Oklahoma State Rep. compares Black Lives Matter to the Klu Klux Klan
An Oklahoma representative compared the tactics of Black Lives Matter to the Ku Klux Klan during debate over banning critical race theory in schools.
“The KKK, everybody agrees on this floor that they have burned, they have threatened, they have destroyed, that is what they are famous for. Would you agree that when people burn, threaten, kill, intimidate that they are a terrorist group and that Black Lives Matter reads that same description?” said Representative Justin Humphrey.
Humphrey later apologized for using “offensive language” on the House floor.
Minority Democratic leader Emily Virgin reminded her colleagues about the code of conduct. “Profane, obscene, indecent language is prohibited in the House,” she said.
“I will apologize for using offensive language,” Humphrey replied.
The Oklahoma legislature spent hours debating House Bill 1775, which directs Oklahoma teachers not to teach concepts that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.”
Rep. Kevin West who sponsored the bill defended it saying it’s an anti-discrimination measure to keep schools from teaching racial stereotypes.
“Make no mistake about it,” West said. “We’re in a fight for the future of our children and our grandchildren. The theories and tenets of critical race theory, that curriculum … that goes against everything this nation was founded on and everything that we, as a nation, have fought so hard to keep.”
“The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has no color, has no sex,” he added.
HB 1775 also seeks to prevent Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities from engaging students “in any form of mandatory gender or sexual diversity training or counseling.”
The bill passed 70-19 and now heads to Republican Governor Kevin Stitt’s desk, where he is expected to sign it.
Black Lives Matter has been at the center of riots and violent protests across the country since its inception in 2013 after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was killed by George Zimmerman, a Hispanic neighborhood watchman following an altercation where Zimmerman said he shot Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman was later charged with and acquitted of second-degree murder.
BLM’s website says their mission is to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” Axios estimated the cost of damage caused by BLM protests, which often devolved into riots during the summer of 2020 was as high as $2 billion.
Oklahoma is one of many Republican controlled states attempting to ban critical race theory in its schools. On Thursday, Governor Brian Little of Idaho recently became the first in the nation to sign such legislation.
“The claim that there is widespread, systemic indoctrination occurring in Idaho classrooms is a serious allegation,” said Little. “Most worryingly, it undermines popular support for public education in Idaho.”