April 8, 2021
The Honorable Charles McCall
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 401
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
Dear Speaker McCall,
It has been a day since Rep. Olsen made heinous comments comparing a fight to outlaw abortion to preferring slavery. It is an outrage that in 2021 any person, let alone a lawmaker, would make such a traumatizing comparison to the horrendous act of owning human property to argue a point. This is unacceptable and not how to represent Oklahoma. While I am outraged at the Representative’s statement, I am dismayed about your silence on this matter. As surely as you did not denounce the reference to “colored babies” earlier this session, your silence here demonstrates a tacit approval of this kind of thinking.
When elected, you swore an oath to represent all Oklahomans, including Black and Brown. The language used in the Public Health Committee meeting is divisive, dangerous, and suppressive to marginalized communities, especially during a time of racial upheaval across our country. For you to remain silent on this matter is evidence that much work is in order for the Oklahoma Legislature.
The Oklahoma Democratic Party is demanding a public apology for the use of racist language during the committee meeting and further demands that you act immediately to schedule diversity and inclusion training by a nationally recognized expert. This training must be mandatory for all elected officials at the Capitol. It is imperative that you act without haste before more Oklahomans are needlessly traumatized by privileged elected officials. To do any less will demonstrate your failings as a leader and the significant flaws in your moral compass.
Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair