Local NAACP Chapter Speaks Out After Some Parents Compare Quarantine Policies To Segregation

Tuesday, September 7th 2021, 4:32 pm

About five metro area schools updated their quarantine and mask policies, but some parents are against the policy changes. A number of them have used words like segregation and discrimination when talking about the policies.

The NAACP Oklahoma City branch president thinks the words like segregation and discrimination are tied to the 1960s civil rights movement, where people faced different treatment based on the color of their skin, not whether they chose to get a shot.

"They need to be separated versus segregation," said NAACP Oklahoma City President Garland Pruitt.

More than six decades ago, people gathered around the Calvary Baptist Church to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak. There, he called for the end of segregation and discrimination black people across the country dealt with every single day.

Parents now use those words to describe what school mask and quarantine policies do to their kids; a notion Pruitt said is just incorrect.

"Segregation is used in a manner to discriminate. It's a belittling. It's a put down," said Pruitt. "They fought a Civil War behind an unjust, unequal and unfair policy. We were not even considered a whole person and over 600,000 died in that war."

When the two buzz words are looked up in the dictionary, both Merrian-Webster definitions said the different treatment of groups is based on race, religion, class, or ethnic group. 

Pruitt said parents who use those words at protests or on social media do a disservice to those who actually fought for civil rights.

"It's based on ignorance. It's based on bigotry, cocky, and arrogance and ignorance. Pure ignorance when you think you can politicize a virus," said Pruitt. "We're supposed to be creating an educational nurturing environment for learning and we're creating just the opposite."


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