*Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern, a Republican, is on the hot seat for saying that minorities earn less than white people because they don’t work as hard and have less initiative.
The controversial remarks were made in the wake of a measure seeking to ban affirmative action programs advancing in the state, according to the Tulsa World.
“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.”
In light of the proposed constitutional amendment in question clearing the state House of Representatives on Wednesday evening, the GOP lawmaker also suggested women earn less than their male counterparts because they generally spend more time in the home.
The measure [will] put on the 2012 election ballot a provision that the state may not grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, color, sex, ethnicity or national origin. The ban would apply to public employment, education and contracting.
Opponents say the proposal targets a non-existent problem. Several Democrats contend the bill is an attempt to use race to generate fear and draw conservative white voters to the polls.
Fans of the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” will remember Sally Kern as the woman called out by the talk show host in March 2008 for saying homosexuality “is more of a threat to the United States than terrorism or Islam.”