(From a Charlie Meadows, OCPAC Email)
This past Wednesday evening, State Representative Sally Kern walked into a buzz saw. It was like a lamb taking a stroll through a valley only to be set upon by hordes of ravenousness and vicious wolves.
Up for consideration was legislation to allow Oklahoma voters to decide next year to amend our State Constitution to prohibit the practice of affirmative action. Liberals were strongly opposed to the measure as they objected by using irrelevant statistics such as high incarceration rates among black Oklahomans and lower wages for working women.
Representative Kern rose to debate on behalf of the measure. I have obtained a transcript of her debate and would say she could have done a better job of expressing her arguments. I will also say there have been countless times after speaking to a group or simply with individuals that upon reflection, I wish something I had said could have been phrased differently, most human beings would say the same thing if they are honest.
There were two main points of contention. In her effort to tear down the myth that women are somehow discriminated against in pay compared to men she inadvertently said: “You see women usually don’t want to work as hard as a man…”. If you have seen or heard that on any news broadcast and that is all you heard on the subject, that news outlet is dishonest and is trying to drum up sensationalism, because in just the next few words, Sally corrected her wording on the floor and went on.
What Kern was trying to say was that a study by Dr. Warren Farrell showed that when all variables were taken into account, women actually make more than men for the same work performance. What are those variables? Things like full time versus part time, hours worked, experience, work hazards willingness to commute long distances and etc. The point Sally was trying to make on working hard is that once women start having children, they are more likely to interrupt a career to stay home with the children or work part time to spend as much time as possible dividing duties between work and being the homemaker. Men tend to be more willing to focus on career advancement and make certain sacrifices on the home front. Kern was not degrading women or suggesting they don’t work as hard as men. Anyone who understands how much work it takes to be a successful homemaker is wise and to do that as well as work outside the home is very hard work.
The other point of contention and the one that caused the race baiting wolves to descend upon Sally was her honest attempt to tear down the myth that black people have high incarceration rates, simply because of the color of their skin. Sally dared to suggest that perhaps it had more to do with character, personal initiative, drive, hard work and a willingness to pay the price. She suggested these problems show up early in school with an unwillingness to work hard and learn. Drawing upon her 20 year career as a teacher, Sally said the following: “I taught school for 20 years and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t want to work as hard, they wanted it given to them. Matter of fact I had one student that said, ’I don’t need to study, you know why? The government’s gonna take care of me.’”
That little bit of TRUTH that Sally spoke caused the race hustling pimps in Oklahoma to descend upon her like my suggested wolves upon a lamb scenario. As a result of the pressure, Sally issued an apology which is my only point of contention with what was done. She took care of the misspoken words about women not wanting to work hard immediately in her floor debate. However, the next day she issued an apology to those she offended which is where I differ with her. I think it would have been fine to issue a clarification, but not an apology.
I know Sally well and she doesn’t have a racist bone in her body.
Let’s be honest folks. Anytime we speak of race or groupings of peoples in any regard, we are talking about anomalies, trends or averages which give certain groupings a reputation for certain characteristics. Intellectually honest people will always know there will be exceptions to the trends and examples. So when we talk about groupings of people, we are NEVER talking about everyone in that grouping. We may not even be talking about the majority of people in a grouping. However, we talk about a grouping because there is a large enough anomaly to distinguish a difference or reputation.
For example, if accurate statistics were to suggest that only 10% of white people live in poverty while 30% of black people live in poverty, that is a notable difference. If statistics show that 70% of black children live in a single parent home while only 30% of white children are in single parent homes, that is also notable. If statistics show Asian children outperform all other racial groupings in school, that is a notable difference. I could go on and on with such examples, we see them all the time. The problems begin to manifest when we try to come up with the reasons for the differences.
Let me suggest, that there are way too many black folks who would rather blame others for many of the problems black people in America face rather than take much, if any personal responsibility for those problems. When I say “way too many” I am not saying all, I may not even be saying a majority, but I am saying way too many.
