Police are still investigating whether the Tulsa shootings were racially motivated. We do know some of Tulsa's history. It has a difficult history of race relations, including a riot in 1921 that left scores, if not hundreds, of people dead.
Scott Ellsworth has studied that event closely. He's a Tulsa native who now teaches African-American history at the University of Michigan. He's on the line from Michigan Radio.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
We're going to spend this part of the program in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a deadly shooting spree in a black neighborhood has revived memories of a long-ago race riot.
INSKEEP: First, we have an update on the news here. Police in Tulsa confirm that the two men accused of shooting five black people, and killing three, confessed shortly after they were arrested on Sunday.
This is a story about what can happen when no one is looking. For the patients at Universal Pain Management, a medical clinic in northern Los Angeles County, Dr. Francis Riegler is always looking.
Riegler huddles with the clinic's nurse practitioner over a computer printout. The one-page report from the state's drug-tracking system shows that a patient was on the hunt for more Vicodin, a powerful pain reliever that he was already getting from Riegler's clinic.
The recession brought widespread unemployment across the U.S., but it also prompted a spike in the number of freelance or independent workers.
More than 30 percent of the nation's workers now work on their own, and the research firm IDC projects the number of nontraditional office workers — telecommuters, freelancers and contractors — will reach 1.3 billion worldwide by 2015.