An Oklahoma law is making educators afraid to teach 'Killers of the Flower Moon'

Some have described the law as 'soft censorship' of the award-winning book

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in "Killers of the Flower Moon"
Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone star in "Killers of the Flower Moon," which was nominated for 10 Oscars
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

It can easily be said that "Killers of the Flower Moon" has become a cultural touchstone. The critically acclaimed book by David Grann chronicles the true story of Native American murders in the Osage Nation in the 1920s, and was adapted last year into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone and Robert De Niro. But in Oklahoma, the state where the murders occurred, some educators are worried that a specific statute might prevent students from being taught about the story behind "Killers."  

The statute in question, HB 1775, was signed into law in 2021 by Oklahoma's Republican governor, Kevin Stitt. The law dictates that educators may not give any lessons that teach that "an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously” or that "any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex." As a result of the law, Oklahoma has "instructed teachers to no longer use certain terms, including 'diversity' and 'white privilege,'" and has removed books such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Raisin in the Sun" from its schools, said the American Civil Liberties Union.

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