Members of the Legislative Black Caucus said they were shocked by racist and sexist comments made Wednesday evening by State Rep. Sally Kern. Kern, R-Oklahoma City, debating in favor of a joint resolution that could end affirmative action guidelines for state entities.
Caucus Chair Constance N. Johnson, a Democrat representing Oklahoma County, said she was stunned by media reports that Kern had said minorities and women earn less because they don’t work as hard.
“Unbelievable. For someone this day and age to say something so offensive and backward is just unbelievable. It has negative implications for our entire state,” Johnson said. “I know Representative Kern has issued an apology, but that will not negate those hurtful words. The Black Caucus believes there is no room for that kind of bigotry in Oklahoma.”
Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre called Kern’s comments reprehensible.
“On the one hand you want to ignore remarks like that—but this really is too big to ignore. It hasn’t been that many years since our state laws allowed discrimination against minorities and women, and if you were either, you suffered for it,” said Eason McIntyre, D-Tulsa. “I hope that Republicans and Democrats, men, women and people of all color will join together to condemn Representative Kern’s words.”