Just weeks ahead of centennial commemoration, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission voted to remove Governor Kevin Stitt’s membership late last week.
The commission said in a statement it agreed through consensus to part ways.
The decision came after members of the commission spoke out against Stitt signing a bill into law limiting race and gender curriculum taught from kindergarten to college.
Members of the commission expressed concern about the bill hindering educators’ ability to teach about events like the Tulsa Race Massacre.
After signing the bill into law, Stitt said in a video statement schools will continue to teach to the Oklahoma Academic Standards which includes events like “the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Tulsa Race Massacre, the emergence of Black Wall Street, Oklahoma City lunch counter sit-ins led by Clara Luper and the Trail of Tears.”
Stitt reacted to the commission’s decision, saying his role was a ceremonial one and was not invited to attend a meeting until last week.
“It is disappointing to see an organization of such importance spend so much effort to sow division based on falsehoods and political rhetoric two weeks before the centennial and a month before the commission is scheduled to sunset,” a statement from Stitt’s office said, in part. “The governor and first lady will continue to support the revitalization of the Greenwood District, honest conversations about racial reconciliation and pathways of hope in Oklahoma.”