When Colorado State Rep. Lori Saine made a speech honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the House floor Friday, she raised eyebrows when she made an alarming comparison.
“As we celebrate a reverend that changed history for all Americans, we have come a long way on that arch since the Reconstruction when whites and blacks alike were lynched in nearly equal numbers for the crime of being Republican,” she began in the Jan. 18 speech commemorating house joint resolution 19-1006, which honors the civil rights leader’s birthday. “What we celebrate today is the courage and fortitude of Martin Luther King and many others who endured beatings, ridicule and the extinguishment of their very lives to force federal and state governments to recognize all Americans of every race, creed religion as equals.”
The representative, who uploaded the video to her Facebook page, explained her remarks were “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.'”
Reps. Jovan Melton and Leslie Herod, who are both Black, introduced the House resolution. Both representatives are black, but Saine and Buck are among those who are listed as sponsors on the legislative measure.
Rep. Herod, a Democrat, told the Greeley Tribune Melton had a similar resolution over the past six years. She also noted Saine brought partisanship into what should have been a nonpartisan day.
Herod said Buck, who was added as the first co-sponsor of the resolution, spoke very eloquently.
“She handled it very well,” Herod said. “Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Lori Saine.”
Yet the fact remains that Saine’s comment about lynching is inaccurate. The NAACP states that of the 4,700 recorded lynchings that took place in the U.S. from 1882-1968, 3,446 or 73 percent were Black. White people only made up 1,297 or 27 percent of those who were lynched. Additionally, white people were typically lynched for helping Black people or being against the practice or for domestic crimes. There were no details offered on how many people, Black or white, were lynched because of their party affiliation.
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