It’s OK to teach Oklahoma schoolchildren about the Tulsa Race Massacre, just don’t tell them it was motivated by the color of anyone’s skin, the state superintendent of schools said at a July 6 forum.
Ryan Walters, who was elected to the state’s top education post in November, was mocked and lambasted by those at the meeting in Norman, Okla., and in reports given online immediately afterward.
The conservative Republican was asked how teaching about the 1921 murder of hundreds of Black citizens of Tulsa doesn’t violate his ban on teaching what he calls Critical Race Theory.
His reply: “I would never tell a kid that because of your race, because of the color of your skin, or your gender or anything like that, you are less of a person or are inherently racist. That doesn’t mean you don’t judge the actions of individuals. Oh, you can. Absolutely, historically, you should. ‘This was right. This was wrong. They did this for this reason.’ But to say it was inherent in that because of their skin is where I say that is Critical Race Theory. You’re saying that race defines a person.”
By historical fact, residents of the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa — dubbed the “Black Wall Street” — were murdered by armed white vigilantes precisely because of the color of their skin.
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