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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!

Miami Beach Police Officer Adriel Dominguez sucker-punched a Black man identified as Lowell Poitier Jr., a 35-year-old homeless man, at a hotel in Miami.

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FACEBOOK

Jasmine Headley, age 23, was carrying her child into a city agency building in Brooklyn where SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is located, and sat on the floor to wait as there were no more chairs. A bystander, Nyashia Ferguson, who goes by the name Monae Sinclair on Facebook, reported she saw a security guard confront Headley and the two got into an argument. Security called the police, and when they arrived, Headley tried to explain, but they cut her off. That's when things got ugly.

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John Kelly Owes Frederica Wilson an Apology Before He Leaves the White House

"I hope he will offer a long overdue apology to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson for lying about her in the press," tweeted Rep. Barbara Lee.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly will exit his post by the end of the year. During his tenure, Kelly has contributed to the administration's perpetual disrespect of Black women, including Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.). He made up a lie about her.

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Kevin Hart Steps Down from Hosting Oscars

The Academy gave Hart the ultimatum to apologize or step down over past homophobic tweets. But the Academy has its own issues it needs to face.

REUTERS

Comedian Kevin Hart tweeted on Tuesday that being selected to host the 2019 Oscars was the "opportunity of a lifetime." On Friday, Hart said that he was stepping down over past anti-gay tweets.

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Viral Video Sparks Debate on Racial Disparities in How Police Use Force

A video of a white man yelling at a white cop, without physical consequences, has more than 1 million views.

Botham Jean, Jemel Roberson and Emantic Bradford Jr. were all minding their own business, not mouthing off, and they were shot dead by police. Sandra Bland questioned an officer and wound up dead in a jail cell.

So when a video of an unidentified white man spewing expletives at an officer, throwing his license at the officer, and threatening to kill the officer, without any physical consequences, started circulating on Twitter, it went viral with more than 1 million views this week.

People of color on Twitter commented that had it been them in the video, they would've had bullets in the chest by the time the truck passed:

There are studies that well document how Blacks have been treated differently by police. In the case traffic stops, whites were 57 percent more likely to be spoken to with respectful language, whereas Black drivers were 61 percent more likely to experience an exchange that was the least respectful. Officers language with the least respect included calling people, "dude, bro, boss, man, brotha, sista or chief".

FBI data found that U.S. police kill Black people at disproportionate rates: Black people accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the U.S. population. And 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police are Black.

Yet racists, and some conservatives believe the treatment is deserved because Blacks did something wrong.

For example, in Orlando's International Airport in August, a white male Trump supporter tackled to the ground by police for being a disruptive passenger knew his privilege, when he said, "You're being rough with me. You're f***ing treating me like a Black person."

Reader Question: How does the video of the white man berating the white officer make you feel?

VA Diversity Official's Statement Against White Supremacists Rejected by Trump Appointee

Georgia Coffey reached a tipping point when her request to condemn white supremacists after the deadly Charlottesville, Va., rally was squashed by a Department of Veterans Affairs communications official, according to emails

A white supremacists carries the Confederate flag in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12, 2017. / REUTERS

The top communications official at the Department of Veterans Affairs reportedly told Georgia Coffey, the chief diversity officer, not to condemn white supremacists after the deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va. Coffey chose to rock the bigot boat, but frustrated by lack of support from the Trump administration, she jumped ship.

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NYPD Discovery Hearing Set for Cop Who Killed Eric Garner

Thursday's hearing could result in Daniel Pantaleo being terminated from the force.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold which killed him, is scheduled for a disciplinary conference on Thursday that could result in the termination of his job.

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ICE Tried to Deport an American Citizen to Jamaica, He's Suing

Peter Sean Brown was released from ICE custody after a friend sent a copy of his birth certificate to ICE, according to the suit.

Peter Sean Brown was detained by Florida authorities and flagged for deportation after a request from ICE. Brown was born in Philadelphia and a Florida Keys resident.

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