A terrible narrative was allowed to fester in Oklahoma. The notion that 'the peoples' house' is inaccessible to those whose lives hang in the balance because of the mismanagement of the legislature. The crowd was terrifying to many of the politicians. Only a relative few elected officials ventured out into the rotunda, Tuesday morning.
The only thing missing from this mass of humanity which marched on the capitol were torches, pitchforks, tar, & feathers. By mid morning, the state leaders shut the capitol doors and several hundred were locked out.
To be fair, this was the best-behaved protest that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has ever seen at the capitol, thus dispelling the myth that the mentally ill generally are somehow too violent to be allowed in open society.
I asked several of the troopers who were fully armed and wearing Kevlar vests, if there were any incidents? "Nope! Not even the mildest misbehavior."
Even the legislators who became besieged in their own offices were generally impressed once they had some interaction. Several of those visiting the capitol on the Mental Health Rally day broke into tears as they told stories of crisis and recovery; and how they hope to continue to recover by staying committed to their treatment.
When Oklahomans travel in caravans from the four corners of the state, it is a terrible shame that they are left out of the capitol building and unable to redress their grievances. This is a sad legacy. It is an indictment of the current political mismanagement.