Citation Needed: Reid Claims Oklahoma Doesn’t Want To Teach Tulsa Massacre

News & Politics

MSNBC’s Joy Reid closed out the Tuesday edition of The ReidOut by welcoming Damario Solomon-Simmons, an attorney representing survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre who are seeking reparations. During the interview, Reid claimed, without any evidence, that Oklahoma is seeking to ban teaching about the massacre.

Reid claimed that “Oklahoma is a state that is not exactly in favor of telling all of the history, as that justice made it clear, they don’t do that.”

She then asked, “What do you make of the fact that even now you have some Oklahoma officials who are trying to ban history that would include the history of the Tulsa massacre, even as your case is going on?”

The Tulsa Race Massacre has been part of Oklahoma education standards since 2002. In 2019, the state made those requirements even more specific. What Reid is probably trying to say, in her usual dishonest way, is that anti-Critical Race Theory laws that ensure that today’s students are not made to feel responsible for yesterday’s crimes are somehow stifling teachers, which makes no sense given the standards explicit mention of the massacre.

For his part, Solomon-Simmons tried to portray this fake controversy about history in schools to real struggles for civil rights in previous decades:

You know, Joy, I remember 20, 25 years ago, when I was in college, a freshman, myself in college, I was thinking man, I wish I was born, you know, during the 60s and fight those fights. I never thought I’d be fighting the same type of things today and that’s what we are actually doing and it’s sad and, you know, I speak to my 88-year-old father-in-law, who just turned 88 a couple of weeks ago, Aubrey Winston and I was saying ‘man, can you believe we are still dealing with the stuff you were dealing with growing up in the 40s and 50s’ and, you know, it’s, kind of, disheartening but, at the same time, I’m blessed to stand on the shoulders of the ancestors who have gone through so much more. 

The comparison was crazy enough that Solomon-Simmons implied that he didn’t actually believe it, “I mean, your great new book Medgar Evers and the love with his beautiful wife, Mrs. Evers, I’ve reading that just thinking about this man with fighting in Mississippi in the 50s and the 60s when houses were being bombed, people were getting shot at, he was assassinated, so as hard as it is right now for us, it really pales in comparison of our ancestors.”

The duo deciding to lament non-existent history bans suggests they missed the day when their teachers went over the importance of citing your sources.

Here is a transcript for the April 2 show:

MSNBC The ReidOut

4/2/2024

7:59 PM ET

JOY REID: You obviously, Oklahoma is a state that is not exactly in favor of telling all of the history, as that justice made it clear, they don’t do that. What do you make of the fact that even now you have some Oklahoma officials who are trying to ban history that would include the history of the Tulsa massacre, even as your case is going on?

DAMARIO SOLOMON-SIMMONS: You know, Joy, I remember 20, 25 years ago, when I was in college, a freshman, myself in college, I was thinking man, I wish I was born, you know, during the 60s and fight those fights. I never thought I’d be fighting the same type of things today and that’s what we are actually doing and it’s sad and, you know, I speak to my 88-year-old father-in-law, who just turned 88 a couple of weeks ago, Aubrey Winston and I was saying “man, can you believe we are still dealing with the stuff you were dealing with growing up in the 40s and 50s” and, you know, it’s, kind of, disheartening but, at the same time, I’m blessed to stand on the shoulders of the ancestors who have gone through so much more. 

I mean, your great new book Medgar Evers and the love with his beautiful wife, Mrs. Evers, I’ve reading that just thinking about this man with fighting in Mississippi in the 50s and the 60s when houses were being bombed, people were getting shot at, he was assassinated, so as hard as it is right now for us, it really pales in comparison of our ancestors and I’m glad to stand on their shoulders to try to make life better for African-Americans and for this entire country.

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