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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/27/09

Oklahoma-born John Hope Franklin, Renowned Historian Dies

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Message James Nimmo

(OKLAHOMA CITY) Though Oklahoma claims Dr. Franklin as a native, his career and education took him far from his hometown.  Though Oklahoma claims to have been a haven of progressive thought and government, it seems to me that the early history has become reddened by the dust of memory and current history inflamed by GOPer-voting majorities.

Remind me of the progressive history of the early days of Oklahoma, 46th from the last of the 50 states.
Even though part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 Oklahoma was considered only good enough for Indians until oil was discovered, then it was "Katy, bar the door," as to the land swindles and murders committed to separate Native Americans from their treaty-granted land and mineral rights.  That's what the Dawes Rolls is all about:  the attempt to legitimate the confiscation of a birth right.

Yes, society is better in regard to racial equality; at least the race-baiters can't be quite so open about their misplaced superiority beliefs. However, discrimination based on unchangeable personal characteristics has been transferred to America's gay/lesbian citizens as we see with the push-back from religious homo-haters in 45 states that have voted to legally instill homo-hatred into civil law. 

Racism lends itself so easily to other discriminatory "-isms" and "-phobias".

Sick puppy fundies seem to have an educational deficit when it comes to living peacefully in a diverse society, just as their ancestors did in colonial America and as their colleagues continue to live that weakness in Oklahoma. 

The most famous example will always be Rep. Sally Kern, who twice has illegally carried a hand gun into the Oklahoma Capitol, and youtube-famous for her religious proselytizing against equality for tax-paying American citizens.  http://tinyurl.com/yr63qo

And more recently this March, Rep. Todd Thomsen filed two resolutions (Res. 1014 and 1015) in the Oklahoma House of Representatives decrying the "restraints" placed on academic freedom by allowing Dr. Richard Dawkins to speak in a public lecture about evolution at the University of Oklahoma.  http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/268901

Let me remind you that Rep Thomsen is CHAIR of the House Higher Education Committee.  I swear I'm not making this up.  Just look for his name in this list and click: http://tinyurl.com/cwoevl

And we have the perfect choir-boy example of Rep. Mike Ritze ( http://tinyurl.com/cwoevl ) who's offering to pay for a "ten-commandment" monument on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds all the while insisting that the monument is not about religion but rather history. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/269409

As the sludge of the Oklahoma Legislature swirls to the drain, will someone please bring the plunger?

EXCERPT:  Complete at:  Nation Magazine:   http://tinyurl.com/clfert

Perhaps because he'd lived through the age of racial terrorism John Hope Franklin routinely denied the insistence by his privileged students that "nothing has changed" in America's racial story.

Franklin was no post-racial theorist, but he helped us remember that it mattered that slavery was ended, Jim Crow dismantled, and a black man elected president.

EXCERPT:  Complete at:  AP PRESS:  http://tinyurl.com/czsum8

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - John Hope Franklin, a towering scholar and pioneer of African-American studies who wrote the seminal text on the black experience in the U.S. and worked on the landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed public school segregation, died Wednesday.

Born and raised in an all-black community in Oklahoma where he was often subjected to humiliating racism, Franklin was later instrumental in bringing down the legal and historical validations of such a world.
Franklin was born Jan. 2, 1915, in the all-black town of Rentiesville, Okla., where his parents moved in the mistaken belief that separation from whites would mean a better life for their young family. But his father's law office was burned in the race riots in Tulsa, Okla., in 1921, along with the rest of the black section of town.

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James Nimmo is active in progressive issues and believes no one should be denied their equality because of the accidents of birth and circumstances.
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