The House of Kerr of Ardgowan

The Grandfather Kerr Clan

Clergy Tartan
























Dr. Kerr confronts Tulsa's civic leadership with their own evil to demand full compensation for wrongful deaths and property damage in Greenwood during so-called 'Tulsa Race Riot':

Dr. Kerr's surprise resignation as Pastor to a private meeting of the Session freed him to undertake one final action which his Scots Presbyterian conscience demanded  that  he  take  before leaving Tulsa     as he now had nothing to loose :

Dr. Kerr's conclusion was that the Tulsa Public Authorities and the combined elite of Tulsa's super-wealthy   oil,  business,  and civic establishment bore clear moral collective responsibility    for the 1921 Tulsa Race War  --   even if they were successful in evading their legal  responsibility   on the basis of the City's official  lie  of a 'Negro Insurrection'.

Dr. Kerr's concern was the moral implications  of city’s racial crimes in which Tulsa’s most upstanding citizens were willing participants :  Direct violation by the City Government and all of Tulsa’s oil magnates, prominent businessmen, and civic leaders of the Commandments, ‘thou shalt not kill,’ ‘thou shalt not steal’,  ‘thou shalt not bear false witnesses’, ‘thou shalt not covet’ … and the moral necessity  of making full restitution for all of these racial crimes in order to obtain forgiveness  from Jesus.

Dr. Charles W. Kerr resolved to confront directly the collective oil, civic, and business leadership and the elected Public Officials of Tulsa with their own evil   --   as would John Knox  --    to request them to voluntarily rebuild Greenwood as a matter of moral justice  on the grounds that the oil-wealthy Tulsa establishment bore collective moral responsibility    for starting the 1921 Tulsa Race War.

In fulfilment   of his promise to the Black refugees in his Church, Dr. Charles W. Kerr  --  as the Pastor of Tulsa’s founding Church and as the senior minister of Tulsa  --  made a private appointment to confront the Mayor and the Corporation, the oil, business, and civic leaders  --   the collective public and private leadership of Tulsa  --  in the office of one of his elders  with their moral responsibility for the  City's malicious arson of Greenwood, the City's deliberate murder of hundreds of friendly Black folks.  

Tulsa's  Greenwood  Black  district,  2004:

Gives  real  meaning  to  Tulsa's  boosterism


Tulsa's civic leaders were big florid rotund men of ‘substance’ and ‘property’  whose 'civic leadership'  was quite frankly measured in multiples of axe-handles across the beam and whose ‘community importance’ could be gauged by the number of glittering  fraternal pins worn on coat lapels.   

The most civically prominent of such community leaders would wear their overflow of such pins as ‘keys’ or 'fobs' attached to heavy gold watch chains looped through vest buttonholes like suspension bridges across their ample civic prominences.   Such pins, keys, and watch fobs served as their Congressional Medals of Honour,  Victoria Crosses, or knighthoods in 'solid citizenship' combined, sometimes even studded with gems  in  testimony  of  their  'civic  importance'.

The City's biggest men --  the great oil magnates, bankers, boosters, builders and back slappers   --   dressing their ample civic prominences  in  well-tailored suits    the rears of which each measured no less than  sixteen axe-handles across the beam    or twenty for the most 'solid' of all  these 'community- minded' Citizens.  

They were the type of officiously 'important men' who give each other knuckle- crunching  fraternal grips in country club lobbies after exchanging lodge passwords or, who were 'T- Towne' business recruiting speakers on the Commercial Club's 'Booster Trains'.  These officiously 'civic'  broad-beamed men took themselves all very seriously       and expected everyone else in Tulsa  do the same.  

All of these 'substantial citizens' belonged to innumerable lodges and prosperity- boosting lunch clubs in downtown Tulsa where in sonorous 'T-Towne' Booster rhetoric they proclaimed  'my religion to make Tulsa better for one and all':  What this blow-hard  'booster' oratory really means is to make themselves richer at the expense of the poor    be such the Coloured People in Greenwood arsoned by Tulsa's City Government,  the white refinery workers across the river paid starvation wages  by the Tulsa's great oil magnates, or the Oklahoma Indians rampantly swindled  out of their lands, minerals, oil  and  gas rights  by the predatory oil industry.  

Prosperous  Greenwood business district  before  Race  War:

Greenwood  was  nationally  known  as  'The Black Wall  Street':

Greenwood  before  being  turned  into  'GREEN  COUNTRY'

¿What type of City would provide free petrol

to arson its entire Black District?  

Dr. Kerr knew them all.  From the top step of the Courthouse Dr. Kerr had seen them all.   As a Pastor he knew the guilt of them all.  And from the emptiness of his mourner's bench (where repentant sinners sit  following  an altar call)  at the First Church,  Dr. Kerr  knew the unrepentance of them all  --    every last prominent  wealthy one of them for their  terrible  racial   crimes in  Greenwood.

