Tulsa's Race Against Racism Receives Backlash

Sunday, May 8th 2016, 7:58 pm
By: News On 6

A local community organizer is facing backlash--for planning a race against racism in downtown.

Opponents are blasting the race on social media.

News on 6 anchor Erin Conrad met with the organizer today who says he's just trying to do something positive.

“To be honest I was hurt, I was hurt, personally I was hurt,” Racism Stinks founder and community organizer Richard Baxter said.

Baxter says it's hard not to take comments like these personal.

Baxter is the main organizer of the Skunk Run or the "Race Against Racism,” a run being held in the Brady Arts District at the end of May.

He says he was shocked by some reactions after he posted the event to Facebook.

"You're building walls while I'm building bridges, and it's definitely not helping,” Baxter said.

He says his goal is to bring people together, and he feels comments like this aren't productive.

One complaint? The race starts on Brady Street, which originally is named after the controversial founder of Tulsa who has also been linked to the KKK.

“They don't want us to go on Brady Street to start the race, but I feel that's where it has to happen, you have to confront the situation head on,” Baxter said.

That street has since been renamed after another man with the same surname, famous Civil War photographer Matthew Brady.

It is also part of “Reconciliation Way.”

“We're celebrating the fact that we're coming together,” Baxter said. “We're coming together as a community. We haven't reached the full fruition of reconciliation. I understand that, you know, in the city of Tulsa. But we're getting there; we're working together and we're striving."

Baxter says his event is meant to promote the positive and he says he hopes people will choose to participate despite the negative.

Learn more about "Racism Stinks" by clicking here