The proposed amendment is ready to be placed on the ballot for Oklahoma voters' approval or disapproval. It covers preferential treatment in public employment, education and awarding of contracts for any individual or group on the basis of race, color, sex, ethnicity or national origin.
In support of the measure two state representatives spoke out about why it makes sense in their state. Rep. Sally Kern, a Republican from Oklahoma City told media, "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.”
Adding to Rep. Kern's comments, Rep. T.W. Shannon, also a Republican offered this, "I believe discrimination exists. I don't think Affirmative Action has been as successful as we like to believe." It was noted by TulsaWorld.com, who reported on the story that Rep. Shannon is an African American and seeks to win the job as the Speaker of Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Kern went on to discuss why, in her opinion, women earn less than men even when performing the same job. The Oklahoman reported, "they tend to spend more time at home with their families." In response to the comments by Shannon and Kern, Democratic Representative Mike Shelton said, "Oklahoma is a great state - as long as you fit the profile." Joining Shelton in opposition to the measure was Rep. Jeannie McDaniel and Rep. Emily Virgin. Rep. Virgin, both Democrats.
Within 24 hours of her comments being splashed across headlines on Internet news sites, Rep. Kern apologized. The Oklahoman covered her latest statement. "I want to humbly apologize for my statements last night about African-Americans and women,” Kern said. “I believe that our government should not provide preference based on race or gender. I misspoke while trying to convey this point last night during debate."
The comments were reported at the same time as the flap over Donald Trump's latest insults hurled at President Barack Obama. As the issue of the President's birth certificate became old news yesterday, Trump insisted on moving over to Obama's abilities as a student, implying that the President must have received preferential treatment by both Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
Trump called Obama a "terrible student." He went on to explain his incredulity over his success in becoming an Ivy Leaguer. "How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can't get into Harvard."
Defending himself from those comments of Wednesday, Trump told media today that he never meant to imply that the President was accepted into those schools as a result of affirmative action policies then in place. He admonished long-time CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer for saying that Trump used code words that involve an "ugly strain of racism." The full story about Trump's remarks can be found, here.