Oklahoma GOP Refuses To Reprimand Lawmaker Who Called ‘Blacks’ Lazy

Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern (R), who said this week that “blacks” don’t work as hard as white people, will not be admonished by the Oklahoma House’s GOP leadership. Kern issued a written apology claiming she “misspoke” when she said during a 10-minute floor speech on Wednesday that African Americans and women don’t work as hard as whites or men because they’re dependent on the government and men, respectively.

The NAACP says that’s not enough, calling on Kern to resign. “You cannot commit racism and then offer an apology for the racist statement that you make,” Anthony Douglas, the president of the Oklahoma NAACP, said. “The citizens of Oklahoma, the constituents, can no longer stand by and allow this type of action to happen.”

But apparently the leadership of the Oklahoma House of Representatives is willing to stand by Kern, the Tulsa World reports:

[GOP House Speaker Kris] Steele said he thought the apology was enough, that she handled it appropriately and that a public reprimand was not necessary. […]

Steele spent most of his weekly briefing with reporters fielding questions about Kern’s comments and SJR 15. He said he does not believe Kern’s speech has hurt the state’s image and that he supports SJR 15.

Even though Steele said he told Kern “I disagreed with her comments,” Senate Democratic leader Andrew Rice is calling on state Republicans to officially reprimand Kern, saying a failure to do so “can only be seen as tacit agreement with Sally Kern.” The Black Legislative Caucus also condemned Kern.