As Lawton’s NAACP Branch #6131 President, I am disgusted by recent racist and insensitive remarks of Representative Brad Boles, claiming his “Colored Babies” reference during an abortion discussion was a “Slip of the Tongue,” and it “wasn’t what he intended to say, nor who he is in his heart.”
Also, sports announcer Matt Rowan, using the “N” word and vulgar injects about Norman high school girls’ basketball players kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. Unaware of his hot microphone, Rowan later claimed “Type 1 Diabetes and his blood sugar spiking” causes him to say things inappropriate and hurtful.
These shamefully comfortable remarks resonated as utterances they’d say in settings when they perceived their unfiltered words have no consequences, should cause the moral conscience of parents, school officials, religious and community leaders to feel compelled to speak out.
For many African Americans, being referred to as “Colored” or by the “N” word, resurrects painful times in our history when overt racism, fueled by superiority attitudes were sadly tolerated without regard for the emotional pain it inflicted. I recall, first-hand as a child, seeing posted above water fountains, restrooms, bus seats, and rear entrances to buildings, the degrading “Colored Only” signs.
For an elected official to NOT be more sensitive, or a sports announcer providing basketball play-by-play listened to by children, parents, school administrators and sports enthusiasts, to be so blatantly disrespectful of youth whose skin color or beliefs differ from his own, is utterly disgraceful.
Both should take their ludicrous apologies further and seek race sensitivity training as a proactive step to show those offended by their “slip of the tongue,” and “blood sugar spiking” excuses, their desire to remorsefully move forward in healing wounds their degrading words re-opened. We can’t eradicate racial ignorance and improve our cultural awareness acumen isolating ourselves from those with whom we work, serve, or represent. These men should have a dialogue with an African American or someone who doesn’t look like them, who can address the disdain emanated by their racially insensitive remarks.
Mr. Will Scott Jr.
President, Lawton, OK NAACP Branch #6131