An Oklahoma senator said statues and monuments nationwide, many deemed racist by protestors, can be moved and have a place in northwestern Oklahoma.
Senator Casey Murdock said he doesn’t so much care much about confederate statues as he does more significant names in history.
“When they tore down the Ulysses S. Grant statue in California and they were going after Abraham Lincoln statue and then they were going after the European Jesus,” said Murdock. “They’ve switched from making a point to fighting the confederacy to every statue out there and we’ve got to protect our history. That’s when I decided they can bring them here.”
Whatever statue or memorial that can be salvaged, Senator Murdock said, is welcome in District 27. The district includes Oklahoma’s panhandle, cities such as Guymon and Woodward.
Murdock told News 9 he calls himself a historian, not a racist.
“If we tare these statues down and destroy them, they are gone forever. The bookmarks in our nation’s history (are) erased,” said Murdock. “If we move them in 100 years from now, historians will be teaching their students (that) these statues were moved because of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
Nicole McAffee is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Oklahoma’s ACLU. She said Senator Murdock should use that same interest in history on making sure that history programs in the state are funded first.
“As a white person, each of us has to deal with the fact that we benefit from a system of racism,” said McAffee. “We have to acknowledge that most of the statues were erected at points in time when we saw introduction of Jim Crow laws or really high tensions as black folks fought for civil rights and liberties.”
Murdock said district constituents and municipalities in his district are on board with the idea.
Volunteers have come forward, Murdock said, to help move the statues. He said no taxpayer money would be used towards the effort.
“How can we improve if we have nothing to measure against?” said Murdock. “Erasing the negative parts of our history doesn’t make it go away, removing the statues doesn’t make racism go away.”
Oklahoma’s NAACP President, Anthony R. Douglas, told News 9 he’s calling for the resignation of Senator Murdock.
Murdock said he will not step down.