey Abrams in 2018. Brian Kemp was at the time the Secretary of State and in that role he had control of elections and ballots. He threw out hundreds of thousands of mostly black votes. He ran for governor against Abrams, and she lost by 50,000 votes.  

Abrams sued Kemp because he had a clear conflict of interest and was found to have violated federal voting laws in another investigation of the questionable election. To this day, Abrams will not recognize Kemp as the rightful governor. Her suit against Kemp has yet to be heard. Despite Kemp’s sorry and brutal voting record he and the legislature have passed a rigid set of laws suppressing voting rights aimed at African Americans.  

Black Georgians are sick and tired of Kemp’s brutal regime and voter suppression. Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon was arrested after merely knocking on Kemp’s door as he was preparing to sign the anti-voting laws. As Cannon knocked, she was approached by Georgia State troopers and promptly arrested. Cannon was literally dragged out of the capitol in hand cuffs. Under state law, legislators are free from arrest during sessions of the General Assembly except for extreme situations. Knocking on a door is not one of them.  

Perhaps Kemp did not think the optics were right for voting rights advocates to witness as he signed the sweeping voter restriction laws while surrounded by white lawmakers under a picture of a Georgian slave plantation. Activists were trying to overturn the restrictive laws they described as placing undue burdens on the right to vote. They see it as unconstitutional under the First and 14th amendments. In fact, it may have violated of the Voting Rights Act.  

Basically, what is happening in Georgia is despicable. There have been calls for boycotting Georgia, but so far Abrams has not been keen to punish the state in that fashion. As lawsuits move to challenge elections and newly implemented laws perhaps it is best to see how they play out before pulling the economic trigger.