Clay Horning: How hard it must be to be as fragile as Ryan Walters
In Oklahoma Columnist, Clay Horning puzzles over Ryan Walters’s comments about how to avoid mentioning racism. It starts with an appearance Walters made in Norman.
There were protesters across the street at Andrews Park and there were protesters on his way in the door of the architectural marvel that is Norman Public Library Central, Walters there to speak at a county Republican Party meeting.
Though, it would appear, non-Republicans attended, too.
In it, Walters was asked how the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre might possibly be taught under his definition of forbidden critical race theory; a theory nobody quite understands, not that it’s stopped Walters from threatening Oklahoma teachers’ jobs should they teach it.
Here would be a transcript of Walters’ latest soundbite heard ’round the world:
“I would never tell a kid that because of your race, because of [the] color of your skin, or your gender, or anything like that, you are less of a person or are inherently racist. That doesn’t mean you don’t judge the actions of individuals. Oh, you can absolutely; historically, you should. ‘That was right, this was wrong, they did that for this reason.’ But to say it was inherent because of their skin [color] is where I say that is critical race theory. You’re saying that a race defines a person. I reject that. So I’d say you’d be judgmental of the issue, of the action, of the content of the character of the individual, absolutely. But let’s not tie it to the skin color and say that the skin color determined that.”
He’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Only this time, Walters wasn’t dog whistling, wasn’t trying to score cheap (or righteous) political points, wasn’t even demagoguing an issue from the driver’s seat of his car.
This time, with no grand politically consulted plan behind him, he was telling us what he really thinks. And strangely, in so doing, exposed his and so many others’ disregard of critical race theory as an invented sham at odds with actual history.
Let’s go through it.
“I would never tell a kid that because of your race, because of [the] color of your skin, or your gender, or anything like that, you are less of a person or are inherently racist.”
Nobody’s asking you to.
It would be wrong to do it.
But what on earth does that have to do with race not playing an inherent role in the Tulsa Race Massacre. It’s called THE TULSA RACE MASSACRE!!