Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kern Apologizes For New Controversial Remarks

Rep. Sally Kern today apologized for remarks made during a debate on affirmative action.

It's the second flare-up over controversial remarks she's made in three years.

"I want to humbly apologize for my statements last night about African-Americans and women,” Kern said in a prepared statement. “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."

Kern referred to comments she made during debate for Senate Joint Resolution 15, which would allow the state to not abide by affirmative action guidelines if voters approve it.

But Kern's apology didn't satisfy some. Democrats called for Republican leaders to repudiate her and members of the Legislative Black Caucus said they were shocked by Kern's remarks.

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.”

Three years ago, Kern said the homosexual agenda is a bigger threat than terrorism or Islam, and that equal opportunity should be based on equal opportunity regardless of color and gender.

Those remarks created a firestorm that lasted for months.

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