TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission is asking Gov. Kevin Stitt to veto a bill that would ban public education institutions from teaching critical race theory.
“If this bill becomes law it will have serious implications on teaching the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in schools, as well as much of the history of the U.S. which is rife with racism, sexism and discomfort,” said Phil Armstrong, project director at the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission in an open letter.
Armstrong said in addition to prohibiting mandatory diversity training, it prohibits teachers from doing their job when it comes to teaching history, literature and other subjects where race or gender might cause discomfort, guilt or anguish.
“At face value there are many elements of the bill that we support – for example that no race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex, and that people should not be discriminated against because of race or sex (agree!),” Armstrong wrote.
HB1775 would not only interfere with the teaching of Black history, but the entire history of the United States, Armstrong said.
“If teachers are unable to help students process the implications of our Nation’s history without discomfort how can we teach about the Trail of Tears?” Armstrong wrote. “How can we teach about Women’s suffrage? How can we teach about the Civil War?”
The bill passed 70-19 after hours of sometimes heated discussion and debate.