WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — On Tuesday, President Joe Biden touched down in Oklahoma to spotlight the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre.
In 1921, a white mob murdered hundreds of Black Americans and destroyed millions of dollars of property.
Biden is the first president to visit the site. The visit has renewed calls for Congress to tackle reparations for all Black Americans whose families endured similar violence.
Two weeks ago, survivors and their descendants called on Congress to acknowledge the attack and provide reparations.
“We are looking for justice because for centuries, injustice has cost our families an unspeakable price,” said Tiffany Crutcher, a Tulsa victim descendant.
The White House says Biden supports legislation to study broader reparations for Black Americans but hasn’t endorsed specific payments for Tulsa massacre victims.
Instead on Tuesday, the president announced new efforts to close the wealth gap by promoting Black home ownership and small businesses nationwide.
“He’s handling this, I think, appropriately,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said.
Cleaver welcomes studying reparations, but many Republicans remain opposed.
At a February hearing, Republican Congressman Tom McClintock called them unfair.
“I can’t imagine a more divisive, polarizing or unjust measure,” Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said. “Would by government force require people who never owned slaves to pay reparations to those who never were slaves?”
“That’s just not what it is,” Cleaver said.
Instead of simple payments, Cleaver says the study could find different ways to bring justice to Black Americans and hopes Tuesday’s visit moves the issue forward.