For Immediate Release
August 4, 2020
Angela Allmond, Communications Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party
Alicia Andrews, Chair
Scott J. Hamilton, Executive Director
Oklahoma Democratic Party on Tulsa Black Lives Matter Mural
OKLAHOMA CITY – Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, today called on Tulsa Mayor Bynum to lead with transparency.
Speaking about the city’s back-and-forth decision on allowing and then removing the Black Lives Matter painting from a city street, Andrews said, “As I understand it, the mural was painted without permission. Likely, the artists were caught up in the momentum of the nation and wanted to send a message that Tulsa is as inclusive as the other cities that displayed the same mural.
“Tulsa WAS celebrated as being a woke city. We were included in the national and international stories that heralded the awareness of the need for the conversation on racial justice,” said Andrews.
She said she had made inquiries in an attempt to get the full story – because, in her words, leaders must lead with facts.
“I was told that the city of Tulsa always intended to spend the money to remove the mural. They said that it has always been the plan.
“Well, …why now? Are we doing it now because we have had our moment in the sun? Was this North Tulsa’s consolation prize for the disastrous decision to allow a rally at the BOK Center that we were WARNED would be a super-spreader event? An event that, according to the CDC, was likely responsible for at least 500 new cases of COVID-19? Why now?” asked Andrews.
“The city is saying that the businesses adjacent to the mural want the mural removed. That is simply not true. The city gave the Greenwood Chamber a false choice,” explained Andrews. “The Chamber was told that it could stay if they were willing to take on the expense of maintaining the street – an expense that the city knew full well that the Chamber could not bear and should not be asked to bear,” Andrews said.
Greenwood has become a destination district and, according to Andrews, should be treated as such. “On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the nation’s most devastating race massacre coming, many MORE people will be coming to Greenwood. What side of history does the city want to be on?” asked Andrews.
“Governing is HARD work. I am calling for our elected officials, particularly the mayor, to LEAD TRANSPARENTLY and not to cave from pressures from outside of the affected district and to leave the mural as it is. Additionally, I ask that if the artists want to freshen the mural that they go through the proper channels,” Andrews continued.
“Hopefully, this time – they won’t be competing with the president for the mayor’s attention,” concluded Andrews.
For more information about the Oklahoma Democratic Party, visit the party website at okdemocrats.org, or call party headquarters at 405-427-3366.