In this edition of “Racism in Oklahoma,” we go to the eastern Oklahoma hamlet of Warner.
Located off 1-40, just about 20 minutes south of Muskogee, it’s the home of Connors State Junior College, a Simple Simon’s pizza, and some very racist water department employees.
Via The Muskogee Phoenix:
Several town employees have allegedly been caught on tape this morning at the town hall in Warner making racial slurs about Martin Luther King Day, and the conversation was caught on tape.
Mike Whittmer, who works on the street crew and is worried that higher-ups are looking for reasons to fire him, has taken to recording all his interactions at work. So today, when he went to clock in at 7:57 a.m., he started recording the conversation happening around that area.
Joe Swimmer, the water supervisor at the city, allegedly starts talking around 1:22 of the tape:
SWIMMER: Do we get Martin Luther King Day off?
Swimmer was answered by Matt McLean, according to Whittmer, an employee at the water department.
McLEAN: No nigger day for us.
SWIMMER: We’re off for nigger day?
SWIMMER: They call it that. I’m not celebrating nigger day.
McLEAN: We can just call it JER Day: James Earl Rat. Not that we don’t like black people.
SWIMMER: I’m not racist, I’m just saying that’s what it’s called here.
McLEAN: You love everybody, Joe. (silence) Tough crowd this morning.
These guys worked in the water department? That’s weird. With that level of racism, you think they would have worked for the police department.
I did some Google sleuthing to find photos of the racists so we could see how many teeth and swastika tattoos they have. The only thing I could find was this article about a Matt McLean who was arrested in Muskogee for building a meth lab in a child’s closet. I would say they’re the same person, but that would be an assumption, and I really don’t want to risk destroying the meth lab builder’s reputation.
If you want to listen to audio of the recording and be reminded that racism is still alive and well in Oklahoma, check out News on 6.