Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern says her words were "not spoken correctly" and is apologizing after making comments that implied African-Americans and women in general make less money than white men because they don't work as hard. Kern's remarks (video here) came last night as the Oklahoma House of Representatives approved a bill giving voters the chance to eliminate affirmative action in state programs next year. Kern first spoke of African-Americans, asking "Is this just because they're black that they're in prison? Or could it be because they didn't want to work hard in school?," adding "I taught school for 20 years. And I saw a lot of... a lot of people of color who didn't want to work as hard. They wanted it, wanted it given to them." Kern soon turned her attention to women, telling colleagues in the chamber "Women don't usually want to work as hard as a man because... women tend to think a little more about their family, wanting to be at home more time, wanting to have a little more leisure time." Despite her apology, The Oklahoman newspaper reports the local chapter of the NAACP is calling for Kern to resign. Tonight, we'll take a closer look at Kern's comments and the new battle over affirmative action with Princeton Associate Professor Melissa Harris-Perry.
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