Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Booted From Tulsa Race Massacre Commission After Signing Anti-Critical Race Theory Legislation

Illustration for article titled Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt Booted From Tulsa Race Massacre Commission After Signing Anti-Critical Race Theory Legislation
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

Last week, The Root reported that Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law yet another Republican white fragility bill prohibiting teachings in K-12 schools that include conservative’s favorite new boogie man Critical Race Theory or any other race-based curriculum that causes “discomfort, guilt, anguish or psychological distress” to (white) students. The bill pushed by people whose salty white tears could fill the Georgia Aquarium was denounced by both the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education—but what the hell do they know? They’re only literal fucking educators—and the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, of which Stitt had the caucasity to be a member of...until now.

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The Associated Press reports that the commission—which was formed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the day patriotic Americans decided that hundreds of Black people should die violently rather than be affluent and free—announced Friday that it removed Stitt from his seat on the panel because he doesn’t get to sign legislation than bans teaching about the brutality of whiteness in America while serving on a board that does just that.

I mean, the commission didn’t say all that, but we know that’s why Stitt got the boot.

From AP:

A statement from the commission did not indicate the reason for the parting, and a spokeswoman said the commission had no further comment. However, commission project manager Phil Armstrong this week had sharply criticized the Republican governor for signing a bill into law that prohibits the teaching of so-called critical race theory in Oklahoma schools.

“The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commissioners met Tuesday and agreed through consensus to part ways with Governor Stitt,” the commission’s statement said.

It went on to say that while the commission “is disheartened to part ways with Governor Stitt, we are thankful for the things accomplished together.” It also said, “No elected officials, nor representatives of elected officials, were involved in this decision.”

Carly Atchison, a spokeswoman for Stitt, said the governor of people whose white tears could have solved the Flint water crisis didn’t have a real role on the commission anyway, but rather his role “has been purely ceremonial and he had not been invited to attend a meeting until this week.” It makes sense that Stitt would have his name on the commission without actually being involved in it because, like virtually all Black history, the massacre at “Black Wallstreet” is a story that can’t be told honestly without discussing America as a racist country—or in other words, discussing it in a way that will cause “discomfort, guilt, anguish or psychological distress” to white people.

Phil Armstrong, the commission’s project manager, said that Stitt’s signing of the white fragility legislation is “diametrically opposite to the mission of the Centennial Commission and reflects your desire to end your affiliation.”

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But let me show y’all how caucasity works.

Atchison said in her statement that it’s “disappointing to see an organization of such importance spend so much effort to sow division based on falsehoods and political rhetoric two weeks before the centennial and a month before the commission is scheduled to sunset.”

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Nah, fuck you!

The fact is, this entire Republican war on Critical Race Theory is a shining example of “falsehoods and political rhetoric,” and it absolutely causes “division.” Of course, when conservatives talk about divisiveness, they’re really only talking about shit that makes white people uncomfortable; to hell with the “division” that pushes Black people away because American history continues to be whitewashed in a way that only serves to protect white feelings.

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The bill Stitt signed bans schools from teaching that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive,” and “bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex”—CRT teaches neither of those things.

As I wrote in my previous reporting on the signing of the bill: “In general, CRT is just an academic study on how the undeniable systemic racism in America’s history has been embedded in American law and other institutions that exist today.”

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Conservatives like Stitt will sign legislation barring CRT, but won’t bother learning the first thing about what it is.

But please, tell us more about how we’re the ones causing all of the “division.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

DISCUSSION

bassguitarhero
bassguitarhero

I mean he literally signed a bill forbidding the teaching of the massacre, so it makes sense to boot him. I’m glad they stuck through with it, I would have been disappointed if they hadn’t.