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Affirmative Action Speakers Criticized in Yukon Review & Defended

posted Jun 24, 2011, 9:49 PM by Jody Harlan   [ updated Jun 24, 2011, 10:28 PM ]
The letter below criticizing the Canadian County Democrats' speakers at our Affirmative Action Forum appeared in the Yukon Review on 06/19/11. The original letter writer did not attend the forum or know any of the speakers. Please scroll down to read the response that was submitted.
Opinions, Yukon Review, Saturday, June 18, 2011

Letter to the Editor: It’s time to bash these new Socialists

To the Editor:

Well, we’re at it again America. Individuals bashing those who want to retain our trditons and values of self-reliance and independence.

The new Socialist Progressives (also known as Democrats,, who want to bow to the UN and give up our country’s sovereignty to the "New World Order") are attacking individuals who are trying to get us out of our budget mess that Socialist continue to support.

They don’t’ seem to understand that once your credit card is maxed out, it’s time to stop spending. Instead they want to borrow more money from the parents (us, the taxpayers0 to continue to retain the same lifestyle they have come to enjoy.

They seem not to care that our children will be left to bear their enormous debt.

Instead of encouraging the celebration of new jobs (unemployment at 9.1%), more likely new welfare recipients and Socialist voters?) by cultivating an environment in which business can prosper, the Socialists want to increase taxes and regulations on those who create the jobs and oppose our country’s energy independence.

But spend, oh yeah, Socialists can spend. Start a new war in Libya without Congressional approval, and continue the wars in Iraq (if fought for oil, where’s the oil payback?) and Afghanistan to help support the New World Order (an American soldier’s life is worth all this, right?) and continue to support those who can work, but who rather have the government support them. I totally agree that our country needs to have a safety net for those who are physically or mentally incapable of supporting themselves; however, for those who can, they need to get off their butts and get a job!

Many of those who are enslaved the Socialists, who support them (for their votes) from cradle to grave, fall back on "we can’t find a job." I suggest there are plenty of jobs, just not the ones they feel they want to do, or feel are beneath them.

Cutting spending by cutting future Medicare, Social Security benefits, food stamps and waste goes against the grain of those who want to keep people enslaved to the government retain to retain their votes. Wake up America, we’re broke!

Let’s get the facts out. The Ryan Plan to cut spending would not go into effect for 10 years and only effect those who will be 55 years of age or younger at that time. The plan would allow those individuals to prepare for their retirement. Energy independence would create jobs and tax revenue, but don’t drill here, it might kill the rare spotted dumb fish.

However, instead let’s encourage and fund Brazil to drill in the Gulf and buy our oil from them. Also, you might want to look at the people who will be speaking at the Socialist’s upcoming forum, the State Treasurer of the OK Federation of Democratic Women; a Hispanic from "Change Oklahoma" (change to what, an annex of Mexico?); the ACLU (Have filed lawsuits to end cross shaped headstones in military cemeteries and end prayers of any kind in the military and have successfully prohibited military chaplains from ending prayers in the name of Jesus Christ): and of course "MoveOn," all organizations known for their Socialism ideas, except the Muslim Brother hood.

This great country was founded on self-reliance and independence. Individuals needing assistance at that time were helped by their neighbors and churches; they didn’t [sic] rely on the government to provide welfare and social programs. Who said slavery has been abolished. Oh, by the way, I’m neither a Republican or a Democrat; I’m just a traditional American! God bless you and God Bless America!

Michael Manning, Yukon

This is the response to Mr. Manning's letter. 
Dear Yukon Review Editor:

A recent letter by self-proclaimed "traditional American" Michael Manning called the Democratic Party "the new Socialist Progressives" and attacked four speakers at a recent Canadian County Democrats’ forum without ever meeting them -- based on their names or the organizations they represent. Apparently, Mr. Manning believes these citizens do not deserve freedom of speech guaranteed under the first and 14the Constitutional amendments because he might disagree.

