The Norman Transcript

September 30, 2012

Still not a fair deal for women, minorities

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Dear Transcript Editor,

Representative Leslie Osborn (R-Tuttle) in Thursday’s Transcript wrote a defense of SQ 759 that Oklahoma voters will decide in November.

For one to believe her argument one would need to enter the fantasy world of Republican politics. Osborn urges voters to return to the “good ole boy” way of awarding state contracts for state projects.

She smugly reports that we once needed to include minorities and women in the pool of potential contractors for state contracts but things have changed so much that now that’s not needed.

She reports that women and minorities have the same opportunities as those who have been in business for 50-plus years. She dismisses any chance of prejudice or favoritism in awarding state contracts. What planet is she on?

Everyone knows that in business and the awarding of contracts, it’s not what you know but whom you know.

Just ask Ex-Governor Frank Keating and his friends. He awarded his cronies state contracts for private prisons and the drugs to control the inmates therein.

The “Good Ole Boy” network is what will benefit if we pass SQ 759. Osborn gives no facts, just her observations from Tuttle, USA, not a bad place but hardly one filled with minorities and women who are not subservient to their husbands.

Women doing the same job in the U.S. earn 81 cents for every dollar a man makes. Equal? Perhaps Osborne could educate herself with some facts found in Gregory Mantsios’ book, Class in America. A white male has a one in 10 chance of being poor in the U.S. White women have a 1 in 5 chance of being poor, the same for black and Hispanic males. Equal? Black and Hispanic women have a 1 in 3 chance of being poor. Equal?

To believe that the playing field is now level for women and minorities requires dwelling in quite a vivid fantasy world.

It is ironic that Ms. Osborn has benefited in her business ventures due to women and minorities in our history who have fought and suffered for her right to vote, have property, and own a business. It’s as if she is saying, “I got mine, now you get yours, but first let me change these rules.” For anyone to think that discrimination or prejudice toward women or minorities doesn’t exist in Oklahoma is just out of touch with reality.

I encourage Oklahoma voters to soundly reject SQ 759, a veiled measure to replace fairness with preferential treatment, helping those “Good Ole Boys” who have the most. keep everyone else away from the opportunities we all should have as guaranteed by our State and National Constitutions.

Larry Steele

Norman Oklahoma

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