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Oklahoma State Senator Says Slavery Was Challenged, So Legal Abortion Should Be, Too

Joseph Silk wants a bill that criminalizes abortion to challenge the Supreme Court decision because the Court once ruled "that slaves were private property and they were wrong."

State Sen. Joseph Silk (R-Broken Bow) is pushing his "Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act," which calls on the state to ignore federal law on abortion. And he's using the argument that states can ignore the Supreme Court because "they were wrong about slavery."


Abortion is "gonna be classified as a homicide because, essentially, a fertilized egg is a human life just like a 1-year-old baby is a human life," Silk said. "So, an abortion would be considered intentionally taking a human life."

Silk's bill does not make exceptions for incest or rape.

He said the bill is an effort to assert the state's sovereignty over Supreme Court rulings on the issue, and compared it to the effort to several states getting on board to abolish slavery.

"The Supreme Court also ruled that slavery, you know, that slaves were private property and they were wrong," said Silk. "And so, the courts do need to be challenged."

Silk is referring to the Dred Scott vs. Sanford case in 1857 when the Court affirmed the "rights" of slave owners. But, in 1868, the 14th Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision by granting citizenship to all those born in the U.S., regardless of color.

It's ironic that Silk chose to use a slavery analogy as he represents a state that actually destroyed Black wealth. In 1921, one of the worst race riots in U.S. history broke out and demolished much of a Tulsa neighborhood known as "Black Wall Street."

This disparity in treatment comes from a government agency in a state that contributes little to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In 2017, the state of Oklahoma had a lower GDP per capita ($45,864 ) than the U.S. average ($53,128.54); and a lower GDP growth rate (0.5 percent overall, temporarily jumping up to 3.3 percent only in the 4th quarter) than the U.S. average (2.3 percent).

Silk is also the same man who pushed an anti-trans bathroom bill, said that gay couples don't have a right to be served in every single store, and has bills that require death certificates for abortions and criminalizing doctors who perform abortions. He also pushed for Oklahoma to secede from the country (a movement that originated from southern states who wanted to preserve the institution of slavery).

Federal law supersedes state law. Federal case law in Roe vs. Wade, a 1973 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, legalized abortion. Sorry, Silk.

"This isn't the first time that Senator Silk has demonstrated that he could use a refresher in constitutional law if he's ever had any at all," said Allie Shinn, deputy director for ACLU Oklahoma.

Reader Question: Do you think these kinds of bills will pass?

The Conversation (2)
Cassie06 Dec, 2018

I do not think it is helpful to anyone to lump these bills together under "these kinds of bills". It is exactly that kind of lazy gathering of situations seen only by their impact on administrative rules, that ends up destroying conversation and attention to different issues which each matter greatly in different contexts. It lumps issues of slavery or broken promises to native groups, or deliberate obstruction, under a more bland umbrella of its perception by white groups, calling all harm to outsiders as triggering criticism as "Political Correctness".

But there are different reasons for different issues that are abhorrent in different degrees, different location and historical duration. Each issue deserves respect and attention and remedy that matches the situations - and destruction of people of specific cultures and languages, particularly ones that are local to this country's existence - do not belong all together in the same category as sexual conduct, and abortion needs some form of its own complex set of regulations.

votetocorrect05 Dec, 2018
Joseph Silk (and men like him) are sick men and need to be removed from any position of power!

Laquan McDonald Reduced to 'Second Class Citizen,' Says Family

The light sentence given to the officer who killed McDonald, "suggests to us that there are no laws on the books for a Black man that a white man is bound to honor," said his great-uncle.

Hours of testimony at Jason Van Dyke's sentencing on Friday ended in shock for one family, and relief and happiness for the other.

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Update: Student Wearing MAGA Hat Standing Face-to-Face With Native American Veteran Releases Statement

"I was not intentionally making faces at the [protester]," said Nick Sandmann.

Screen shot of Instagram video by Kaya Taitano

UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at 7 a.m.

Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School Junior who stands in front of Nathan Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe and a veteran, in a viral video that has sparked outrage, made a statement through a lawyer and spokesman on Sunday night.

Sandmann said the students decided to raise their voices to drown out the comments against them by four Black protesters who identify themselves as Hebrew Israelites. A video has been released of the incident.