The moment I, as a white person, say such a thing I might immediately be descended upon and labeled as a racist and bigot by race hustling pimps like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and locals like Representative Mike Shelton or perhaps leaders of local NAACP groups.
You see, according to my friend the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, a black minister, white people aren’t supposed to be part of the dialogue regarding racial issues. It is to be a one way conversation.
Race hustling black leaders empower themselves and become famous and or wealthy by telling black folks their problems are a result of the “evil whitey suppressing them.” These black leaders hold themselves out to black folks as saviors and leaders to stop white people from holding black folks back. As they spew their hatred and venom it builds horrible attitudes into the minds and hearts of black people who buy into their poison. Those attitudes become the most destructive force in their personal lives.
I wrote an article in the Oklahoma Constitution Newspaper in 2001 in which I suggested back in that day that few white people tolerate racism. Most white people don’t want to hear racist jokes and people who refer to black people as “niggers” (shock and horrors, I used the dreaded word) are disrespected and shunned. However, I suggested that racism was alive and well in that day as it still is today, and that it would mostly be found in the black community.
Most white people today want there to be closure to the hurts and sadness of racism which occurred in our past history. Most white people want the best for black Americans. I personally look forward to the reality and substance of the dream as espoused by Martin Luther King Jr. when he said he looked forward to a day when men could be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
To get to that point in time, black people must realize that opportunities exist and most white people want black people to succeed and prosper, as long as they do so on their own initiative and by working hard. I for one am opposed to trying to make that happen through favoritisms created by court decisions or through laws. Thus my opposition to affirmative action laws.
What has occurred in the past, is in the past. To continue to dwell on the past, other than for historical references, is harmful to black people in the present. They must seize their opportunities through hard work and upon their own merits. Life is not easy and there is certainly competition for opportunities, so black people must press on and not get discouraged when they encounter difficulties.
To help accomplish the desired successes, I would suggest fleeing from the poison of anyone who teaches black people to blame others for their problems. Abandon the race hustlers like Jackson, Sharpton and Representative Mike Shelton. Build relationships with people who will encourage you, abandon black churches if the preacher teaches you to blame others.
The church President Obama selected to attend for Easter Sunday is pastored by what I believe to be a race hustling black pastor. One who, on Resurrection Sunday, preached a sermon describing today’s modern day Jim Crow types as one who didn’t need to wear white sheets, but rather they came dressed in pinstripe suits and were under the cover of talk radio and Fox News. If black people feed off of that type of venom, they are being poisoned. Their hearts will be filled with hate and their attitudes we be corrupted.
Unfortunately, Speaker Steele threw Sally under the bus when he stated publicly that he disagreed with Sally and was glad to know that she was producing an apology. Hey Kris, just what exactly did Sally say on the floor in which you disagree that she didn’t correct during her debate? Why don’t you man up and spell it out for us in detail so we can determine if you are part of the problem or part of the solution?
I was also disappointed in State Chairman Matt Pinnell when he said:
“The GOP strongly disagreed with Rep. Kern’s comments, and we are pleased that she quickly apologized for them.” I haven’t talked with Matt, but I wonder if he has even read the transcript of what she said?
The Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson would likely describe Pinnell’s statement as a knee jerk reaction just before he runs and hides in the closet of cowardice and silence in hopes that he won’t have the racist label thrown at him or at the Republican party of which he is a spokesman.
I believe Matt has done a good job so far as Chairman, but he needs to understand his statement will not dissuade the race hustlers from throwing the racist label at the Republican party, they do it all the time, no matter how many apologies and no matter how many statements to the contrary.
We all must learn to recognize racism when it truly exists and condemn it, but on the other hand, never throw someone under the bus when they have been accused by the race hustlers and they have done nothing to deserve such an accusation. We must all start calling these race hustling pimps out and expose them for what they are. Only then do we have a chance for the healing to occur and allow people of all races to get along and live together in harmony and peace.