In the manner of John Knox confronting iniquity      with both hands on the silk lapels of his Prince   Albert  frock coat Dr. Kerr confronted the collective leadership of Tulsa like so many delinquent choir boys declaring,  'Gentlemen, I am here today on a matter of Justice  -  moral justice :   The necessity of making good the damages you inflicted upon the Coloured population of Greenwood as city policy  on the manufactured pretext of suppressing a totally non-existent  'Negro Insurrection'.   This was fraudulently proclaimed  by the Police as an official lie solely to provide you gentlemen with a 'bit of sport' in  Greenwood that night and to clear out the Coloured population of Greenwood for construction of a rail switchyard, industrial, and warehouse district which you gentlemen have long desired to build on the site.'  

'The City of Tulsa,' Dr. Kerr declared looking directly at Mayor of Tulsa, 'owes full and complete financial reparations to the Coloured population of Greenwood for the wrongful deaths of well over three hundred harmless Coloured people, the twenty-three arsoned Christian  Churches,  approximately  twelve hundred Greenwood homes, and for the entire  Greenwood business district.''  

City Government intentionally arsoned Greenwood to clear out Blacks for civic  leadership's  long proposed rail,  industrial  & warehouse district:

¿ Is  this  'GREEN  COUNTRY' ?  

Dr.  Charles  W.  Kerr  confronts  Tulsa's

oil-wealthy  Establishment  in  fall  of  1921

to  demand  full  compensation  for  wrongful  deaths

and  property  damage  inflicted  upon  the  Greenwood  Black  population

by  the  City  of  Tulsa  to  suppress  non-existent  'Negro Insurrection'  

Because the actions of the State Government in turning command of the Tulsa State Militia unit  over to the City Authorities   enabled the City Government to arson the entire Greenwood district, the State Government also has a moral obligation to contribute to the full compensation for the property losses and wrongful deaths resulting from the City's suppression of this fictitious 'Negro Insurrection'."'  

With hands on his silk coat lapels Dr. Kerr told the assembled civic leaders, 'Although the lawyers  from my Church tell me that the Courts cannot judicially review  the fraudulent discretionary  judgement of the existence of a 'Negro Insurrection' made as an official lie by Tulsa's responsible city officials nor their discretionary  decision to suppress this non-existent 'Negro Insurrection';    I represent a different Judge who does possess authority to review and to punish this discriminatory manifest abuse of State Power made by you to wage a racial war upon the Coloured population of Greenwood.'  

Dr. Kerr proclaimed, 'The discretionary official lie by our City Government '  … is a morally  deficient excuse for any Tulsan to deny our collective communal responsibility  as a guilty white community for these horrible racial crimes committed in our name by the City of Tulsa.'  

Catching the eye of the swollen oil magnates, bankers, and businessmen who had long coveted the Greenwood district for their own selfish purposes, Dr. Kerr  declared, 'This collective responsibility of the entire community of Tulsa is greatly compounded by the fact that a number of you gentlemen present prevailed upon our City Government that night to arson deliberately large areas of Greenwood to clear out the Coloured population,  to destroy their community,  and to drive our Coloured brothers out of Tulsa     in order that you might personally profit by buying the wreckage of Greenwood at fire sale prices  in order to transform the entire area into a rail, industrial, and warehouse district at the expense of the Coloured population'.   

Dr. Kerr pleaded, 'We are all to blame.  Similar  to Cain,  we are all personally guilty of the horrendous crimes committed in our name by the Government of the City of Tulsa against our Coloured brother,  Able.  This guilt weighs heavily upon we, the People of Tulsa, who dare to call ourselves 'Christians'.   These crimes happened in our City and were committed in our name by our City Government.  Racial outrages against Coloured people  --   floggings,  castrations,  lynchings,  and even the burnings alive of Coloured men   --   have been occurring for years, well before Statehood.  Daily such racial atrocities have been publicised in our papers     if not actually instigated by publishers of the Ilk of Richard Lloyd Jones'.   The latter just  sneered.  

Dr. Kerr emphasised to Tulsa's leading citizens,  'None of us spoke up.  By our silence and inaction we have allowed the most horrible racial atrocities to be inflicted upon our Coloured brothers.  These past decades of racial crimes were merely a prelude to the horrors which occurred in this City on the last night of May have this year.  I fault myself for being too busy promoting the growth of Tulsa and being too involved in raising funds to build the University of Tulsa campus to notice the tell-tail signs of this impending tragedy.  We are all to blame  ...   either by our participation  or by our silence.'  

Greenwood Christian  church  deliberately arsoned  by City of  Tulsa:

Dr. Kerr  was friends  with  this  church's  pastor  

Dr. Kerr questioned, 'Can we say these crimes are not our fault?  To answer Cain's evasion,  we are our brother's keeper.  We chose to evade our responsibilities to our Coloured brother,  Able.   We  accuse  ourselves  for  not  more  courageously  speaking  out  against  the  sin  of  racial  persecution,  sharing  more  openly  Christian  brotherhood  with  our  Coloured  neighbours  in  Greenwood,  opposing  with greater  fervour  the  final  destruction  of  the  Indian  Nations,  fighting  more  vigorously  against  the  rampant  theft  of  the Indians'  lands,  mineral,  and  oil  rights  by  the  oil  interests,   and  believing  more  ardently  in  Jesus'  gospel  teachings  on  the  unity  of  all  mankind  in  Him.'  

