The Last Thing the Internet Needs Now

Did Kern Get Death Threats or Not?
March 13, 2008, 9:37 am
Filed under: Media, Oklahoma, Serious stuff | Tags: , , , , ,

The Tulsa World (amazingly, a major metropolitan newspaper in Oklahoma not owned by anyone named Gaylord) is reporting that the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is now sifting through the thousands of e-mails Kern has received in the wake of her homophobic tirade released last week by the Victory Fund via YouTube.

[OSBI Spokeswoman Jessica] Brown said Tuesday, “There are a lot of e-mails to the representative that say, ‘You ought to die,’ rather than, ‘I am going to kill you.’

“I wouldn’t characterize them as death threats,” she said.

But Brown said OSBI computer analysts are working to find the senders and that some might be interviewed to assess their intent. She said it’s possible that the OSBI will refer some to district attorneys for prosecution.

So, what was it? An unintentional exaggeration to rally her side to her cause? Kind of a disproportionate version of a little kid telling her parents that the big mean bullies were out to get her? Who knows, but — if I’m reading the Tulsa World correctly, if she wasn’t wholly forthcoming about receiving death threats, I think that’s kind of sorry.

But keep firmly in mind: Death threats are in and of themselves inappropriate, even if they’re aimed at someone like Sally Kern. Sad to say though, that which should take place of death threats and other petty bullshite — i.e. open communication and rational adult dialogue about issues — are things that I seriously doubt that Kern and those of her ilk would have any interest in seeing as how their minds are pretty much made up and absolutely positively nothing will change them.

(Hey wait — rational adult dialogue? Does someone who equates homosexuality with terrorism sound like a rational adult? What the hell am I saying?)

I felt like poking around sites such as the American Family Association, the Eagle Forum, and Focus on the Family to see where Kern lifted some of her talking points … but I had just eaten a (rather lousy) chicken parmesan TV dinner and I felt it starting to come back up, so I stopped, not wanting to exascerbate the nauseated feeling.

What’s really sad for me is that I’m so caught up in the Kern thing that it’s diverted my attention from that which keeps me going in March: The buildup to the NCAA Tournament. All five of my dear readers know how much I love the roundball. But it’s hard to ignore this state embarassment in light of how badly Oklahoma wants to play with the big boys (including the possible acquisition of an NBA team whose Oklahoma City-based ownership group wants to move them here). Remarks like Kern’s don’t make the rest of the nation want to let go of those dated, negative stereotypes about Oklahomans that have nauseated me and so many others for years. The timing is just horrible on a lot of levels.

Thanks Sally Kern. You Have Made Me Ashamed to Be an Oklahoman.
March 10, 2008, 6:49 am
Filed under: Media, Politics | Tags: , , , ,

Just when I try to fill my thoughts with the people, past and present, that make Oklahoma a wonderful place to be associated with, including the likes of S.E. Hinton, the Flaming Lips, and Wayman Tisdale, along comes something like this that serves to be a cold, hard slap in the face that not everything is fun and frolic in the Sooner State, and I’m thrown back into the dark reality of things that make me absolutely ashamed to be an Oklahoman. This is one of those times.

Hat tip:

Click on me to see the YouTube video posted by the Victory Fund.

Sorry for being slow on the uptake, but I needed a few days for this unbelieveably repugnant screed to sink in. This has become a national thing, which has been noted, briefly or not, on numerous sites. The original publishers of the video did not reveal the legislator’s name (Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, District 84) but anyone who’s been here long enough can put two and two together easily enough.

It’s pointless for me to repeat the clarion call to write to her — many others in the blogosphere are doing that — but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to let her know that her worldview isn’t wholly embraced:

2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 332, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

(405) 557-7348

Kern, the wife of a Baptist minister and a onetime schoolteacher, has used her position in the Oklahoma State Legislature to introduce bills that can be summed up gently as nonconducive to the cause of progressivism (read: Moving into the 21st Century instead of back into the 20th Century) in the state of Oklahoma. A fairly thorough (and admittedly slanted towards my point of view on things) summation of some of her legislative action can be found here. (hat tip: Okie Funk).

If people in Oklahoma don’t want to be the subject of derision, ridicule and hateful stereotype by the rest of the nation because they are still viewed in many segments of American society as ignorant hicks and religious nuts, then why do people keep sending individuals like Sally Kern to the Oklahoma State Legislature?

Mrs. Kern is entitled to her opinion, however sickeningly ignorant it is, as I am entitled to mine. That said, in all my years of public education (mind you, my years in the public educational system were from 1971 until 1984) I was never subjected to a so-called “gay agenda” and no one I know that has children in public schools now talk about their children being subjected to a “gay agenda.” No one that is gay/lesbian has ever tried to push any kind of “agenda” on me. They aren’t in the business of “pushing an agenda.” They are in the business of living their lives, working at their jobs, being active in their communities, and everything else that most Americans do in their daily lives.

OTOH, I do find it very interesting that another group has been actively trying to push an agenda on me and the rest of the state (if not the whole country) for quite some time now. That group would be fundamentalist Christians (like Sally Kern), whose arrow-narrow (and often literal) interpretation of the scriptures is sometimes laughable and often frightening. And more often than not — in Oklahoma and elsewhere — they are the ones that are behind any push to restrict women’s reproductive rights, to restrict the teaching of certain scientific subjects in schools, and to constitutionally mandate that “marriage” should be defined by their own narrow dogmatic definition of marriage.

So, who’s the group with the agenda that wants to subjugate Americans to their lifestyle?

And by the way, Mrs. Kern, equating homosexuals with terrorists — smart move, lady. Tell that to the multitudes of Oklahoma Citians that lost a friend or loved one, or had a friend or loved one maimed and scarred for life, on April 19, 1995. Or how about State Senator Andrew Rice, who lost his brother at WTC on September 11, 2001? That statement alone absolutely mocks those who have been touched by *real* terrorism, and if you find it in your heart to be ashamed of anything, it should be that.