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Representative Monroe Nichols has resigned from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, effective immediately. Following Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s wholehearted endorsement of HB 1775, the bill which prohibits students from learning about history through the lens of Critical Race Theory, Representative Nichols proffered his immediate resignation from the commission.

Governor Stitt signed the controversial bill on Friday, May 7. Teachers, students, and citizens across the state all protested the bill, which affects Oklahoma children in public schools from kindergarten all the way through college. 

Nichols resigns after Governor signs bill

In his resignation letter to Senator Kevin Matthews, Representative Nichols addressed the inclusion of Governor Stitt as the main reason he can no longer stay on the commission, despite five years of service. “With the signing of HB 1775, our fellow commissioner Governor Kevin Stitt has cast an ugly shadow on the phenomenal work done during the last five years. Governor Stitt has chosen to align himself with folks who want to rewrite or prohibit the full intellectual exploration of our history, which is in direct conflict with the spirit of the commission I joined several years ago.”

Representative Nichols continued, “I want to be clear; I do not, in any way, believe Governor Stitt or his policies are reflective of or a fair representation of others who sit on this board. This collective of selfless and dedicated commissioners have given their time, resources and talent to ensure the stories long buried in the rubble are finally told. The commissioners I’ve served with deserve our city’s and state’s deepest gratitude.” 

Nichols expresses gratitude for serving on commission

“Being part of this commission has been one of the highlights of my public life,” noted Representative Nichols, who insisted that his resignation was not due to the leadership of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission. He stated he looks forward to participating in the activities of the Commission in late May and early June. The Tulsa Race Massacre took place from May 31 to June 2, 1921.

In a statement to The Black Wall St Times, Representative Nichols expanded on his official statement. “I’m proud of the work the commission has done over the last five years. Those contributions will have a lasting impact on our city and state. Above all this is about telling the stories that were for too long hidden, this commission will accomplish that goal. While it’s unfortunate that Governor Stitt and other leaders in our state far too often fall victim to the same inner demons that led to the darkest parts of our history, I remain hopeful that our better angels will lead us to the full recognition of our history and the true reconciliation so many of us on the commission have been working toward.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

3 replies on “Rep. Nichols resigns from 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission”

  1. The bill goes much further than stopping the teaching of Critical Race theory. It stops all teaching of real history if you mention what role white people in OK played in oppression, lynchings, the KKK, the burning of Greenwood or any other number of true events that are irrelevant to Critical race theory. Please correct the article.

  2. Its too bad black people have to have it all or nothing.We should learn all sides of history including the tulsa race riots this bill does not stop that ,it only makes sure that white people are not portrayed as devils while blacks are saints.

  3. I am just sick of the dog whistles. It’s particularly awful when the commission is supposed to be trying to get to the bottom of the race riots. I want to read the WHOLE history of those riots, and I won’t be cheering for ANYONE who tries to, excuse the pun, white-wash that history. Please keep up the good work!

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