This is my favourite Okie, Will Rogers. A true Renaissance man, Will Rogers was more than 1/4 Cherokee, something a lot of anti-brown Okies conveniently forget. He was also a die-hard liberal, however gently clothed his principles were in wit & irony.
Rogers’ life contrasts sharply with that of today’s famous Okies — the infamous Snowball James Inhofe, who apparently thinks the existence of snow negates good science; the government-hater James Langford, who sees nothing wrong with undermining presidential authority. The former KKK leader and white nationalist David Duke.
These are not the Okies I know, folks.
But these are the Okies who make the media. Not the devout but tolerant Christian students I’ve met so many of while teaching at ‘that farm school,’ Oklahoma State. (And isn’t a school devoted to feeding us, to educating ALL OF US, a wonder?) Not the many philanthropists who’ve put their money into Oklahoma arts, humanities, sciences, and education.
You don’t hear much any more about the Oklahoma teachers who shielded children w/ their bodies in tornadoes. Or the neighbours who helped rebuild devastated housing. And about all you hear these days about our incredibly diverse citizenry (we have more indigenous — read Native — languages in Oklahoma than anywhere else). is what a pain they are to government: welfare and 2nd language learners. We have a large Việtnamese population, as well as a large Hmong group in state. There’s a high school in Tulsa w/ one of the most diverse student bodies in the country. Yep — in Oklahoma. Our Hispanic American demographics are increasing with every census, and we have historic black townships that date back to the Civil War.
In other words, there’s a LOT more to Okies than the current anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-brown, anti-education spiel emanating like a bad smell from Oklahoma City.