Martin Luther King, Jr. Day brings up something strange in a lot of people, particularly some white folk, who selectively pick apart the quotes of the esteemed civil rights leader that suit their purpose while strategically forgetting everything else that he said and wrote before he was assassinated.
This is the story of one Colorado State Representative, Lori Saine, a Republican who, during a speech honoring the slain leader on Friday claimed that both “whites and blacks alike were lynched in nearly equal numbers for the crime of being Republican.”
According to the Denver Post, Saine continued, claiming that a colleague—Rep. Perry Buck, another Republican—was told she could not introduce a resolution that would honor King because of her skin color.
“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 continued in her speech. “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.”
It is always more convenient to stay silent.For those who will use Reverand King's legacy to promote more discrimination and violence, who seek to divide Americans rather than unite Americans, let us speak out. "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." –Rev. Martin Luther KingHere is my answer to those Representatives in our State Capitol that told my colleague State Representative Perry Buck that she could not introduce her resolution to honor Dr. King because, among other discriminatory comments, King "didn't represent her heritage."I also responded to other colleagues that attempted to use Rev. King's legacy to say that riots were an acceptable form of political speech.
Posted by Representative Lori Saine, Colorado House District 63 on Monday, January 21, 2019
The Greeley Tribune, notes that Reps. Jovan Melton and Leslie Herod, both Black, introduced House Joint Resolution 19-1006, commemorating King’s birthday. Buck and other representatives were listed as sponsors on the joint resolution.
Saine told the Tribune in an interview that Buck had introduced a similar resolution just the year before.
Herod, on the other hand, stated that Buck was added as the first co-sponsor of the resolution, adding the Buck spoke on the matter “very well.”
“She handled it very well,” Herod said. “Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Lori Saine.”
Herod, a Democratic, slammed Saine for bringing partisanship into what should have been a bi-partisan day.
And then there is the obvious and gross sidestepping of, you know, actual history.
University of Nothern Colorado’s Fritz Fisher, the chairman of the university’s history department noted, “Blacks were lynched for the ‘crime of being black,’ which obviously isn’t a crime — and not even close to equal numbers.”
“I suppose there were a certain number of blacks who were lynched who were Republican. But that was coincidental,” Fisher added.
The NAACP notes in its History of Lynchings, that between 1882-1968, 4,743 lynchings occurred in the United States. Of those, 3,446 were black, accounting for about 73 percent of the people lynched. Some 1,297 white people were lynched (about 28 percent), and many of those white people who were lynched were lynched for helping Black folk, being anti-lynching in the first place, and at times for domestic crimes.
It is also worth noting that not all lynchings were recorded.