Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Rep. Sullivan's Word Choice Causes Trouble

Oklahoma's First District Congressman, John Sullivan of Tulsa, has apologized for using the word "bigot" to describe opponents to his legislation honoring victims of the Tulsa race riot of 1921.

In a letter published Sunday in the Tulsa World, Sullivan said he didn't mean to offend. He noted also that his "inflammatory language" deflected attention from his main purpose, which was to promote the memorial legislation.

AltTulsa is on record in support of Sullivan's legislation. And unlike Rep. Sullivan, we aren't afraid to offend when necessary. If there are Tulsans out there who believe the race riot ought to remain hidden, we disagree. We disagree strenuously. We disagree strenuously because we believe the truth should be told, even when it's unpleasant.

The race riot is a shameful part of Tulsa's history, but it happened. It's true, and the citizens of Tulsa were not blameless. It is no service to Tulsa or to history to pretend that Tulsa was a racial paradise in 1921.

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