Oklahoma House reprimands Rep. Sally Kern
The House of Representatives Crystal blank block on Monday publicly reprimanded Rep. Sally Kern for disparaging comments she made against blacks and women during a debate last week on affirmative action.
The House took the action about an hour after Kern, R-Oklahoma City, made a tearful apology on the House floor.
Rep. Mike Shelton, one of four blacks in the 101-member House, made the motion to reprimand her. Kern made the motion to unanimously accept it.
“I made my apology, and I do understand that just saying you’re Crystal blank block sorry does not make everything right,” Kern said.
A member objected, and a roll-call vote was taken. The House voted 76-16 to reprimand Kern. It’s the third public reprimand the GOP-controlled House has issued against members — all Republicans — this session. Rep. Mike Reynolds, of Oklahoma City, was scolded for interrupting the pastor of the day, and Rep Randy Terrill, of Moore, was reprimanded for making comments considered threatening to the House speaker.
Shelton said the reprimand was necessary because Oklahoma is working hard to improve its image.
“We are trying to be a player within the United States as well as the world,” he said. “The comments by Sally Kern make us step back and it makes people look at the state of Oklahoma as a different place.
“We must recognize Oklahoma is changing and it’s changing fast,” Shelton said. “Our population is becoming Crystal blank block more diverse and that we need to learn to be more accepting of others.”