Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Shield (R) was removed on Friday by a commission set up to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre after signing a bill banning the teaching of critical race theory in state schools.
“Commissioners on the centenary of the 1921 Race Massacre in Tulsa met on Tuesday and agreed by consensus to part ways with Governor Shield,” a statement said Friday, according to numerous reports.
The commission added that while “discouraged from parting ways with Governor Shield, we are grateful for the things that have been achieved together.” According to the declaration, elected officials and representatives of elected officials are not included in the decision.
Earlier this week, project leader Phil Armstrong sharply criticized Stitt for signing a bill banning the teaching of critical race theory, according to which racism is embedded in US history and law.
He said the move was “diametrically opposed to the Commission̵
Stitt was notified of his removal from the commission only when the announcement was made on Friday, his spokeswoman Carly Achison told the AP. She also noted that the governor’s role in the commission was “purely ceremonial and he was not invited to attend a meeting until this week.”
Armstrong said Shield did not attend Monday’s meeting to discuss legislation on critical race theory, which he said left the commission “very disappointed”, according to a letter to the governor on Tuesday, local media reported.
Last Friday, Stitt signed legislation banning critical race theory, saying “now more than ever we need policies to unite us, not tear us apart.”
State’s Monroe Nichols (D) resigned from the committee on Tuesday, saying Stitt’s signing of the bill “casts an ugly shadow over the phenomenal work done over the past five years.”
The Commission organized events to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre that took place in Tulsa on May 31 and June 1, 1921, in which a white mob burned 30 blocks of their own Black companies, homes and churches in the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, known as Wall Street, “killing nearly 300 people and injuring about 800.
The Hill turned to the committee for further comment.