Statement from the Oklahoma Policy Institute:
Racism takes many forms. Most of us are familiar with — and openly decry — the overt and direct racism that stems from ignorance, fear, and hatred. The more insidious racism is concealed and entrenched within economic, political, and legal systems that endanger people of color, especially Black people.
During the past week, Americans have expressed pain and outrage in nationwide protests. The protests were sparked by police brutality against the Black community, but they have deep roots in our nation’s systemic racism that has created stunning inequities and lost lives for all people of color for generations. Oklahoma is not immune to these problems. Data and memory clearly and repeatedly show our state has far to go towards equity in economic opportunity, health care, education, the administration of justice, and much more. To effect long overdue change, Oklahomans of all backgrounds must have access to the power and resources necessary to move forward.
In this pivotal moment, the Oklahoma Policy Institute affirms our commitment to advancing policy changes that redress the racial inequities ingrained in our state’s economic, political, and legal systems. Now more than ever, it is important all Oklahomans have access to high-quality, non-partisan data from a trusted source.
Oklahoma’s communities of color have a long history of perseverance and resourcefulness in the face of systemic racism. This week’s protests clearly show that our Black community is clamoring to tell their truths and be heard. All Oklahomans need to hear these stories and allow our communities of color to lead the way in building better systems that allow all of us to safely thrive.