The mass media was quick to label the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The alternative media and others have been quick to challenge that claim, noting that it fails to take into account the mass killings of people of color, such as the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 that left 150 to 300 Lakota men, women and children dead.
This is not to diminish the tragedy of what happened on Sunday and the tremendous grief and suffering that the attack caused. But it is important to remember our past and not ignore other significant massacres that have left communities scarred for generations. It is especially important because many of these massacres happened to communities of color; failing to tell their stories, and their sufferings, only reinforces the narrative that their lives do not matter.
Christina Woods, who is Anishinaabe, posted the following image and comment on her Facebook page.
The media claims the Las Vegas shooting was the biggest in our HISTORY. Not true… what kind of citizens forget their own massacres? The kind that practice several form of bias. …
Don’t let the media white wash any of this!
The publication The Root provided examples of the other mass executions that have been ignored. The article was headlined: Las Vegas Is Only the Deadliest Shooting in US History Because They Don’t Count Black Lives.
It recounted several other massacres that tend not to make it into the history books or get remembered in media accounts of shootings and massacres:
“Bombing of Black Wall Street” Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1921
In the early 1900s, blacks in Tulsa had developed a thriving business sector, called Black Wall Street. That success angered white residents, the article said. Tulsans “accused a black man of raping a girl and attacked the area.” The article continued:
While white citizens used dynamite and planes to bomb the city, leaving more than 8,000 people homeless, eyewitness accounts charge that the vast majority of the people killed (estimates range from 80 to 300) died because the city’s law-enforcement officers deputized every able-bodied white man and handed out weapons from the city’s armory.