Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Sen. James Lankford apologizes to Black Tulsans for questioning presidential election results

Sen. James Lankford apologizes to Black Tulsans for questioning presidential election results

{{featured_button_text}}

U.S. Sen. James Lankford apologized to Black Tulsans on Thursday for not recognizing that his involvement in questioning presidential election results would offend them.

In a letter addressed to “My friends in North Tulsa,” Lankford acknowledges that his actions “caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state. I was completely blindsided, but I also found a blind spot.”

Arguably, Lankford has been more involved with Black Tulsans, and particularly the historic Greenwood District, than any statewide Republican officeholder in decades.

His decision to raise issues about the presidential election in several key states — most of them with large African American populations — hurt and angered many Tulsans, however, with some leaders saying he should resign or be removed from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.

In his letter, though, Lankford asks for another chance.

“What I did not realize was all of the national conversation about states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, was seen as casting doubt on the validity of votes coming out of predominantly Black communities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit,” he wrote.

“After decades of fighting for voting rights, many Black friends in Oklahoma saw this as a direct attack on their right to vote, for their vote to matter, and even a belief that their votes made an election in our country illegitimate.

“I can assure you,” he said, “my intent to give a voice to Oklahomans who had questions was never also an intent to diminish the voice of any Black American.

“I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you,” he said. “I deeply regret my blindness to that perception, and for that I am sorry.”


Video: Sen. Lankford interrupted while speaking before Senate as insurrectionists enter Capitol


Tulsa Race Massacre: This is what happened in Tulsa in 1921

Get Government & Politics updates in your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News