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As the dust hangs over the U.S. Supreme Court leak of Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh’s intent to overturn Roe v. Wade, our nation and our state must reckon with a terrible truth: The creeps are winning. 

They took over the Supreme Court and too many governor’s mansions. They created a cancerous news medium that metastasized into a network of hate. They are running en masse for school board positions to demonize those of our children who do not fit the 1950s ideal of straight and white, and they are taking over our professional organizations, our college campuses, our prosecution offices and our city councils. 

OPINION by George Lang

In states like Oklahoma, the conservative movement has run roughshod over government, nearly obliterating moderates and progressives in an 82-18 legislative majority, and Gov. Kevin Stitt is fighting a racist, neo-manifest-destiny cold war against the tribes that should rightly govern themselves.

He is a pugnacious, finger-pointing bully, and he has unleashed a toady in Ryan Walters, the anti-education Secretary of Education who is attempting to intimidate our state’s public schools into anti-LGBTQ+ actions and a school voucher program that will leave behind thousands of Oklahoma children. 

On the abortion front, Stitt gaslights like a one-man ONG. When he signed the anti-woman and ultimately anti-child Senate Bill 1503 last week, he tweeted, “I want Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country because I represent all four million Oklahomans who overwhelmingly want to protect the unborn.”

This is transparently disprovable and an attempt to cast Oklahomans as monolithic in their ideas. Oklahomans can barely agree on anything, much less stand as 100 percent Christian soldiers. 

Stitt lies about the uniformity of Oklahoma groupthink because he wants it to be true, not because it is true. This legislation will kill women, and their blood will be on Stitt’s hands.

What is happening now feels different. It is as if the state governments that are lashing out with autocratic legislation and orders, the attacks on women and marginalized groups, and the U.S. Supreme Court flouting the will of a full two-thirds of Americans are the early moves in a full-on clampdown. If good people do not speak up now in unignorable numbers, we will lose nearly everything we hold dear in America in 2022. The rest of it will fall in 2024. 

I know I’m not exactly being a ray of sunshine here, but if we do not take this real threat with the seriousness it deserves, we will deserve the seriousness of the threat. 

In the past week, many of us posted some variation on Ben Canham’s tweet: “Silly me. I thought ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ was a dystopian novel, not a political road map.” 

This is all well and good, but we are a nation that enslaved millions of Black people, that did not let women vote until 1920 and only let queer people marry seven years ago. Is it more comfortable to make allusions to fiction instead of our very real history? We need to confront the realness of things, not their relationship to popular culture. I’ve done enough of that for all of you in my past life as an entertainment writer.

This is not a bad dream, a drill or a simulation. Stitt, U.S. Sen. James Lankford and their right-wing ilk might come off like “commanders” from a Margaret Atwood novel, but they are real, corporeal threats unconcerned about you or your family’s well being. 

They are coming, and the only way we can fight them is to stand up.

Last Updated May 10, 2022, 1:15 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor