Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford issued an apology to black Tulsans after he challenged the results of the electoral college in Congress without realizing that it would offend them.
Lankford’s decision to challenge the election results in a number of states with large black populations angered many prominent black Tulsans, leading some to call for his resignation or removal from the 1921 Race Massacre Centennial Committee.
In the letter obtained by Tulsa World, Sen. Lankford wrote 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.”
He said it was never his intention to ““disenfranchise any voter or state.” But, “what I did not realize was all of the national conversation about states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, was seen as casting doubt on the validity of votes coming out of predominantly Black communities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit.”
“After decades of fighting for voting rights, many Black friends in Oklahoma saw this as a direct attack on their right to vote, for their vote to matter, and even a belief that their votes made an election in our country illegitimate,” he added.
“I can assure you, my intent to give a voice to Oklahomans who had questions was never also an intent to diminish the voice of any Black American. I should have recognized how what I said and what I did could be interpreted by many of you,” he concluded. “I deeply regret my blindness to that perception, and for that I am sorry.”
Sen. Lankford was one of the nearly a dozen senators to sign on to Ted Cruz’s and Josh Hawley’s plan to overturn the results of the election in Congress. Lankford pledged to not vote to certify the results of the electoral college unless a committee was formed to provide a 10-day audit of election results.
But, be backed down after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.