Oklahoma's GOP governor says MLK would have backed his opposition to giving land to Native Americans
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (Twitter).

On Monday, at a Martin Luther King Day event, Oklahoma GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK) invoked the name of Dr. King to trash the Supreme Court's decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, a 2019 ruling that held Oklahoma must honor a treaty granting large swathes of Eastern Oklahoma to Native American tribes with respect to law enforcement jurisdiction.

"I believe that freedom fighters like Dr. King would be astounded, maybe even disgusted, by the McGirt ruling," said Stitt. "The ruling created two sets of rules for Oklahomans based on their race. In Eastern Oklahoma right now there is not equal protection under the law."

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Stitt's comments drew immediate outrage, with House Minority Leader Emily Virgin and Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr. weighing in.

Dr. King, ironically, was a supporter of Native American rights and spoke forcefully against the U.S. atrocities against them.

Stitt, who is himself a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, has made his opposition to McGirt a pet issue, although often his attacks on the ruling have fallen on critical ears; one forum last year saw his attacks on the ruling shouted down by Native Americans in the audience.