A New York Gallery Dedicated to the Tulsa Race Massacre Has Been Vandalized

Illustration for article titled A New York Gallery Dedicated to the Tulsa Race Massacre Has Been Vandalized
Photo: Mehaniq (Shutterstock)

The one thing I haven’t been able to square over the last five years is how the most pressed people in the game have the audacity to call anyone a snowflake. I just don’t understand how you can call anyone triggered, when a simple mention of the fact that America has historically been shitty for anyone who isn’t straight or white is enough to send the mediocre white masses in their feelings. In what I can only assume was an act perpetuated by one of those white people in their feelings, a New York art gallery with an exhibit dedicated to the Tulsa Race Massacre has been vandalized.

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According to NPR, The Black Wall Street Gallery in SoHo posted on Instagram that someone smeared white paint over the glass facade where the gallery’s name was located. “This is a literal whitewashing of Black Wall Street,” Ricco Wright, the gallery’s owner, told NPR. He added that there was more paint on some of the other windows, and that someone left pictures at the scene that he couldn’t identify. The gallery notified the New York City Police Department, who initially told them that they didn’t think the vandalism was a hate crime.

“As far as we’re concerned, smearing white paint on the word ‘black’ is deliberate and intentional and therefore constitutes hate speech. We’re pushing for this to be documented as such,” the Instagram post reads. “And yet, the police did inform us that if a noose were hanging on our door, then they’d consider the incident hate speech.” Detective Denise Moroney, a spokesperson for the department, has said that while no arrests have been made in their investigation, the Hate Crimes Task Force has been notified.

This week marked the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. From May 31 through June 1, 1921, more than 300 Black people located in Greenwood, or what was known as the Black Wall Street area were killed or injured by a white mob. The Black Wall Street Gallery is currently displaying an exhibit called “21 Piece Salute,” which involved 21 artists from all over the world coming together to honor “those who lost their lives and livelihoods in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and celebrating Black entrepreneurship as we look toward the next 100 years.”

The gallery noted in its Instagram post that it had been operating in SoHo without incident since October. It was only during the 100th anniversary of the tragedy that someone suddenly felt the need to vandalize the gallery.

On the real though, if acknowledging history has you this pressed, stop it. Get some help.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.

DISCUSSION

daveassist
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SoHo? Hmmm, no available security footage to be investigated? It might not solve the crime by itself but could help.  I’m not seeing mention of footage in either this article nor the NPR article.