It’s been, like, I don’t know, maybe 20 minutes since Oklahoma was last declared a terrible place for women to live. And usually we rank in the top five states, yet never take home the number one spot. But I’m pretty sure that’s all about to change.
Thanks to SB 1552, SB 1118, and HB 2797, a whole lot of Oklahomans are getting ready to reenact Revolutionary Road — you know, the Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet movie that isn’t Titanic. (Spoiler alert: It ends with a botched at-home abortion.)
For those of you who have been lucky enough to avoid news of these terrible bills, here’s a recap of our three best anti-abortion laws introduced this legislative session. We’ve included pic of the authors of the legislation, so liberal activist sacker at Buy For Less will know whose bread to smash. Check them out and vote for you favorite:
Contrary to what certain individuals may believe about AP US History classes, I learned a lot about American exceptionalism while I was in high school. See, you start with AP European History your sophomore year and you learn about all the shenanigans that took place from the Renaissance onward. Basically, religion caused A LOT of problems. Then, you take AP US History, and you learn about how crazy ass Puritanical witch burning stopped when the Enligthenment kicked off an age of reason. Then, you take AP Comparative and US Government your senior year, and you get so jaded and disenchanted with the American system of government all before you can vote.
In the fourth grade, I had a Radio Flyer wagon that my parents helped me turn into a covered wagon. Dressed in a bonnet and skirt, me and a group of fellow classmates lined up on the playground. The principal blew a whistle and we were off recreating the Oklahoma Land Run. None of us really asked why. In fact, it wasn’t actually a choice. It was something we did like long division or the twice-weekly P.E. class. If there was a choice, it wasn’t articulated to fourth grade Marisa.
It’s kind of odd that my academic career started with me re-enacting land thievery, and ended with my tribe helping me pay my tuition. (Shout out to the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Without you guys, I probably never would’ve gone to grad school!)
I think the majority of people don’t think about why we do things and what events our traditions commemorate. This is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the simplification of history into a feel good narrative. We’re all adults, and understand history is complex. We owe it to ourselves as Oklahomans to tell the full story — that is, the story of those who participated in the Land Run, and the story of those who were displaced by it. It’s ridiculous that we, as a state, can proudly proclaim our Native American heritage in one breath, and sweep it under the rug in the next.
A group named “Unsettling Oklahoma” is currently sponsoring a letter writing and/or e-mail campaign to the 89er Day Parade Committee and City Council Members of Norman. If you’re interested in participating, or finding out how to organize this sort of campaign in your city, you can look here.
I’m well aware that there are many other institutions in the state of Oklahoma that completely disregard Native American historical truths. But I’m also aware that we can’t conquer all these injustices at once. And I know that it becomes easier to right these wrongs when you start with little steps. So, stopping the 89er Day parade in Norman is a good first step.
I know that some readers will come at me with the ol’ “why does it matter” and “we’ve always done it, get over it” arguments. And to those readers, I say grow up. 89er Day is a crap holiday. I’m not asking you to stop celebrating Christmas. I’m asking you to stop inaccurately portraying a very niche historical event. You can still watch Far and Away if you want. I ain’t about to take your DVDs or nothing. But for a city to organize an even to commemorate an event that negatively affected multiple cultural groups is just plain weird.
And if you’re still not convinced, that’s totally fine. Just know that you officially have to stop telling people you’re descended from a Cherokee princess who was too proud to put her name on the tribal rolls. You don’t get to keep that lie if you want to keep 89er Day.
I don’t think there’s a single person who thinks the public education system in the state of Oklahoma is going to be okay. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that many people are either leaving the state to have their children educated elsewhere, or putting off having kids all together. We’ve kind of reached the point where it feels like we need some sort of miracle to put everything back together.
I’m not the only one that feels that way. Local OKC teacher and writer, Steven Wedel, took to his blog to air his grievances with the current state of education:
Man, if there’s one thing I know it’s that renovations straight up suck. If you come to my house, you’ll see multiple Pinterest inspired projects with mason jars that were started with the best of intentions, but have since really gone by the wayside. On the one hand, I’m definitely not a professional. And on the other, renovations take time and money. Plus, let’s be real. Who needs a fireplace when you can have a sweet gaping hole in the wall of your living room? I swear, I’m living the dream. Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
Anyway, I’m here to talk about a different money pit — THE money pit, if we’re being real. The Oklahoma State Capitol, everyone’s favorite crumbling edifice, has already received $120 million in bonds to repair and refurbish the chewing gum that is holding the walls up. But backers of the repair want another $125 million in bonding authority to get the job done.
This is obviously a lot of money. But isn’t our capitol worth it? Sure, we could probably fix up the building with that original $120 million in bonds, but if you’ve ever seen any show on HGTV, you know that we have to go over budget. That’s where that extra $125 million in bonds comes in. But just what are they spending that money on?
It’s 2015, and OKC is a big league city. Therefore, our state capitol ought to be big league too. None of those janky laminate countertops for our capital. Only granite will do.
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