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United Voice: Oklahoma City Police officer asks ‘How would you grade OKC on race relations?’

OKLAHOMA CITY-An ongoing and groundbreaking project is underway called United Voice.

KFOR is proud to be a leading partner in this many-faceted initiative to encourage and lead health discussions on race relations in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma City Police Officer, Lieutenant Wayland Cubit shares his story on an important poll he conducted several years ago.

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"I did this unofficial poll three or 4 years ago and I asked every one of my white friends and associates to give OKC, from their perspective, a letter grade A or F or anywhere in between on race relations.

All things considered.

I did the same thing with my family and my black friends.

What I found is that for my white friends and associates, it was A and B. and for my family and friends that were black it was D and F, in the same city.

And so we were living in the same place, feeling two different things, It’s an unofficial poll and it’s my limited number of friends, but it did speak volumes on how two people in the same place might see a totally different picture or feel a total different thing.

But the hope that I have for that was when I polled my grandmother the same question, and she is in her 90’s the only problem she has is she is a little hard of hearing, and so when I asked her to give OKC a letter grade, she gave it an extraordinarily high mark.

She said, I give it an A.

I thought she didn’t hear the question correctly because Grandma you’re the one that told me not to go to this part of town, or to make sure I don’t do this, or make sure you are that all because of race.

Because of the color of my skin.

How is it you can give OKC such a high grade, based on all of those factors that you raised me on?

She said, well you haven’t lived long enough.

She said, I seen it where black people in OKC couldn’t do this.

I’ve seen it where black people couldn’t do that.

I’ve seen it where this street that I live on, where I would never see a white person walking down the street.

I see white people walking down the street, I have white neighbors now.

It’s not where it could be, but it’s not where it was.

And so if you keep living, I have hope that your letter grade will change also from whatever it is to an A.

So we are having the conversation and this conversation is growing and it is so much more accepted at other people’s table and other

people’s living room and other events and I am super hopeful about what Oklahoma can do about race and how we can engage the

conversation and be a shining star example for the rest of the country on how we handle race in our city."

United Voice Mission Statement: Bringing our local media outlets together to give Oklahoma a united voice in promoting a healthy dialogue on race.