The governor of Oklahoma was booted by the Tulsa Race Massacre Commission


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TULSA, okla. – The commission formed to plan for the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre announced on Friday that it had approved Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt booted from his place on the jury a week after signing a law banning the teaching of a race and launched concepts of racism in public schools.

A statement from the commission gave no reason for leaving, and a spokeswoman said the commission had no further comment. Commission project manager Phil Armstrong had this week sharply criticized the Republican governor for signing a bill banning teaching of so-called critical racial theory in schools in Oklahoma.

“The centenary commissioners of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 met on Tuesday and agreed by consensus to part ways with Governor Stitt,” the commission’s statement said.

Although the Commission “is discouraged to part with Governor Stitt, we are grateful for the things we have achieved together”. It also said: “Neither elected officials nor representatives of elected officials were involved in this decision.”

The Republican governor wasn’t informed of his fall until the commission issued its statement, said Stitt spokeswoman Carly Atchison.

Stitt’s role “was purely ceremonial and he was only invited to a meeting this week,” the statement said.

The commission was formed to organize events for the anniversary of the massacre, which took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921. A white mob killed an estimated 300 people and wounded 800 while burning 30 blocks of black-owned houses, houses and neighborhood churches in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood, also known as “Black Wall Street”. Planes were used to drop explosives on the area and burn it to the ground.

In a letter to the governor on Tuesday, Armstrong said the commission was “deeply disappointed” that neither Stitt nor a representative had decided to attend a meeting on Monday evening to sign the GOP-backed “Critical Racial Theory” legislation discuss the system examines racism and how race affects US politics, legal systems, and society. Concepts that are prohibited from conveying include that individuals, whether consciously or unconsciously, are inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive because of their race or gender.

Armstrong said Stitt’s signing of the bill on May 7 was “diametrically opposed to the Centennial Commission’s mission and reflected your desire to end your membership.”

Atchison rejected the Commission’s move in its statement on Friday.

“It is disappointing to see an organization of such importance, two weeks before the 100th anniversary and one month before the planned sunset, of the Commission putting so much effort into sowing divisions over falsehoods and political rhetoric,” she said.

Another member of the commission, Tulsa Rep. Monroe Nichols, stepped down Tuesday for Stitt’s signing of the bill, saying it had “cast an ugly shadow over the phenomenal work done over the past five years”.

The commission developed and promoted programs, events and activities to remember the massacre and remember its victims. Events include Greenwood: An American Dream Shattered, a presentation that runs for a month this weekend, and Greenwood Rising: The Black Wall Street History Center, due to launch on June 2nd.

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