The saying goes: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
However, Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern has been getting away with spreading hate for years.
Just this morning, I received an email from the Human Rights Campaign. The subject line read: “Gays are ‘more dangerous’ than terrorists?” How would say such a thing? Sally Kern. However, this was not the first time. This email came in like it was big news, and I thought it was until I dug a little deeper. Sally Kern made the same comparison between homosexuality and terrorism in 2008, for example.
As if that isn’t enough, she has also targeted women and African Americans (for which she then apologized).
Now, we can all blame Sally Kern for her words, after all, they came out of her mouth. However, there is a greater responsibility here. Why is she permitted to continue spreading her lies?
Ellen DeGeneres called her out in 2008. Here’s her message to Representative Kern:
PFLAG also sat down with her for a talk.
These gentleman say they see what happened here. Do you?
If you were listening carefully, you just heard her say she used to be a teacher.
This is bullying. With wonderful organizations like the Trevor Project working so hard against bullying, promising our kids that It Gets Better, we need to make sure we keep that promise. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to bully.
Would you want your child to be bullied by a teacher or anyone else like Sally Kern has bullied women, Islam, African Americans, and gays?
If not, we need to stand up. Fool us once, shame on us; fool us twice, shame on us. Somewhere, someone is listening to Sally Kern and believing her. Believing that they are a sinner for loving who they love. Believing their sexuality is like terrorism. Believing they “under-achieve” because of the color of their skin. Believing their religion is wrong. We need to tell them otherwise, and we need to stand up to Sally Kern.
Below is the aforementioned email I received from the Human Rights Campaign about Sally Kern. You can contact her directly, or you can read the letter below and send her an automated one from the HRC:
Just last week, Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern told a talk show host that homosexuality is a bigger threat to the United States than terrorism.
That’s right. Kern claimed that because young people learn that “homosexuality is normal and natural” and because they’re “bombarded” with it every day, it is “more dangerous” than terrorist attacks. It’s vile.
As if comparing gays and lesbians to terrorists wasn’t bad enough, in the same interview, Kern also blamed the AIDS crisis on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community – recycling the outdated, tired charge that gays are responsible for the epidemic, instead of calling for more support of programs to prevent new HIV infections.
Sadly, this story is all too familiar and Kern has been censured for unrelated but equally outlandish remarks before. Kern made anti-LGBT comments like these three years ago that were captured on tape. But in the three years since, we’ve learned all too well what words alone can do – especially from elected officials.
Worse, Kern couldn’t care less about keeping her vile views under wraps this time around. Instead,she’s written a book criticizing the efforts of people like you and me to confront right-wing hate like hers. She casts herself as a truth-teller, standing tall in the face of “angry homosexuals” who speak out time and again against her extremism.
We’ve called out Kern before for her hatred, but public statements that could potentially incite people to violence are completely over the line. Linley, we can’t let this kind of hatred go unanswered.
Kern must be held responsible. Sign the letter to Oklahoma’s leaders now: “Kern’s comparison of homosexuality to terrorism is as offensive as it is dangerous. I call on you to immediately condemn her hate speech.”
Our campaign for equality has traveled a long road, Linley. We’ve unfortunately circled back to Kern and her unique brand of hate once again, but with your help, this will be the last time we ever need to. Thank you for taking a minute to stand with us and speak out.
Keep it up,