The Republican-controlled Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a proposed constitutional amendment yesterday that would eliminate Affirmative Action in state government. The offical GOP reasoning for the change is that while “discrimination exists,” “I don’t think Affirmative Action has been as successful as we like to believe,” the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. T.W. Shannon (R), explained. But perpetual extremist state Rep. Sally Kern (R) offered her argument for ending the system that helps minorities advance: “blacks” simply don’t work as hard as whites:
Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said minorities earn less than white people because they don’t work as hard and have less initiative.
“We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school? I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.”
Kern said women earn less than men because “they tend to spend more time at home with their families.”
While Kern has long history of taking outlandish positions — from saying homosexuality is more dangerous than terrorism to introducing legislation to force teachers to question evolution — her bigoted comments reflect a disturbing trend among even mainstream conservatives to blame valuable social safety net programs for creating a culture of dependency or even “slavery.” (h/t: reader Dustin)
Watch Kern’s remarks on blacks:
KERN: We have heard tonight already that in prison there’s more black people. Yes, there are, and that’s tragic, it’s tragic that our prisons here in Oklahoma, what are they, 99% occupancy? But the other side of the story, perhaps this is something we need to consider: is this just because they are black that they’re in prison or because they don’t want to work hard in school? White people oftentimes don’t want to work hard in school, or Asians, oftentimes. A lot of times, that’s what happens. I’ve taught school for twenty years, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t want to work as hard, they wanted it given to them. As a matter of fact I had one student who said, “I don’t need to study, you know why? Because the government is gonna care of me.” That’s kind of revealing there. Equal opportunity, not equal results.
Kern asserting that “women usually don’t want to work as hard as a man”:
KERN: You see, women usually don’t want to work as hard as a man, because, now I mean, now get me, wait a minute, now listen to me, women, hang on, women tend to think a little bit more about their family, wanting to be at home more time, want to have a little more leisure time, that’s all I mean. I’m not saying women don’t work hard. I think women work very hard, so don’t take that the wrong way. But that’s fact as you have to keep in mind, okay? Women like to be willing to have a moderate work life with plenty of time for spouse and children and other things like that, that’s all I meant, okay. They work very hard. But sometimes they aren’t willing to commit all their life to a job like a lot of men do. That’s all I meant by that. All right.