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Editor’s Letter – 8/16/17

This issue’s cover story is about Tulsa Ballet choreographer Ma Cong, a talented dancer and Chinese immigrant who came here in the ‘90s and this month becomes a U.S. citizen. He found love in and married Tulsa lawyer Thomas Landrum, will have his Broadway debut in October, and—with Thomas—is expecting twins.

Among all the reasons I am excited for him, I am thrilled he’s chosen to be our compatriot, especially at a time in our country when hate has a loud voice.

We’ve also got an entire season of performing arts lined out for you for a brief escape.

The times do seem balls to the wall, batshit crazy—but I’m told nothing below the sun is really new. That may in part explain why many people weren’t all that surprised to see a mob of American white supremacists throwing up the Sieg Heil, waving the Nazi flag, and chanting “You will not replace us,” and “blood and soil”—among other, more profane things—last week in Charlottesville. Outraged, yes, but not totally surprised.

But the response given by Terri McAuliffe, Virginia’s governor, directly addressing Nazis and white supremacists (he told them to “go home”) did surprise me. And it got me thinking about our community.

Would Nazis and white supremacists be welcome to march here? I asked a friend this and he responded, “Well what do you mean, welcome?”

(I realize I’m getting into the muddy waters of freedom of speech.)

I mean would our leaders do as McAuliffe did, who not only told them they were unwelcome, but called them by name?

Our president didn’t … until two days later and after much criticism.

Our senators didn’t, though they did say something:

Via Twitter, I asked Mayor G.T. Bynum (and the mayors of Oklahoma City and Guymon, for good, statewide measure) for their thoughts on what happened in Charlottesville, but didn’t receive a response.

Maybe I’m picking at something that isn’t there—or here, yet. But our country’s history, and Tulsa’s history, leads me to believe that what happened in Charlottesville could be around the corner.

How will we meet it, if we have to?

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