Let me start by saying that I am proud of who I am, the discrimination and other obstacles I have overcome, and the fact that I am a First Amendment free speech advocate. This is why despite chiding by friends and colleagues; I regularly read the Oklahoman / NewsOK.com and also subscribe to the Sunday Oklahoman. Tonight I deleted my shortcut to newsok.com and attempted to cancel the print subscription. I will most definitely take care of this on tomorrow.
I knew this day would come; an occasion where the insensitivity or conservative nature of The Oklahoman would best me and I would trounce on the fact that I am a “save print media” supporter. That time came today with your editorial, “Reaction to House Member a Case of Selective Outrage.” Your left-handed affirmation that Rep. Kern should NOT be in the Oklahoma House of Representatives (“We sincerely hope they do.”), does not negate the fact that like many media outlets of late the overall tone of this editorial is pandering to the extreme or an attempt to incite the uninformed.
I expect editorials in The Oklahoman to be conservative. I expect them to be pro-business and sometimes insensitive with regard to issues I hold dear. However, we reach our Rubicon when you start mixing apples and oranges in an attempt to say one thing, when you really mean another. Unlike the other commenters mentioned in the editorial, Representative Sally Kern was the only person that was an elected official at the time the alleged comment was made. Unlike the other remarks that were mentioned in your editorial, Representative Kern’s racist and sexist comments were made during debate on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives—not in a backroom or to a reporter.
Minutes before Representative Kern’s most recent diatribe, Representative Mike Shelton was called to task by a colleague for “impugning” Representative T.W. Shannon. Representative Shelton’s grievous offense? During floor debate Representative Shelton said that Rep. Shannon’s comments were misleading! I have watched the floor debate for SJR 15 at least five times and I agree with Representative Shelton that Representative Shannon’s remarks were misleading. However, I understand that the Rules of the Oklahoma House of Representatives have little to do with Roberts Rules of Order or what I consider misleading and designed to confound.
I admit that I may be a bit irked by the ludicrous remarks made by Representative Kern last week while debating in favor of an anti-affirmative action constitutional amendment. Despite my ire and my doubt that her apology was sincere, I agree that it is up to the voters of HD 84 to save us from Sally Kern. I do not believe in term limits and I do not condone impeachment except for the most reprehensible offenses. Calls for Representative Kern’s resignation are ceremonial, anticipated, and should come as no surprise to the informed—especially the editorial board of The Oklahoman. I am equally concerned by your implication that the candidates who have run against Sally Kern in the past are not serious or perhaps not qualified. This is especially so, since your editorial offered no reason for your italicized adjective.
For the record, I am an African American woman who has benefitted from affirmative action. I am proud of that. I am proud of my accomplishments and I know without affirmative action my life would be different. It pains me to hear women—especially those of my generation—deny the benefits of the level playing field provided by affirmative action. It saddens me to see young African Americans and other young people of color state that affirmative action has failed and that it’s time to get rid of it. There is much work to be done. Save Affirmative Action in Oklahoma. Vote NO on SQ 759!