President Trump is officially launching his re-election campaign on June 20th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before Tulsa’s black residents were massacred by a racist mob in 1921, Tulsa was home to what was known as “Black Wall Street”—a hub for an emerging class of affluent black entrepreneurs.
In the decades after the Civil War, former slave Booker T. Washington spear-headed the creation of a black entrepreneurial class through his Tuskegee Institute—rooted in the Biblical foundations of human dignity and the merit of hard-work: Washington wrote that the black slave came out of bondage “with a hammer and a saw in his hands and a Bible in his hands.”
The president has an opportunity to shift the conversation towards the heroic successes of black people—despite the troubling history.
He can shift the focus from victimhood to victory. I hope he uses it.