Oklahoma Lawmakers Want to Get Rid of Critical Race Theory in Schools!

For those that don’t know—or don’t want to know—critical race theory is an intellectual movement of Civil Rights scholars who critically examine the law as it intersects with issues of race. It explores the broad legal inequities that many non-white people have to deal with on a daily basis, so, of course, Oklahoma has to put an end to that shit quickly.

A revised House Bill 1775, which restricts what topics and theories can be taught in schools on the subject, is sitting on Gov. Stitt’s desk. Patchy beard-grower Sen. David Bullard—a proponent of arming teachers in schools, mind you—is the author of the bill and claims race theory is a “growing problem” in Oklahoma.

From KFOR:

“What we are saying is that you cannot teach a child that they are themselves racist just because of the color of their skin,” said Sen. David Bullard.

The Republican from Durant, himself a former history teacher, drafted the reworked bill. He says it would prevent concepts like critical race theory from being taught, but actual historical events involving race would still be covered.

Bullard saying, “This is talking about the actual idea of furthering racism by saying that you are automatically or inherently racist just because of the color of your skin which has been false in 1860 and it’s false now.”

It sounds like, according to Bullard, race theory is just going to make it harder for white kids to grow to actually be racist and take responsibility for it, something that many Republicans apparently don’t want. But that’s why Trump was elected, I guess.

Like many laws that Stitt and his legislative frenemies pass, House Bill 1775 will hurt Oklahoma’s minorities even further by teaching the history of this state’s racist actions—like Indian Removal, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and so on—but not the how’s and why’s that racist actions like that would occur, which is—let’s be honest—typically done through white legislation.

Thankfully, there are people like Sen. Kevin Matthews that see the dire problems with this bill and hopes to fix it, making sure future generations are fully educated on the state’s wrongs.

“The critical thinking around how things happen to keep them from happening again is so important to our history and so important to young people to understand,” said Sen. Kevin Matthews.

The Democrat from Tulsa is on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. He says this bill is a slap in the face as it comes in the first year that Oklahoma schools were required to teach about the atrocity.

It is a slap in the face. Many Oklahomans need to take responsibility and educate themselves about this wrecked history—and, sadly, wretched present—of racial hatred and how to prevent it from ever happening again.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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10 Responses

  1. The discussion of ideas should be encouraged in our schools, not prohibited.

    1. Not if you are a tool like Bullard and his ilk.

  2. I am of 100% northern European ancestry, as far as I know. In other words, “white.” I have always known that white people were responsible for the genocide and removal of aboriginal Americans, and responsible for African slavery, Jim Crow, and the ongoing denial of basic rights to black Americans to this very day.

    I know that I have probably benefited from all that, but that’s not something I had any control over. I don’t call it white “privilege,” because it isn’t a privilege to be treated fairly under the law – it’s a PENALTY, a denial of rights to those who don’t enjoy the same treatment as a “privileged” person.

    All that said, I don’t believe for a second that any white children will be led to believe that they are “inherently racist” from discussions of “critical race theory.” Not one! I believe that objections to CRT arise from racists’ discomfort with having their own ugly attitudes aired.

    The Tulsa Race Massacre was sorta covered up for almost a century. Just like that, modern day racists who are offended by “black lives matter” and discussions about how black people are still structurally disadvantaged in our society make some people very uncomfortable. Guys like Bullard are like one of the three monkeys saying: see, hear, and speak no evil. When we see evil in our midst, we must call it out and root it out. If we don’t, then we are complicit – but only then.

    It’s probably over-the-top to call America a “racist country,” but there is more than enough racism here for us to need to call out when we see it. Bullard is a good example.

  3. So an interesting development in all of this is that Republican fearmongering is no longer working. Why else would Teabilly lawmakers be attacking what has been taught in public education? They fear an educated public…a public that will put racism and discrimination in its proper context and place.

    As the Republican Party has struggled mightily to recruit outside of their rural, white base, this reeks of a survival tactic…plain and simple.

  4. Ask this half-wit if schools should prohibit mention of Jim Crow?

  5. This is a huge problem for the Governor. The Bill has passed and is on his desk. He has five days to decide to sign, veto or ignore it. If he ignores is or signs it it becomes law, ignoring wile still becoming law later he could act like he was against it and hope nobody asks why he didn’t veto it since he claimed to be against it.

    While he should veto it because it is a terrible bill, like there should be more things not taught in Oklahoma schools. He should also be against it because it takes local control away from the local school board. Stitt hides behind that belief when there is a tough decision to be made. Do we not remember he didn’t want to issue a state mandate for masks, because that should be a local decision? Should what is taught in schools also be decided locally, as those are the ones funding the schools, as opposed to the state who loves to issue mandates and then shy away when the bills to do things come due, like the citizenship test that all high school students will soon have to take to graduate.

    Had this passed years ago what happened in Tulsa almost a century ago would either be unknown or still called a “race riot.” While this bill might be constitutional the courts will weigh in soon I’m sure, and given the track record of Oklahoma things probably won’t go well for the authors who include Senator Nathan Dahm.

    Lots are calling for the Governor to veto this one, which he probably should, but Stitt is known more for abusing and overstepping his power as Governor than making rational decisions. My guess is it will soon become Law.

    1. Local control only applies if dems are in office or there’s something to pay for.

  6. Humans are tribal creatures, with the default mode being “My tribe = good. Other tribes = bothersome at the least, extermination-worthy at worst.”

    For much of our existence, tribes did not intermingle. Now, in modern societies, we live close together and have to learn to get along. We’re still learning this; evidently overcoming our natural tendencies is a very slow (and often very painful) process.

    For human beings to grow individually or as a species, we have to be honest about our shortcomings and figure out how to get past them. Pretending they don’t exist doesn’t work. Things like the Tulsa massacre of 100 years ago, or the killing of George Floyd, do not “just happen.” I rather doubt that if Rudy Giuliani were ever arrested, he’d be face down on the concrete with a cop’s knee on his neck for even 8 milliseconds, much less 8 minutes. If Rudy is treated differently from George, the question is: WHY? What’s so special about Rudy, and so un-special about George?

    It’s not enough to educate kids about historical events—they have to learn about the conditions that led to / caused those events. Glossing over that shit or pretending it doesn’t happen isn’t helping us grow as a species.

  7. Okla Lege = national embarrassment

  8. It should be banned, not because it’s harmful to both white kids and Children of color (it is) but the reason it shouldn’t be taught is because CRT is an ideological worldview (as much as Christianity is) and we shouldn’t allow the promotion of any belief system in public schools. The 1619 project is as historically accurate as the earth being 5,000 years old.

    That alone should keep it out of schools. And that doesn’t even get into the damage it does to kids. Like telling children of color they are perpetual victims based on their skin color and they have no value in society, that reading, math, and critical thinking are “white” skills, and that no matter what they do white they can’t succeed while telling white children they are oppressors and racist based on their skin color. I mean these things are inherently not true.

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