It's been 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre: From May 31 to June 1, 1921, a giant mob of white supremacists—some deputized by city officials—looted and burned down the Black neighborhood of Greenwood in Tulsa, OK. Known as Black Wall Street because of its prosperity, somewhere from 100 to 300 people were killed during the siege. Historians estimate that over 1,200 homes and businesses were completely destroyed, reports NPR. News about the massacre was suppressed and essentially wiped from official sources, left out of mainstream history. But TV shows like Lovecraft Country and Watchmen have brought back popular (white) attention to the horrific event.
Today, Biden became the first sitting president to visit the site and honor the victims of the massacre: He met privately with three living survivors of the massacre— Viola “Mother” Fletcher, Hughes “Uncle Red” Van Ellis, and Lessie “Mother Randle” Benningfield Randle—before giving a speech to the community. "Some injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous, they cannot be buried, no matter how hard people try,” Biden said. Before his speech today, the White House announced new housing and small business programs aimed at closing the wealth gap between Black and white people—which is cool but sounds nothing like reparations.
President Biden addresses three survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre: "You are the three known remaining survivors of a story seen in the mirror dimly. But no longer. Now, your story will be known in full view." https://t.co/0kXzNfudf0 pic.twitter.com/ESpeEFGbel
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 1, 2021
A bit more news from the Biden Administration: They have formally suspended oil and gas leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, reports The Guardian. The move is a reversal of an extremely controversial program given the thumbs up by Trump, and it's sure to spark more political fighting between conservationists and oil-hungry goons.
There are four, count 'em, FOUR Discover Pass free days this month: The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission added Juneteeth, June 19, to its roster of free days, reports the Seattle P.I. So if you're itching to get outdoors, but don't have a Discover Pass, head out to state parks on the following dates: June 5, June 12-13, and June 19!
Would you swat a bear to protect your dogs? I would not, but I'm a heartless cretin who's never had a pet.
West Virginia keeps on West Virginia-ing: The state announced that they would give away GUNS as a vaccine incentive, reports Forbes. Starting on June 20 and running weekly through August 4, eligible residents will have an opportunity to win "five custom hunting rifles and five custom shotguns" as well as a $1 million cash prize, "full-ride scholarships, custom trucks and lifetime hunting and fishing licenses."
King County Council unanimously votes to ban the use of facial recognition technology by the county Sheriff's Office and all other county departments, reports the Seattle Times. The technology has been criticized for exhibiting racial bias, with Black, Asian, and Indigenous faces most likely to be misidentified. However, according to this legislation, King County departments could "still use facial recognition evidence as long as they don’t produce it themselves or ask for it." While 13 other cities across the US have banned the tech, King County would be the first county to do so. The bill awaits KC Executive Dow Constantine's signature.
Oh yeah, it's officially Pride: Happy Pride to everyone blessed with being gay! I hope you take it as an extra special opportunity to make out with cute people. Be with your chosen family. Give back to your community. Organize for a better future. And honor the queer ancestors that came before you!!! With any luck, we can congregate at the end of this month and touch bodies in ways we haven't been able to in the past year! Pride is every fucking day!
On that note—Gov. Ron DeSantis is an epic piece of shit: The governor of Florida and noted bog creature signed a bill into law banning trans girls and women from playing on girls and women sports teams. He spewed the expected transphobic bullshit before signing the so-called Fairness in Women's Sports Act. WFLA notes that this is "sure to be challenged as unconstitutional" while the NCAA has already threatened to move profit-generating games from the southern state. Fuck DeSantis.
Ahhhh, a headline with some clarity: "Almost all new COVID cases in King Co. are from unvaccinated people, experts say," from KOMO.
Aplets and Cotlets are here to stay, baby: After announcing their intention to cease production of the beloved (?) locally made candy earlier this year, owner Liberty Orchards announced that they have found a prospective buyer, reports the Seattle P.I. Wahoo! They are still hashing things out with the buyer but will remain in business until negotiations are over.
Anyone got a spare $3.95 million? The largest houseboat on Lake Union recently went up for sale and it's looking mighty fine in light of the killer weather we've been having. I would personally love to jump out of my bedroom window and into the murky waters of the lake.
Nature is healing: Coachella will be back in 2022.
Seattle is having a Hot Girl
Summer Week: Temperatures in the Puget Sound area hit 85 degrees today and could do the same tomorrow, with cooler temperatures arriving on Thursday and Friday. There's a chance of rain this weekend, with meteorologist Dana Felton telling the Seattle Times, "This little hot spell will be short-lived." I welcome the weather and still fear for our planet.
Do you have opinions? The Seattle Department of Transportation is collecting feedback on what to do with the aging bike and pedestrian bridge connecting 33rd Avenue W and the Ballard Locks in Magnolia, reports MyBallard. SDOT is conducting a public survey on whether residents prefer rehabbing or rehauling the old bridge—you can let your opinions loose here.
Another chapter in Book of Aging: The trailer for the iCarly reboot hath droppedth, with Miranda Cosgrove literally telling us it's the same show "just grown up now." Which means Freddy has a beard, the characters drink alcohol, and Carly's dating life comes into sharper focus. I'm not 100% clear on who the target audience is, but I might get stoned enough to want to take a peek?