Grab your “It’s Been Zero Minutes Since Oklahoma was a National Embarrassment” graphic.
Over the weekend, a screenshot of this bombshell story in the McCurtain County Gazette – a paper that covers the remote southeastern Oklahoma outpost of McCurtain County – tore through the local interwebs.
The report details a jovially racist, homicidal and inadvertently recorded discussion between McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy, District 2 Commissioner Mark Jennings, and other county officials following an open meeting discussing county business.
In the discussion, they talked about the best way to dispose of the dead bodies of journalists for the McCurtain County Gazette, the similarities between charred human remains and barbecue, and a sweet longing for the good old days when the local sheriff could smack around Blacks in the county jail and then hang them down at Mud Creek.
You know, typical backwoods Oklahoma racist type of stuff.
The McCurtain County Gazette is so remote that it doesn’t have a website, but was kind enough to post the shocking audio and transcripts – including the ones where the group discusses killing and burying the paper’s own reporters – on Google Drive.
The guy driving most of the discussion was Commissioner Mark Jennings. A proud Christian and white nationalist tree trimmer by trade, he bragged about knowing mafia hitmen and having pre-made holes in the ground that were ready and waiting for a newspaper reporter’s body or two...
Sheriff: The old saying is, what goes around goes around. It will. I told you it will.
Jennings: I know where two big deep holes are here if you ever need them.
Sheriff: I’ve got an excavator.
Jennings: Well, these are already pre-dug.
After telling Sheriff Clardy about how he knew some mafia hitman in Louisianna – an unusual thing to tell a cop – Jennings complained about the number of people running for sheriff in the next election.
He confided to Sheriff Clardy that he would run if he could rough up blacks and hang them down at mud creek:
Jennings: It’s like somebody wanting this job, they don’t realize, like your job. I heard it the other day, said I heard 2 or 12 people were going for sheriff. I said fuck, lets get 20. They don’t have a goddamn clue what they’re getting into. Not this day and age. I’m gonna tell you something. If it was back in the day, when that when Alan Marshton would take a damn black guy and whoop their ass and throw him in the cell? I’d run for fucking sheriff.
Sheriff: Yeah. Well, It’s not like that nomore.
Jennings: I know. Take them down to Mud Creek and hang them up with a damn rope. But you can’t do that anymore. They got more rights than we got.
Although it’s uncommon for conversations between county officials discussing where to bury dead journalist bodies and how they’d like to hang Blacks at a creek with a damn rope to be entered into the public record, I don’t think anyone’s really surprised by them.
McCurtain County is located deep in the heart of Oklahoma’s racism belt, and I’d bet a good chunk of the area’s politicians, law enforcement officials, and Republican voters share those same despicable views.
That being said, it’s still weird and revolting to hear them being discussed so openly and casually in a formal government setting. in today's modern age, that type is a conversation is usually saved for hunting trips, area militia meetings, and Oklahoma County Sherrif Association Break Out sessions, not the halls of county government.
I am both appalled and disheartened to hear of the horrid comments made by officials in McCurtain County. There is simply no place for such hateful rhetoric in the state of Oklahoma, especially by those that serve to represent the community through their respective office. I will not stand idly by while this takes place," said Stitt.
Yep, even old Stitter – a guy who panders to rural right-wing Oklahoma bigots and courts their votes – thinks people should resign over this. Granted, that's probably because they said the quiet part out loud and didn't turn off the audio recorder, but it's nice to see him take a stand.
Sadly, if rural Oklahoma voters get their way, Sheriff Clardy, Commissioner Jennings, and the other people in the room will likely be replaced by equally vile and despicable scum who will simply be responsible enough not to record their sickening conservations.