To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, June 13, 2024


A 19th Century Plantation Owner’s Mindset


Please, somebody show this May 29, 2021 article to not-so-super Supt. Ryan Walters. If he needs more convincing the Tulsa Race Massacre was indeed about race, this should do it.

I’m trying to forgive Ryan for being a little slow on the uptake about this tragedy because I, too, was not as informed as I should have been when Black legislators, led by Sen. Maxine Horner and Rep. Don Ross of Tulsa, began their educational and redemptive work in our Legislature. Perhaps 300 residents of Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, also known as the Greenwood District, died at the hands of white rioters during the period of May 31-June 1, 1921.

It was all triggered due to an alleged derogatory comment uttered by a 19-year-old Black young man directed at a white woman in downtown Tulsa. Thirty-five square blocks of housing and businesses were destroyed as well as the massive loss of life. And just this past Friday, a judge dismissed the final application for reparations for the three remaining survivors of that period with prejudice, which means neither they, nor others, can refile for such relief.

I know this is a stretch but consider: What if hundreds of Blacks in Oklahoma City decided to come across Lincoln Boulevard, travel up NW Grand to say Western and entered Nichols Hills, burned the place to the ground, over a grievance about a youngster of their race. Nichols Hills is almost exclusively white so many people, possessors of common sense and life’s experiences, would most likely adjudge that behavior illegal, destructive and, if people died, murderous. The judicial system would trigger, trials and convictions would follow and consequences meted out.

Following the burning of Greenwood there were indeed investigations, apparently just for show, because no charges were filed, victims were buried in many mass graves, some yet to be found, and, of course, Black Wall Street was left that way … black.

It has never recovered and is viewed as the largest, most deadly racial conflagration in our country’s history unless one counts the Civil War when nearly 700,000 Americans died over, among other things, the issue of slavery which again, applying just common sense, is a racist circumstance and fact running through much of the history of our United States.

It is due to what I have written above, and what you are welcome to read in this NBC News article, why I find Walters’ verbal hijinks so disgusting and disingenuous. He knew during his remarks about the long-ago tragedy in Tulsa that it was racial in motivation, behavior and outcome. But, when cornered by an informed questioner on how his previous stance related to Critical Race Theory [CRT] and HB 1775 fit with our state’s documented history of pure hatred and racism more than a century ago, alleged straight-shooter Walters danced, shuffled, hee-hawed, obfuscated and otherwise did his damn best to hide his own bigotry by closing his answer thusly: The riot was not racial.

Hmmm. The next day Reckless Ryan did what public officials like him always do: Blame someone else and, in his case, of course, the press. However, somebody really mean, or wise, had videoed the exchange and when exposed, that made matters exponentially worse because it heaped the trait of lying on top of the earlier disarming characteristics of either being ignorant or racist.

Ryan is a fast talker; always thinks he is the smartest dude in the room; can be temporarily attentive but is really just condescending; likes the verbal jousting that accompanies public policy disagreements but, unfortunately for him, he comes armed only with the mindset of a 19th century plantation owner.

You don’t have to believe me. Ask any number of fired, dismissed, demoted or disillusioned employees at the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

Names available upon request.

Cal Hobson
Cal Hobson
Cal Hobson, a Lexington Democrat, served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 1978-2006, including one term as Senate President Pro Tempore.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.