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Edmond Parents Find Nothing Wrong with White-Washed OK History

12:07 PM EST on November 30, 2017


Every year, hundreds of Edmond elementary school kids take part in an Oklahoma Land Run reenactment to develop a greater understanding of this state’s history. And institutionalized racism.


EDMOND, Okla. —

Edmond Public Schools officials said they are reviewing how their schools re-enact the Land Run after a group has called for those re-enactments to end.

The group, called Live Indigenous OK, said the current Land Run re-enactments don’t paint a clear picture of what really happened. Some parents, however, said they should just leave the re-enactments alone.

I mean come on, guys. It isn’t like the school will actually be taking a history lesson away from the kids if they do away with it. You can’t really call this make-believe Land Run a reenactment of actual events. If you really want to portray the history, let half of the kids play together while the other half stands by and watches as they're being told they are going to die of starvation and never have fun again.

Half of the elementary schools in Edmond take part in the Land Run re-enactments in some form, but Summer Wesley, with Live Indigenous OK, said the Land Run celebrations and re-enactments can be harmful to Native students who are being forced to see a replaying of the genocide and marginalization of their people.

Hey kid!  So your great-great-grandpa actually took part in the Land Run of 1889 and your family is benefiting from the mineral rights to this day? How neat! This kid’s great-great-grandpa died because some white dude destroyed his home and left his family to starve.

While some parents see nothing wrong with the Land Run re-enactments, others said they can understand the need to change things.

“I don’t think, at this point in time, it’s derogatory towards the Native Americans,” parent Ken Morefield said. “It’s just what and how our country was built.”

You can see this parent, pictured above, talk about the issue here. I mean, what better person to interview for an opinion on indigenous marginalization than an old white man?

“I do think the Land Run is an important part of our state’s story and history, but I also think it’s important that we educate our kids about the darker, not so pretty, side of what happened,” parent Megan Campbell said.

Edmond Public Schools officials said they are working with Live Indigenous OK on the issue.

Should Oklahoma students learn about the Land Run? Sure. It was a significant event in our state’s past that changed the course of development and history. But how it is currently portrayed is not history. It is all fun and games. As long as you're white.

Hayley is still pretty darn short, even when she's on her soap box. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek

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