Some of our Leaders Seem to Have a Problem with “Brain-Mouth Disconnect Syndrome”

By Natasha L. Foreman

Some people need to just think before they speak, or simply refrain from answering a question when they have absolutely nothing of intelligence to say in response. Case in point…again… Oklahoma state Representative Sally Kern.


This woman appears to have what I call, “brain-mouth disconnect syndrome” whenever a microphone or reporter is nearby. Her mouth gets to yapping but her brain is totally disconnected from the process. She needs a handler who does a better job screening what comes out of her mouth. Do you remember when three years ago she made the comment that gay people are destroying the United States and were a greater threat than terrorists? If not, I have included the link to this footage at the end of this post. Do you remember Kern’s Divorce Bill that would have made it hard for people to get divorced in Oklahoma? Yes, I included that link below as well.

Well Ms. Kern has really stepped in her own mess last Wednesday during an affirmative action bill debate she back-handed both women and African-Americans by saying that women don’t work as hard and earn as much as men because they are more concerned about raising their families, and the high incarceration rate of Black people must have something to do with them not wanting to work hard in school.

We have a high percentage of blacks in prison, and that’s tragic, but are they in prison just because they are black or because they don’t want to study as hard in school?…I’ve taught school, and I saw a lot of people of color who didn’t study hard because they said the government would take care of them.

But let’s hear it directly from the horse’s mouth shall we? Oh and look at the body language and reaction from her constituents in the audience! Thank goodness for YouTube…

Yep, she said it and after coming under attack and her people returning from their extended lunch break (I’m joking about the latter) she tries to clean up her comments by saying that women are some of the hardest workers in the world, and that what she said didn’t come from her “true spirit“. Okay so where did it come from? Will people have to question which spirit (true or false) she’s speaking from every time she opens her mouth?

Maybe it’s time for Ms. Kern to take some sensitivity training, or re-training. Anthony Davis, the President of the NAACP Oklahoma chapter is cutting Kern no slack and is standing firm in his call for her resignation, and urging Kern’s constituents do the same- saying, “Let’s send a message out that in Oklahoma we will not tolerate racism at its ugliest level.”

See the Oklahoma news KOCO report that covered the story and interviewed both Anthony Davis and state Representative Mike Shelton:

I’m all for freedom of speech but when do we draw the line especially when words of hate, bigotry, and racism come from the mouths of our country’s leaders, influencers, and those who intend to lead?

If we are to be the example for the rest of the world to follow why then should we be surprised that there is so much hate spewed about our country and our people? We talk about athletes and entertainers being role models and that they should watch what they say and do, but what about highly visible business people and those in government positions who serve the people of this nation? What standards are set for them, or are they not considered role models?

What are your thoughts?

Oh and by the way here’s the link to her Divorce Bill recommendation: http://youtu.be/tXYKe4gdeRo

And her remarks about gays in 2008 in case you never heard it or need your memory refreshed:

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
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>Briefing on Mother Africa: Women of Zimbabwe- Part One

>Briefing on Mother Africa: Women of Zimbabwe- Part One

Thought-provoking news surfacing this week within the continent of Africa; if you have felt a disconnect this is now the time to reconnect and become a part of the pulse that makes Africa- home- and a reason why we should work towards making sure that both the diaspora and the nest are taken care of….

Zimbabwe

There is finally an opportunity for women to have a say, let their voices be heard, and help shape Zimbabwe’s constitution, but there are several problems looming; the two largest being:

1. The majority of Zimbabwean women have not been informed about their newly envisioned right to help re-structure the constitution. There has not been a massive, collective effort to publicize and educate on the issue- leaving the women of Zimbabwe basically in the same position they were in before this week.

2. The majority of women have no clue what the constitution is, how it is made up, and how their concerns for women’s rights can be translated into the writings of the constitution. According to Lydia Thembo when interviewed by Inter Press Service News Agency reporter, Ignatius Banda, “There are obviously many things I would like addressed that affects us women, for example, issues to do with inheritance laws. But I have no clue how to do this. I only know about voting during elections – that’s all.”

Let me simply say that these two issues of concern are the most pressing for resolution because without informing women of their right to participate in the process and being educated on the entire scope of the process (and the full measure of their roles) then there will still be exclusion and not inclusion. Banda reported that of the 120 cabinet seats, only four are filled by women. Yet, protocol demands that by 2015 there is to be an equal number of men and women serving- that is five short years from now.

Rejoice Timire, of the Disabled Women Support Organization told Banda that, “At the moment women in parliament are too few to make any meaningful change,” which simply means that without a grassroots effort to inform and educate the masses of Zimbabwean women of the rights, the meaning, impact, and influence of the constitution and their roles in framing it, the country will fall short of reaching the 2015 benchmark. I fear, as many of the women interviewed by Banda, that if something is not done immediately to counter the lack of action taken to get submissions from women, this will simply be fluff or as Banda so aptly referenced, “window dressing”.

Because women in Zimbabwe are so out of the loop in both the private and public sector, they have been left at a major disadvantage politically, economically, socially, and spiritually. When you strip someone of their natural born rights, before they even know they were entitled to them, to re-write the wrongs, you must skillfully and willfully inform them of their rights as humans, citizens, and specifically in this case, as women.

Zimbabwean Women’s Movement vs. the Chartered Course Within the U.S.

Zimbabwean women can learn a lot about women’s suffrage, the struggles against the status quo, the risks of internal fighting, and the need to be inclusive, from the women of the United States. When we look to the United States and the Women’s Rights (Women’s Suffrage) Movement it was not merely a handful of women who stayed within their small circle discussing their right to be included as “equals” to men, or their rights to have the constitution amended to include the right of women to vote- they made it a massive campaign that grew into a movement that made it possible on August 26, 1920 to amend the constitution. Now this did not come easy. Tomorrow read part two of this series as I share the history of women’s suffrage in the U.S. and highlight lessons for the women of Zimbabwe.

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Source:

Banda, Ignatius “A Chance For Women’s Voices to be Heard” retrieved from http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=51916j