If you’re going to choose a time to say something inflammatory and straight up wrong about the history of race in America, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is probably not the best time to do it. But that didn’t stop Colorado state Rep. Lori Saine, who dropped a real doozy during an MLK Day speech on the floor of the Colorado House of Representatives, according to The Denver Post.
“We have come a long way on that arc since the Reconstruction, since whites and blacks alike were in nearly equal numbers lynched for the crime of being Republican,” she said.
She then alleged that another legislator had told her she shouldn’t introduce a bill honoring King as a white woman.
“My colleagues, how can you redeem your marginalized voice by marginalizing ours? Our march towards justice is not over when a colleague is barred from introducing a resolution on this floor because of the color of her skin,” Saine said in the speech, captured on video. “Our march of justice is not over when a member of this body who represents all races, creeds and religions is told that Martin Luther King does not represent her heritage.”
Sorry lady, King does not represent your heritage as a white person. That’s not how this works.
Saine was apparently so proud of this thrilling bit of rhetoric that she posted a video of the speech on her Facebook.
The bill to honor King ended up being introduced by Reps. Jovan Melton, and Leslie Herod. They say that no one was excluded from introducing the bill based on race.
From the Post:
Herod told The Denver Post that the reason she and Melton introduced the resolution this year is because they were also honoring former state Rep. Wilma Webb, who championed the bill that made MLK Day a Colorado holiday. Herod now represents Webb’s district and Melton is close friend.
“There was no keeping anyone off this resolution,” Herod told the Post.
Saine said she was defending her fellow lawmaker Rep. Perry Buck, who gave a brief floor speech on the bill.
Herod said Buck’s speech was fine, and expressed confusion about where Saine’s claims came from.
“I don’t know where she got her misleading and not factual information,” Herod said.
According to the NAACP, 73 percent of people lynched after reconstruction were black. Herod added that they were lynched because of their race, not their political affiliation.