Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission Calls On Stitt To Veto Bill Restricting Race Education

May 3, 2021

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission on Sunday issued an open letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt, asking him to veto a bill passed by both chambers of the legislature that would restrict the teaching of concepts like systemic racism. 

"After much discussion with our core leadership, including Sen. Kevin Matthews, we release these open letters to oppose HB 1775 passled last week by both Oklahoma chambers of Congress," wrote commission project director Phil Armstrong in an internal email to commissioners and marketing team members.

"We are NOT a political organization, BUT any legislation that directly harms or thwarts the programming and mission of Greenwood Rising History Center we must oppose. This bill, if not vetoed by Governor Stitt, could make it illegal for Oklahoma teachers to teach this history, or bring students on field trips through the center," Armstrong wrote.

The legislation also bans schools from requiring gender diversity trainings. It borrows language from an executive order by then-President Donald Trump that was blocked in court and later rescinded by President Joe Biden.

Stitt's office did not return a request for comment.