From the Tulsa massacre to the invasion of Ukraine: why erasing the history books won’t stop timeless acts of hate

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Looking at the events unfolding in Ukraine, it is not difficult to compare them to what happened during Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland, which in 1939 marked the beginning of the Second World War, especially when you see how two dictators, like Hitler and Putin, followed the same playbook.

Both invasions were unprovoked attacks on innocent people. When you consider the reasons for the attack on Ukraine, they resemble the reasons for the Tulsa Massacre in 1921.

It shows how timeless acts of hate and evil are. Erasing them from the history books does not prevent similar human rights violations from occurring now or in the future. As Russia invaded Ukraine to “keep the peace,” the world witnessed a lying dictator in action.

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the dispatch of troops to breakaway parts of eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was candid about the long-term goal of Russia. “His ultimate goal is to destroy Ukraine,” Kuleba said of Putin. Putin “wants the idea of ​​a Ukrainian state to fail. That’s his goal. »

Putin is terrified of democracy. He hates that NATO was founded to defend democracies on both sides of the Atlantic and provide effective opposition to any power that seeks to dominate Europe. Putin’s fears about NATO center not on possible military aggression from the West, but rather on the optimism and hope that democracy offers.

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and left 15 independent states in its place. Putin aims to restore Russia as a global superpower while reining in nations that previously turned away from Moscow. These goals become personal and more complex when former Soviet republics like Ukraine and former members of the Warsaw Pact aspire to become free democracies.

If Ukraine had succeeded in transforming itself into a democratic, unified and prosperous state that had achieved EU acceptance along with NATO membership, the credibility of the ruling dictatorship in Russia would be in jeopardy. game. An independent, democratic, economically stable and internationally integrated Ukraine exposes Putin’s lies and potentially threatens his grip on power.

A successful Ukrainian model would show the Russian model as a failure and a sham while showing what real democracy offers. This would inspire other regions, including Russian citizens, to seek greater control over their own destiny by opposing the current regime in Moscow.

The Ukrainian model is destroyed in real time. Compare that to the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. Greenwood operated independently having its own school system, post office, bank, library, hospital, and public transportation.

It was a thriving city within a city with upscale shops, restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, jewelry and clothing stores, movie theaters, barbershops and barbershops, billiard halls, discotheques and offices of doctors, lawyers and dentists. Black people living in houses, driving cars, women wearing furs, and just realizing and enjoying the benefits of economic success did not get along well with white people who were not as economically successful.

The prosperity of the people of Greenwood frightened them. It was intolerable for those who live to defend white supremacy. If the area known as “Black Wall Street” and others like it had been allowed to flourish unchallenged, it would have been a successful model for other black communities to not only accumulate wealth, but also to transfer it from generation to generation.

It discredits the idea that black people are inferior people unable to achieve the American dream at levels far exceeding their white counterparts. As an economic powerhouse, Greenwood would prove the idea of ​​white superiority a sham without any credibility.

Today, the people of Ukraine, like the 11,000 citizens living in the Greenwood District, deserve peace and the pursuit of happiness. The defense of power and superiority has no human limits for certain individuals throughout history. In 1921, the Tulsa Massacre began with an “alleged assault” and ended with a deadly invasion by a lynching mob.

They too have followed the playbook, which begins with a lie and ultimately ends with a deadly attack to destroy what they see as a threat to their power and control. Within the 35 square blocks of Greenwood, approximately 300 people were killed.

The model of Black Wall Street was reduced to ashes, destroying more than 1,200 homes, at least 60 businesses and dozens of churches. The unjust “supremacy” has won in the only way possible, through misinformation, intimidation and violence. For Greenwood survivors, like Holocaust survivors after them, this was a traumatic event, and we must never forget the true motives of these assaults.

Before the Trump administration took office, we had never seen an American president hold a Russian dictator in such high regard. While the world is shocked and saddened by Russia’s unprovoked attack on neighboring Ukraine, it really should come as no surprise that former President Donald Trump called Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine a “scholarly” and “genius”. As for the playbook, Trump fully acknowledges it and supports its use.

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