Democrats Charge Racism to Distract from Their Agenda
On April 7, a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives made a comment that the Democrats called racially insensitive. Rep. Jim Olsen (R-Roland), the House author of Senate Bill 612, was speaking in support of the bill in the House Public Health Committee. The legislation would abolish abortion by making it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, except to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency. It had already been approved in the Senate, 38-9, and was now beginning its way through the House.
In his presentation, Rep. Olsen compared the fight to abolish abortion to the decades-long fight to abolish slavery by a man in Great Britain, William Wiilberforce, who dedicated his life to bring an end to slavery. Wilberforce was instrumental in passage of the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 which brought an end to slavery in most of the British Empire.
After a heated exchange started Rep. Ajay Pittman (D-Oklahoma City), Olsen said his remarks were in no way an endorsement of slavery. “In the context of history in general, I did compare one evil to another and very frankly I make no apology for it,” Olsen said. The bill passed through committee by a vote of 8 to 1. There would have been a second vote against the bill, but Rep. Pittman had walked out of the committee room calling the debate “traumatizing.” Pittman said this is just another indication that Oklahomans need better training when it comes to racial and cultural sensitivity.
Pittman’s call was echoed by the head of the state Democratic Party. “The constant barrage of cavalier racism is a distinct sign that Oklahoma is not doing fine. This is not the first time in this session alone that in debating the abortion issue, a Republican legislator evoked a racist trope to defend their indefensible position,” said Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. “The Oklahoma Democratic Party demands not only an apology from Representative Olsen but also that Speaker of the Oklahoma House, Charles McCall, immediately censures Olsen. Moreover, we request that all Oklahoma House Representatives undergo Diversity and Inclusion training conducted by a nationally recognized facilitator before this session is over and at the beginning of every session in the future.”
Earlier in this year’s legislative session Andrews also condemned another Republican legislator for making “racist” remarks. Rep. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) was participating in a debate on House Bill 2441, which following the debate, passed the House 80-19. It later passed the Senate 37-10. This bill would outlaw abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected.”In 2017, 862,000 babies were aborted. Twenty-eight percent of those babies were colored babies; 240,000 Black kids, 215,000 Hispanic kids,” Boles said during the debate. “These kids mattered and I’m here to advocate for them as well.” Boles later released a statement saying, “I inadvertently used an offensive term during debate for a pro-life bill when suggesting abortion affects people of all races,” the statement said. “I apologized to several colleagues for this accidental slip of the tongue and made a public apology on the House floor.”
Rep. Boyles was trying to emphasize that a significant portion of the victims of abortion are minorities, including blacks. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood embraced eugenics to “improve the human race through selective breeding.” Sanger wanted to eradicate the minority population, which is why most of their abortion facilities are located in minority communities. So, supporting abortion is really supporting racism.
Democratic Rep. Mauree Turner (D-Oklahoma City) was quick to criticize Boles for the statement. “My colleague referencing `colored babies’ is how I know they don’t have the ability to make legislation that affects everyday Oklahomans in an unbiased way,” said Turner in a tweet.
Andrews also condemned the comment. “As a Black woman who is old enough to be his mother, I am shocked that someone is using the term colored in 2021. Colored is not part of your normal lexicon. If it’s not part of your normal lexicon, it doesn’t just come out. So, it is part of who he is.”
While Boles should have known that using the term “colored” would bring criticism, and Andrews said she was shocked that someone would use the term in 2021, the once common term has not been fully eradicated. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has not changed its name. The civil rights organization was formed in 1909 as an interracial endeavor to advance justice for African Americans. The organization says it has retained the name in accordance with tradition. Perhaps Andrews is shocked at that as well.
There is a hidden agenda of the Democrats in resorting to use of the “race card” during elections, and at other times as well. It is not so much that they are outraged by these comments, but they look for any opportunity to degrade Republicans or conservatives and paint them as racists. They hope that voters who do not follow the details, will just hear the sound bites or see the headlines, and believe that these office holders are racists.
But, I also believe that there is another – deeper agenda. Notice that both of these incidents occurred during consideration of legislation to stop abortions. By raising the flag of “racism,” Democrats hope to obscure the fact that they support abortion. The pieces of legislation being considered in both incidents were supported by nearly all Republicans, and were opposed almost exclusively by Democrat legislators.
So, when you hear charges of racism, look deeper into what the accusations are related to, and what that they are trying to distract you from seeing.
Ron McWhirter is one of the founders of the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper and serves as the General Manager. He may be contacted at the newspaper email: email@example.com