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GOP Senator Concedes Racism In Trump’s Election Fraud Hoax, Place From Which To Grow

January 15, 2021

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

When someone steps up and owns a share of a self-generated problem of the day they need to be favorably mentioned. That is what Republican Oklahoma Senator James Lankford is receiving today after he openly apologized to Black Tulsans for his involvement in falling for Donald Trump’s delusional questioning of the election results. Lankford stated that he knows his actions offended black voters in his state.

The senator acknowledged that his actions “caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state. I was completely blindsided, but I also found a blind spot.”

It would only be natural for a wide swath of my readers to say that his comments are among the phoniest and self-serving lines from a politician who had to be fully aware of the hoax he was perpetuating and the damage he was causing to not only his voters but the nation as a whole. After all, one could argue his voice and actions concerning election results in key battleground states–of which Wisconsin was one–and where large African American populations resided could not have been so hard for him to see and understand. Lankford, after all, was not born this past year.

But I have a different perspective based on his forthright move and attempt to own his deeds, while asking for Black voters to give him another chance. Part of my reasoning is that I have often called out the Republican Party to made a better stand on the issues of importance to Black Americans. So when there is clear evidence that a GOP senator is making that move I feel a need to see it as a positive development. At this point in our national affairs we need to reach out for any hopeful signs.

There is no doubt Black voters have every reason to be angry given that Trump kept spouting that their voices mattered but when he lost the election he turned around and threw those same voters under the bus for his autocratic desires. The Republicans aggressively targeted ballots cast in heavily Black cities such as Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta and Milwaukee while arguing that these Democratic strongholds were rife with fraudulent ballots. Lankford played his cards in like fashion with others in his party.

So it was the moral thing for the Oklahoma Senator to come out and admit a racial “blind spot” in how he conducted himself. Black voters in his state should take the next step and accept his words and then start the long-overdue dialogue that is key to bridging the differences and misconceptions that result in a too heavily divided nation.

Black voters know, and history shows how narrow is the degree between “illegal votes” being the buzzwords now and how “illegal voters” were the sad fact in our land only 50 years ago. That is why the acknowledgment from Lankford matters, and for the sake of our nation should be accepted as a place from which to build upon within his state.

Who knows, it may even aid in a national conversation the GOP must have with Black Americans.

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