WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – “Our country may forget this history, but I cannot,” Viola Fletcher, the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre said Wednesday.
She was just 7-years-old when the Tulsa Race Massacre occurred. Now, 100 years later she is on Capitol Hill asking Congress to act.
“Today I am visiting Washington DC for the first time in my life. I am here seeking justice,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher testified before a House committee on the centennial of the massacre when a white mob attacked the Oklahoma community killing Black residents and destroying homes and businesses.
“I still smell smoke and see fire. I still see Black businesses being burned,” Fletcher said.
Advocates for survivors and families said they have suffered the impacts of the massacre for generations.
“Reparations are simply making amends for a wrong and that is what we are asking for today,” Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, Founder & Executive Director, Terence Crutcher Foundation said.
Georgia Democrat Hank Johnson supports the effort and just introduced legislation that would allow massacre-related claims.
“The victims of this atrocity have been denied justice for far too long,” Hank (D-GA) said.
Republicans said what happened in Tulsa doesn’t represent what America is today.
“What happened in Tulsa in 1921 is wrong as wrong can be,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) said Wednesday.
100-year-old survivor and World War II veteran Hughes Van Ellis said he believes in the America he fought to defend.
But hopes Congress will now re-pay his community.
“I hope that we all will work together. We are one,” Van Ellis said.