CHINA / POLITICS
Biden’s Tulsa massacre speech ‘political performance’ as white supremacy carved in genes of the West
Published: Jun 02, 2021 11:32 PM
US President Joe Biden speaks during a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre at the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

US President Joe Biden speaks during a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre at the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Tuesday. Photo: AFP



US President Joe Biden's speech on the Tulsa Race Massacre was more like a political performance to help the US regain its moral high ground before using genocide accusations against other countries, and no matter how loud the US and the West boasted about fighting against white supremacy, it has been carved in their genes and emerged as race massacres in the colonial era and manifested in  geopolitical tactics in modern times, analysts said. 

Biden flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma on Tuesday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, in which an estimated 300 black Tulsa residents were killed when a white mob destroyed homes and businesses in the Greenwood district in 1921. 

In his speech, Biden recalled how the Tulsa massacre happened and how it was erased from history. He admitted that what happened in the Greenwood district was not a riot but a "massacre" and is among "the worst in history but not the only one." 

As the first sitting president to honor the victims in Tulsa, Biden wanted to draw national attention to racial inequality that grips US society, and he noted white supremacy as the most lethal threat to the homeland. 

However loudly Biden opposes white supremacy, he cannot hide the fact that white supremacy is the mainstream culture of the US and was formed by history, deeply ingrained in the social, economic, and political systems of the US, Tang Yingxia, vice director of the research center for human rights at Nankai University, told the Global Times.

Race massacre and slavery had existed since the colonial era with a demand for cheap labor, and the pseudo-science of racial superiority in the 19th century endorsed racial discrimination and became part of mainstream American culture, Tang said. 

"Biden's speech on the Tulsa Race Massacre is more about politics than to correct mistakes. By making this 'touching' speech, the Democratic Party hopes to reap votes from ethnic minorities for the mid-term election. After the mass vaccination plan, the Biden administration needs to drive the domestic economy. This is why Biden mentioned the racial wealth gap, American Jobs Plan and Families Plan in the speech," Zhu Ying, deputy director of the National Human Rights Education and Training Base of Southwest University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times. 

One of the key reasons for Biden to admit the Tulsa Race Massacre is to help the US regain its moral high ground to accuse others of committing a "massacre" or "genocide." Given that there is more evidence of the US committing genocide to Native Americans in history, admitting historical mistakes like the Tulsa Race Massacre would help the US avoid being accused of more serious crimes in history, Zhu noted. 

Analysts also noted that Biden's Tuesday speech was made against this backdrop, as more international scholars and experts, especially those on international law, have stood out to oppose the US for labeling China for "committing genocide toward Uygurs" in its Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The misuse of the word "genocide" is disdainful toward relatives of the victims of the Armenian massacre, the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, as well as a disservice to history, law, and the prudent conduct of international relations. The US' evidence-free accusation of genocide on China's Xinjiang is a geopolitical weapon against China, Alfred de Zayas, former United Nations independent expert, and Richard Falk, an Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, wrote in an article released on independent website Counterpunch. 

The two experts also noted that China would be on firmer ground than the US if it were to accuse it of "continuing genocide" against the First Nations of the Americas, Cherokees, Sioux, Navajo, and many other tribal nations. 

Protesters take part in a demonstration in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the United States, on June 20, 2020. File photo: Xinhua

Protesters take part in a demonstration in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the United States, on June 20, 2020. File photo: Xinhua



Blood on hands

"Whether viewed from international laws or the real situation in China's Xinjiang, China should not be the one accused of genocide. Race massacre and genocide are the outcomes of white supremacy in the West, and no matter how remotely the whining and crying of the Africans, Jews, Indians and blacks have gone in history, Western countries and the US cannot wash the blood on their hands," Zhu said.

Different from the US and some Western countries, which cannot provide persuasive evidence to support their "genocide" accusation against China, evidence and testimonies are everywhere to nail the West for its humiliating history of genocide, experts said.

One of the most tragic genocide crimes was committed by Nazi Germany toward Jews out of white supremacy. During the Holocaust, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered six million Jews across German-occupied Europe, around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population.

Back in the colonial occupation of Namibia, Germany committed genocide in the country and it is thought up to 80 percent of the indigenous populations died, with a death toll in the tens of thousands. It was not until last week that Germany officially acknowledged the crime, the BBC reported.  

In the US, the number of indigenous people has sharply declined. By the close of the Indian Wars in the late 19th century, fewer than 238,000 indigenous people remained, a sharp decline from the estimated 5 to 15 million living in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492, and the US government authorized over 1,500 wars, attacks and raids on Indians, which was also the most of any country in the world against its indigenous people, according to history.com.

The US' allies and some Western countries have also been proven to be executors and accomplices of race genocide. 

Recently, remains of 215 children had been reportedly found at an indigenous school in Canada, proof that Canada committed "culture genocide" by forcing more than 150,000 Indigenous children to attend residential schools across the country between the 1870s and 1990s, media reported.  

In Australia, there was the infamous White Australia Policy. Between 1910 and 1970, the Australian government forcibly took 100,000 aboriginal children away from their families. The lingering pain of these children, known as the Stolen Generation, can still be felt today. 

Australian troops were also found to have unlawfully killed 39 unnamed civilians and prisoners during the war in Afghanistan, sparking international criticism since November 2020. 

Many cases of genocide happened in the colonial period of Western countries. Although the West and the US said they had reflections over the history out of their moral responsibility, their actions showed they never changed, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times. 

Instead of truly repenting for their mistakes, the US and Western countries have developed the practices of white supremacy in modern times - from race massacres in the colonial period to playing geopolitical tactics, inciting wars, sowing discord among different ethnic minorities in other countries and politicizing human rights topics, causing more disastrous results globally, Lü said. 

Aside from its notorious domestic record, in recent years, in the name of fighting terrorism and upholding human rights, the US created turmoil in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan, causing millions of innocent casualties. Caught in the conflict were Muslim countries. 

Since invading Afghanistan in 2001, the US has spent $2.26 trillion on the war, which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a study of Brown University's Costs of War Project. It also estimates that 241,000 people have died as a direct result of this war. 

"No matter how loud the US has boasted to oppose white supremacy or promote racial equality, their domestic and external policies have showed white supremacy at its core--for example, forging anti-China and anti-Russia gangs with its West allies, or wrongly accusing China of genocide," Lü said, noting the US' evidence-free accusation about Xinjiang of China may backfire and increase its domestic racial discrimination. 

Tang said that a series of moves of Biden, including his Tuesday speech in Greenwood, further exposed the US hypocrisy and use of human rights as a tool. 


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