By Allan Wall, July 7, 2020
“So when did you become a liberal? Quit pandering to the mob. Do what you were elected [to do].”
Thus wrote an angry Okie on the Facebook comments section of Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford page. (Message slightly edited for punctuation and capitalization.)
Senator Lankford had joined fellow Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin with a proposal to dump Columbus Day as a federal holiday and replace it with “Juneteenth.”
This proposal was quickly publicized, and many Oklahomans contacted the Senator to protest.
On July 2nd Lankford released a video on Facebook (here) in which he reported that “I’ve had hundreds of people that have reached out to my office and have called me frustrated and angry about the fact that I’m trying to get rid of Columbus Day, because they saw on a Fox News program or they read on some conservative blogsite that that’s what I was planning to do. So let me set the record straight … ”
So, he went on to explain his position.
Lankford said that all 100 U.S. Senators had already decided to make “Juneteenth” into a federal holiday.
Juneteenth is a celebration many Americans had never heard of until recently.
It originated in Texas (where I first heard of it) to commemorate a proclamation in Galveston on June 19th, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for the slaves in Texas.
All slaves in the United States, however, were not freed by the Juneteenth proclamation nor the earlier Emancipation Proclamation of 1862, but by the 13th Amendment adopted in December 1865, after Lincoln’s death. Many don’t seem to be aware of that fact.
Lankford and Johnson, advancing the argument of saving money by not increasing the amount of federal holidays from ten to eleven, had proposed dropping Columbus Day and replacing it with Juneteenth, thus keeping the amount of federal holidays to ten.
But the timing of their proposal made it look like Lankford and Johnson were surrendering to the mobs who are defacing monuments and tearing down statues.
In the comments section of Lankford’s above-cited Facebook video, plenty of constituents let him have it. Some more examples:
- “Your timing is horrible as everything you do appears as appeasement.”
- “The whole video is why we’ll lose the Senate in the fall.”
- “Will spend as many days as I can here in Oklahoma making sure you aren’t elected again.”
- “James is simply going with the protestors not the majority.”
- “Will do my best to vote against you, Mr. Lankford. Very disappointed you obviously don’t know what your constituents truly want.”
- “Where is your courage and bravery to stand against the Marxist mobs!?!?”
- “We did NOT elect you to be ‘cool or woke’!! We won’t forget that you don’t listen to your constituents!”
- “Senator James Lankford, please leave Columbus Day alone, and do not become part of the Left’s ‘Cancel Culture’! I can’t believe you call yourself a Republican.”
On July 3rd, Senators Johnson and Lankford withdrew their proposal to drop Columbus Day, though Senator Johnson plans to submit a proposal “to reduce the number of paid leave days federal employees receive” without dropping Columbus Day.
This is not the first occasion of which Senator Lankford has supported “Cancel Culture” proposals related to American history. And when you have anti-American mobs in the street destroying and defacing statues, you’d better think twice about supporting such proposals.
Columbus was a complex figure, but a nimble navigator and the man who brought Western Civilization to the Western Hemisphere. And it’s obvious that these statue-attackers hate Western Civilization.
It’s relevant to point out that Senator Lankford is extremely unreliable on the immigration issue. Numbers USA evaluates Lankford with a B+ Career grade (2011-2020), a B Recent grade (2017-2020) and a C- grade for the current Congress (2019-2020).
Obviously, Lankford’s voting on immigration measures is getting progressively worse.
James Lankford is up for re-election in 2022. Anybody game for running against him in the GOP primary?
Allan Wall writes from Oklahoma.
He recently blogged about OSU coach, Mike Gundy.