"A student in our group asked one of our teacher chaperones for permission to begin our school spirit chants to counter the hateful things that were being shouted at our group," Sandmann said in his statement. "The chants are commonly used at sporting events. They are all positive in nature and sound like what you would hear at any high school," he said.

Phillips walked up to the students and said he started drumming and singing a song to encourage unity trying to quell the argument.

"There was that moment when I realized I've put myself between beast and prey,'' Phillips told the Detroit Free Press. "These young men were beastly and these old Black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.''

But said at one point, he claims the teenagers started saying "Go back to the reservation'' and broke into chants of "Build that wall.'' He also questioned why chaperones did not get involved.

"I was scared," Phillips told CNN. "I don't like the word 'hate.' I don't like even saying it, but it was hate unbridled. It was like a storm."

Sandmann claims he was "not intentionally making faces at the [protester]. I did smile at one point because I wanted him to know that I was not going to become angry, intimidated or be provoked into a larger confrontation."

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington in Kentucky is currently investigating the incident.

ORIGINAL STORY Published Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019

Students wearing "Make America Great Again" hats, who attend Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, K.Y., were in Washington, D.C. on Friday for the anti-abortion March for Life rally. In a video, it appears that Nathan Phillips, an elder with the Omaha tribe and a veteran, was being mocked by the students at the Lincoln Memorial.

The incident occurred as the Indigenous Peoples March was ending. Videos showing their behavior went viral on social media on Saturday.

One of the students, standing less than a foot away, appears to be trying to intimidate Phillips by staring him down with a mocking smirk on his face. Phillips was in the midst of drumming and singing a song of unity:

Kaya Taitano, who shot the video, told CNN that MAGA hat-wearing-students and four Black teens, who'd been preaching about the Bible nearby, started yelling and calling each other names. That's why Phillips started drumming and singing a song to encourage unity trying to quell the argument.

President Trump, whom the students apparently idolize, posted a tweet last week to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who plans to run for president in the 2020 election.

Trump made fun of the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre in response to a video Warren posted on Instagram.

Phillips, a Vietnam veteran who said he served between 1972 and 1976, is in tears as he explains in a video how the incident on Friday made him feel:

"I heard them saying, 'Build that wall, build that wall.' This in indigenous land. You know, we're not supposed to have walls here. We never did …"

He continued, "Before anybody else came here, we never had walls. We never had a prison. We always took care of our elders. We took care of our children. We always provided for them. We taught them right from wrong."

He said he wishes the young men who taunted him would use "that energy to make this country really great."

Robert "Bob" Rowe is the principal of Covington Catholic High School (email: browe@covcath.org).

An investigation is now taking place, and the MAGA teens could be expelled. The Diocese of Covington and the high school issued the following statement on Saturday:

"We condemn the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students towards Nathan Phillips specifically, and Native Americans in general, Jan. 18, after the March for Life, in Washington, D.C. We extend our deepest apologies to Mr. Phillips. This behavior is opposed to the Church's teachings on the dignity and respect of the human person.

"The matter is being investigated and we will take appropriate action, up to and including expulsion.

"We know this incident also has tainted the entire witness of the March for Life and express our most sincere apologies to all those who attended the March and all those who support the pro-life movement."

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org demanding changes at the high school.

Many are saying on social media that the actions of the Covington Catholic High School students mimics how whites tried to intimidate Blacks during the civil rights movement:

Senator Holds Airlines Accountable When Servicing Customers With Disabilities

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is working to stop wheelchairs from getting damaged during air travel.

TWITTER

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge for better airline management of customers' motorized wheelchairs. Duckworth has been confined to a wheelchair since her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs.

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California Defies Trump's Order NOT to Pay Furloughed Workers Unemployment

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color.

Screenshot from ABC 7

President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."

It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.

Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."

"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.

"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.

Over 55 percent of civil service employees in the state are people of color, and they are over 35 percent of the country's federal workforce.

Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.

His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."

Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.

Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.

Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.

A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.

Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?

Black Student in Kansas Sues School District for Racial Discrimination

The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.

Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.

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Viral Video of Daycare Employee Mistreating a Black Child Spurs Investigation

A Black toddler was subjected to having her hair pulled and being pushed by the employee.

My Little Playhouse Learning Center

In a video that has now gone viral on Instagram and Facebook, a woman is shown pushing and pulling the hair of a toddler at a daycare center.

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