Friday, April 29, 2011

The appalling bigotry of Sally Kern II

In March of 2008, I wrote about Sally Kern's ridiculous, bigoted claims that that homosexuality is "the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam, "that proponents of "the homosexual lifestyle" "want to get [children] into the government schools so they can indoctrinate them," and that "no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted for more than, you know, a few decades."

Well, the Oklahoma Republican was back at it on Wednesday, this time directing her bigotry at people of color:

The Republican-controlled Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a proposed constitutional amendment [on Wednesday] that would eliminate Affirmative Action in state government. The offical GOP reasoning for the change is that while "discrimination exists," "I don't think Affirmative Action has been as successful as we like to believe," the bill's sponsor, state Rep. T.W. Shannon (R), explained. But perpetual extremist state Rep. Sally Kern (R) offered her argument for ending the system that helps minorities advance: "blacks" simply don't work as hard as whites:

Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said minorities earn less than white people because they don't work as hard and have less initiative.

"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."

There isn't really much that needs to be said about this. Such bigotry, I think, speaks for itself. It's an appalling example of an all-too-common form of somewhat indirect racism. Racists like Kern don't necessarily say that blacks and other "minorities" are sub-human and don't deserve equal rights, just that they're all or mostly (note the broad generalization) lazy, uneducated, and undeserving of government support -- and, worse, "lazy" can be understood as a euphemism for un-American and worse. It's a way of explaining, justifying, and ultimately perpetuating racial inequality.

As Steve Benen asks, "where does the Republican Party even find people like this? Is there a website where a party can order cartoonish racists to serve in state government?"

It apparently doesn't have to look too hard. Cartoonish racists are right at home in the GOP.

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