Finding no resonance amongst Tulsa's stolid Babbitt-like civic leadership Dr. Kerr proclaimed, 'We cannot find peace with God unless we confess our collective guilt as an entire community of  white Tulsans to our Greenwood Coloured brothers who are still suffering at the hands of the City of Tulsa which declared a public racial war upon them that last day in May.   In the manner of the Prodigal  as a guilty white community we must confess "I have sinned against God and against the".'  

Dr. Kerr plead with Tulsa's obtuse civic leadership, 'As a body politic, we the People of Tulsa must confess that we are guilty before God and before Man by our individual and collective participation in these atrocities as well as by our long history as a guilty white community of failing to practice brotherhood towards our Greenwood neighbours,  by our silence towards our City's and State's long history of mistreating Coloured people and Indians,  and by our criminal neglect in years past to take concrete steps to end such.  We are all to blame, individually and collectively, for the racial atrocities and terrible  crimes committed  against Coloured people by the People of Tulsa executing the public policy of the City Government in our name to suppress a fictitious  'Negro  Insurrection'.'  

Tulsa  Fire  Department  refuses  to  extinguish  arson  of  Greenwood:

There  were  no  Black  Firemen….  

Dr.  Kerr declared,  'On our knees before God in repentance the People of Tulsa must ask our Coloured brothers in  Greenwood in the words of the Lord's Prayer 'to forgive us our trespasses' so that we may find inner peace from the terrible racial crimes committed in our name by our City Government. '"     

Dr. Kerr continued, 'This situation parallels the Prophet Nathan's confrontation of King David in II Samuel Chapter 12 over the arranged murder of Uriah the Hittite because David had adulterously impregnated Uriah's wife Bath Sheba:  Requesting a Judgement from the King, Nathan said unto King David, "There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.  The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb,  which he had brought and nourished up.' When a traveller came to visit the rich man, the latter killed and dressed the poor man's lamb rather than one of his own."'  

Dr. Kerr pulled out his pocket bible and read, 'Scripture says "And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, 'As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."'  

Looking significantly around at Tulsa's assembled civic leadership, Dr. Kerr proclaimed, 'And Nathan said to David, "Thou are the Man!  Wherefore has thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight?  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house;  because thou hast despised me.   Thus saith the Lord, 'Behold I will raise up evil  against thee out of thine own house'.    For thou didst it secretly:  but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.  Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely  die."'  

Indiscriminate  murder of Blacks by racialist  'T-Towne'  Tulsans:

'GREEN  COUNTRY'  brotherhood  in  action….  

Dr Kerr confronted Tulsa civic leadership, 'You are the men who like King David murdered our neighbour in Greenwood because you coveted our neighbour's entire community for transformation into a rail switch yard, industrial supply,  and warehouse district for your own profit.  King David was a man after God's own heart.  Yet God punished him with the death of his son by Bath Sheba.  Thou pridest thyself as "The Oil Capital of the World."  As with King David this will be taken from you and given to another'.  

With a rising  voice Dr. Kerr demanded from Tulsa's 'Magic Empire' civic  leadership,  'To avert further  punishment  of our city,  I am here to ask you to make voluntarily  the just  recompense  which  the injured  Greenwood Coloured population can not obtain through a court of law  due to the privileged constitutional status of the City's official lie of a 'Negro  Insurrection'   deliberately  fabricated  by  our  City  Government  as  a  pretext to fulfil  the  demand  of  most  of  you  gentlemen  present  in  this  very  room  to put down  our  Coloured  brothers  in  Greenwood.'   

Tulsa  City  Government  refuses  to  compensate  Greenwood

as  originally  requested  by  Dr.  Charles  W.  Kerr  in  1921:

Social  justice  in  'GREEN  COUNTRY'….  

Choking on their own fat, Tulsa's oil-rich civic leadership selfishly refused Dr. Kerr's  crie  de cour  to compensate the injured  Greenwood Blacks to right this terrible wrong .  

Eighty-some years after the Race War the oil-wealthy City of Tulsa and the local Tulsa establishment of millionaires,  multi-millionaires,  and even billionaires adamantly still continues to refuse payment of the full compensation for wrongful deaths and property damage originally demanded by Dr. Charles W. Kerr in 1921 on behalf of the Greenwood Black population.  

The unarmed Black population of Greenwood was  maliciously  arsoned by the City Government of Tulsa to suppress a non-existent 'Negro Insurrection'    deliberately fabricated by the City Government as an  official  lie   … to  serve as a contrived pretext to clear out the entire Black district for the Tulsa civic leadership's long-proposed construction of a rail switchyard, industrial,    and warehouse district.  

Some things never change …Tulsa, Oklahoma, is one of them….