Saturday , May 15 2021

Oklahoma City Community College removes controversial Land Run monument

Oklahoma City Community College announced Tuesday that it has recently removed a controversial Land Run monument on its campus. The large concrete slab, visible outside the main building on campus, depicted those who came to Oklahoma for the Land Run of 1889 as heroes and innovators, OCCC officials said in a news release. Executive Vice President Danita Rose, whose maternal grandfather was of Cherokee descent, said in the news release that the decision to remove the monument was a top priority for the executive leadership team. “It was a no-brainer,” Rose said in the news release. “If our goal is to create a community that is inclusive and welcoming to everyone, a monument that depicts cruelty and oppression can’t be on display here.”The monument, which officials said predates most current OCCC employees, was the subject of numerous complaints via social media, letters to the editor of the student-run Pioneer campus newspaper, and even generated threats of violence and protests, according to the news release. OCCC officials said their faculty and staff know very little about the monument and have openly questioned its purpose on the campus. Senior administrators agreed it should go, and the monument was removed by OCCC Facilities Management and is in storage.“We have always agreed with those who felt the monument was offensive and had no place on our campus,” OCCC interim President Dr. Jeremy Thomas said in a statement. “It does not accurately represent history, and it does not accurately reflect the respect, empathy and admiration we have for the true pioneers of this land: the indigenous people of this country. As soon as we were in a position to take it down, we did.”

Oklahoma City Community College announced Tuesday that it has recently removed a controversial Land Run monument on its campus.

The large concrete slab, visible outside the main building on campus, depicted those who came to Oklahoma for the Land Run of 1889 as heroes and innovators, OCCC officials said in a news release.

Executive Vice President Danita Rose, whose maternal grandfather was of Cherokee descent, said in the news release that the decision to remove the monument was a top priority for the executive leadership team.

“It was a no-brainer,” Rose said in the news release. “If our goal is to create a community that is inclusive and welcoming to everyone, a monument that depicts cruelty and oppression can’t be on display here.”

The monument, which officials said predates most current OCCC employees, was the subject of numerous complaints via social media, letters to the editor of the student-run Pioneer campus newspaper, and even generated threats of violence and protests, according to the news release.

OCCC officials said their faculty and staff know very little about the monument and have openly questioned its purpose on the campus. Senior administrators agreed it should go, and the monument was removed by OCCC Facilities Management and is in storage.

“We have always agreed with those who felt the monument was offensive and had no place on our campus,” OCCC interim President Dr. Jeremy Thomas said in a statement. “It does not accurately represent history, and it does not accurately reflect the respect, empathy and admiration we have for the true pioneers of this land: the indigenous people of this country. As soon as we were in a position to take it down, we did.”

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