Oklahoma Senator Lankford, a conservative ally of the Black Tulsans, faces criticism over the decision to “deprive” the black vote.
Republican U.S. Senator James Lankford apologized in a letter to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s black community, for failing to acknowledge that the challenge to the U.S. election results leading to the victory of President-elect Joe Biden in the of a joint session of Congress could be interpreted as an attempt to silence black voters.
Tulsa approaches the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre in 1921, which saw white residents attacking the affluent neighborhood of Greenwood, known as “Black Wall Street,” killing at least 36 people, although historians estimate that number to be more. Student.
The city set up a Tulsa Race Massacre Commission in 1996 and worked to raise awareness and investigate the atrocity. Lankford, a conservative from Oklahoma elected to the US Senate in 2014, has played a leading role on the committee.
Members of Tulsa’s black community called for Lankford’s removal from the commission after joining 146 Republican lawmakers who challenged the results on January 6, the day a far-right crowd of President Donald Trump supporters took over storming the US Capitol in an apparent attempt to overturn the election. .
Lankford was demanding a 10-day review of election results by a Senate committee as the body was quickly adjourned when rioters violated the Capitol.
As @SenatorLankford speak:
“The Senate will remain in abeyance until the call of the presidency.”
“The protesters are in the building.” pic.twitter.com/35KgJfVxHM
– CSPAN (@cspan) January 6, 2021
Black leaders in Tulsa say the challenges were aimed at depriving their community of its voting rights, which has faced historic racism and denial of the right to vote in the United States.
State Representative Monroe Nichols told Tulsa World that the challenge was “a prime example of black people voting in record numbers, with a coalition of people who look different, being told, ‘No, their votes do not count ””.
Lankford said in his letter on Thursday that in proposing an election commission he never intended to “deprive a voter or a state of the right to vote.”
“I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you,” Lankford continued. “I deeply regret my blindness to this perception, and I am sorry for it.
Lankford was not the only Oklahoma lawmaker on the commission to challenge the results. U.S. Representative Kevin Hern voted to challenge the results, but did not face similar calls for resignation.
Tulsa media claim this is because he plays a smaller role on the commission.
Other lawmakers continued to defend their decision to challenge the results, the culmination of months of allegations of election fraud by Trump and Republican leaders.
Authorities, including officials appointed by Trump, have found no evidence of widespread electoral fraud.
The Capitol riot killed at least five people, including a Capitol police officer, and more than 70 arrested following an ongoing national police investigation.
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been criticized for his defiance and support for Trump’s rhetoric.
Hawley, who many viewed as a rising star on the political right, defended his challenge by raising the issue of electoral integrity.
In a column in the Southeastern Missourian newspaper, Hawley wrote his objection “in accordance with the letter of the statute, which specifically permits objections and debate, and followed the traditions of Congress.”
Hawley continued his objection after the violence and faced calls to resign from his colleagues.