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(Washington, DC) This week marks 100 years since the Tulsa race massacre, in which more than 35 square blocks of a Black community were looted and burned by a white mob in Oklahoma. Some estimate that more than 300 Black residents were killed and 1,000 homes and businesses destroyed.

The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, acting president and executive director with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

“While we remember the victims of the Tulsa race massacre today, we also know that, sadly, this type of racist mob violence is not limited to the past. From the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, to the trespass of a Black teenager’s home by a mob in Pender County, North Carolina just last year, we know that racist violence continues to threaten Black communities across the country. Most concerning is when this type of violence is condoned by the state.

“Beyond righting these wrongs, the best way to honor those lost to racist violence in the past is to defend and protect Black lives now and going forward. Through our James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate, named in honor of a Black man killed by white supremacists, we are committed to fighting white supremacy and supporting those who have been targeted by racist violence.”

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About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes.  For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.  

About the James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate at the Lawyers’ Committee – The James Byrd Jr. Center to Stop Hate, at the Lawyers’ Committee, supports communities and individuals targeted for hate and challenges white supremacy by using creative legal advocacy, disrupting systems that enable hate, and educating the general public and policymakers. The Byrd Center’s resource and reporting hotline for hate incidents, 1-844-9-NO-HATE (1-844-966-4283), connects people and organizations combating hate with the resources and support they need. For more information please visit: https://lawyerscommittee.org/project/stop-hate-project/