The discriminatory tone and insults in Mr. Manning’s letter actually prove the point that the four experts talked about at that forum – why equal opportunity programs are still needed to overcome prejudices of people who condemn others based on their sex, race, age, disability, nationality or some other category other than individual merit.

A Time/CNN poll reported that 80% of Americans believe affirmative action programs for minorities and women should continue; yet, the Oklahoma Legislature has proposed State Question 759, a state constitutional amendment that would end affirmative action in public employment, public education and public contracting.

Why?!! Although we’ve made progress, we still need equal opportunity programs to level the playing field. For example, employment opportunities are far from equal when women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by male co-workers. That number drops to 68 cents for African-American women and 58 cents for Latinas.

Protecting programs that end discrimination will benefit more than just women. Since 40 percent of American mothers are the only wage earners in their families, American children also benefit from programs that provide equal opportunity for their moms.

Incidentally, some people mistakenly confuse equal opportunity programs such as affirmative action with quotas, which are defined as allowing hiring unqualified female or minority workers over other qualified candidates. Quotas were declared unconstitutional in 1978 (Bakke vs University of California) and are not legal today.

Finally, some defense is only fair and right for the four guests who spoke at the Canadian County Democrats’ forum. They did nothing to attract my Manning’s misplaced rage, so please allow me to quote him and then present facts about each of the speakers.  

1) Mr. Manning referred to Miguel Medrano as "a Hispanic from ‘Change Oklahoma’ (change to what, an annex of Mexico?)…" This individual is a U.S. Army combat veteran, a non-commissioned officer who served with distinction before receiving an honorable discharge and a U.S. Senate commendation for his work as a member of their staff. Miguel’s family from Arizona have been U.S. citizens for three generations. Change Oklahoma gets involved in the political process in order to make the community a better place for everyone.

2) Manning accused Jana Harkins of being the state treasurer of the OK Federation of Democratic Women. That is true. OFDW has been a community service organization throughout the state since 1965. Jana Harkins is perfect for the treasurer’s job because she is a retired Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

3) His rant about the third speaker, ACLU Deputy Director and Legislative Counsel Tamya Cox, went: "the ACLU (have filed lawsuits to end cross shaped headstones in military cemeteries and end prayers of any kind in the military and have successfully prohibited military chaplains from ending prayers in the name of Jesus Christ);…."  In fact, the American Civil Liberties Union is dedicated to protecting rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, including the right to practice religion or no religion at all, as guaranteed by the first Constitutional amendment.

First, the ACLU has never pursued the removal of religious symbols from personal gravestones. In fact, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in 2006 to protect the right of veterans and their families to choose religious symbols — whether crosses, stars of David or other symbols — and that the government should not restrict such religious expression in federal cemeteries.

Second, the ACLU has never filed a lawsuit to end prayers in the military. This false accusation probably misrepresents a letter the ACLU sent in June 2008 to officials at the U.S. Naval Academy asking them to stop forcing midshipmen to participate in mandatory "noon meal prayers." In this case, the ACLU supported voluntary religious exercises as guaranteed by the first Constitutional amendment, but opposed forcing midshipman to participate in religious services mandated by the government.

4) Mr. Manning linked MoveOn, represented by Central Oklahoma Coordinator Jeanine Ridener, with the others in the speaker list, which he called "all organizations known for the Socialism ideals…." is a non-partisan organization (Mr. Manning – that means neither Republican nor Democrat) that focuses on getting progressive candidates elected and protecting human rights.

In closing, the attitudes and prejudices revealed by Michael Manning and the embarrassingly vocal state Representative Sally Kern (Republican – Bethany) offer at least two good reasons why those who oppose injustice caused by discrimination should vote NO on State Question 759 on the Nov. 6, 2012 ballot. Equal opportunity programs are important. Sane, rational Oklahomans still have a lot of work to do. Thank you for your serious consideration in this matter.


Jackie Gaston, Bethany