LATE-BREAKING UPDATE: Officials with the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission have canceled the Remember & Rise event scheduled for Monday, May 31.
“Due to unexpected circumstances with entertainers and speakers, the Centennial Commission is unable to fulfill our high expectations for Monday afternoon’s commemoration event and has determined not to move forward with the event at this time. We have hopes to reschedule later in this 100th commemorative year. We apologize for the disappointment and any inconvenience caused to ticket holders; if rescheduled ticket holders will be notified first.”
1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission
TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – The Department of Homeland Security says the Tulsa Race Massacre commemoration events could be a target for white supremacists.
The Tulsa Police Department says it’s all hands on deck.
“I want a bunch of policemen working, and my hope is none of them have to take any action,” Chief Wendell Franklin said.
In a memo, DHS says they haven’t seen any credible threats, but “the current Homeland threat environment remains heightened.”
It also says white supremacists “historically have used simple tactics, such as vehicle ramming, small arms, edged weapons, and rudimentary explosive devices to target individuals perceived as having ideologically opposing views, racial minorities, or law enforcement at mass gatherings or crowded public spaces.”
The Tulsa Police Department says some officers will be undercover. Police have also installed cameras for live surveillance.
“We’re going to use a number of different methods to ensure the safety of the citizens within our city,” Franklin said.
Quraysh Ali Lansana, director of the Center of Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation at OSU Tulsa, says the political climate could be a risk factor.
“We are experiencing in the last – I would say since the election of President Barack Obama through this current moment – we have been experiencing a rise in the ranks of white supremacist groups all over the country,” he said.
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He adds that some things haven’t changed.
“What is the difference really between an angry white mob in 1921 and an angry white mob in 2021? It’s really just time,” he said. “I would take any threat, particularly one that comes from DHS, I would take that very seriously.”