TULSA, Okla. — The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission responded to Oklahoma Republican Senator James Lankford's letter apologizing to Black Tulsans for not realizing contesting the Electoral College results in swing states would be seen as questioning Black voters' legitimacy.
In a letter addressed to “My friends in North Tulsa,” Lankford said it was never his intention to disenfranchise any voter or state. The senator acknowledged his actions raised concerns among Black Oklahomans.
In a response, the commission acknowledged receiving Lankford's letter and expressed their appreciation for his apology.
"The members of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission acknowledge receipt of your letter of January 14, 2021. We appreciate your apology and continue to discuss the impact of recent actions on our mission and goals. We are also grateful for the hour-long dialogue between you and Commission members held on Saturday, January 9. Commission members listened to you. You listened to Commission members," said the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.
The commission agreed their focus must be to remain focused on remembering victims and survivors, educating people about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and creating a welcome environment for entrepreneurship and tourism in north Tulsa.
The commission ended the letter to Lankford, saying, "While we do not have a specific update for you at this time, the key takeaway is that our mission of truth-telling and racial reconciliation is our true north. The Commission will meet again on Saturday, January 23, after which we hope to have a formal response."
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