A century after white rioters razed the heart of Tulsa’s thriving Black community, Oklahoma is now swept up in a national culture war over how schools teach kids about racism and sexism.
A new state law will soon bar educators from requiring courses or teaching concepts that cause any individual to “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress” due to their race or gender. While similar measures have been debated or passed in other Republican-dominated states, Oklahoma’s take on “critical race theory” is adding fresh tension to Tulsa’s plans to mark the massacre’s upcoming centennial.
“The biggest problem is the fact we would pass legislation that says we wouldn’t be able to teach diversity, equity and inclusion in schools — it generally says something like that — and that we couldn’t teach subjects that are psychologically difficult for children,” Democratic state Sen. Kevin Matthews said in an interview, referring to the Oklahoma law.
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