Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Pray for Peace: Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Taylor Speaks on Intolerance, Bin Laden's Death

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Pray for Peace: Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Taylor Speaks on Intolerance, Bin Laden's Death

Article excerpt

Just days after state Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, created a firestorm with her comments about blacks and women, the chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court called on all Oklahomans to condemn intolerance and hateful words.

Speaking at the Oklahoma County Bar Association's annual Law Day luncheon Monday, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Taylor said the equality of all people was the very core of the American judicial system.

"I want to focus today and begin my remarks by holding up all that is good about our system of justice," Taylor said. "The very core of our national beliefs and the basis of the rule of law is the equality of people, that includes women, African-Americans and all minorities in our communities."

Taylor, who changed his speech at the last minute to address Kern's statement and the killing of Osama bin Laden, said he detested intolerance, racism and hateful, ugly words meant to hurt and divide people. And while he never mentioned Kern by name, Taylor had stern words for the state representative.

"I am tired of generalizations to the contrary," he said. "And I know that this may be an idealist view, but I know that on this subject I can be faithful. I have faith that we will, one day, we will all see what Martin Luther King saw from the mountaintop - a promised land - and I'm holding out for that day, and I refuse to give up on the goodness and the equality of people."

In her statement on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives last week, Kern said America would never solve the problem of racism and discrimination because the country had fallen from grace and that all Americans were sinners.

Taylor asked Oklahomans to never condone intolerance and hateful words.

"Any public statement that would suggest or imply that women or minorities are dumb or lazy should be met by all with a resounding and negative chorus," he said.

Addressing the death of bin Laden, Taylor said justice comes in many forms.

"And bin Laden got his (justice)," he said. …

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