Colorado has a Republican state representative named Lori Saine. If you don’t know Rep. Saine, buckle up! She’s famously supported legislation based on fake news stories, and she even supported fellow bigot Rep. Vicki Marble’s assertion that black people eat too much chicken by bringing a box of Popeye’s chicken into a committee hearing—for real. Last week, Rep. Saine stood on the state leigslature’s floor to make the claim that black people were lynched in “nearly equal” numbers to white Republicans during a speech chastising other representatives for not allowing her to introduce a resolution commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Here’s an excerpt from that profound bit of racist revisionist history, care of 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,” Rep. Lori Saine, R-Firestone, said.
That’s an amazing thing to say. The Greeley Tribune spoke with Fritz Fischer, the chairman of the University of Northern Colorado’s history department, about Saine’s insane assertion.
“Blacks were lynched for the ‘crime of being black,’ which obviously isn’t a crime — and not even close to equal numbers,” Fischer said. “I suppose there were a certain number of blacks who were lynched who were Republican. But that was coincidental.”
Where did Saine get this hogwash? According to Fischer the source is a book by David Barton titled Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White. Barton is a minister-turned right-wing “historian” who has made it his life’s mission to provide pseudo-historical literature that racists and Christian fundamentalists can use in their never-ending efforts to right the wrongs our country has faced since giving people of color and women the right to vote.
As Fischer points out, one of Barton’s fundamental analytical flaws is that he has an inability to distinguish the difference between racist apples and the actual history of our country.
“It is ahistorical for any politician to claim that anything that happened to Republicans in the 19thcentury has any connection whatsoever to Republicans of the 21st century,” Fischer said.
What do Rep. Saine’s fellow Republicans have to say about this new bit of history that isn’t true or a real thing? The Colorado Independent reports that Republicans have been particularly quiet—but still bordering on being complicit racists.
Julia Kiewit, House Republican spokeswoman, told The Colorado Independent on Tuesday, “I’m not sure what position we could have” on Saine’s remarks. Asked whether House GOP leadership would seek to sanction Saine in any way, Kiewit added, “There have been no discussions about that. … I feel certain that there aren’t any.”
Well, you could say Rep. Lori Saine is an idiot who is a misinformed and (likely) crazy racist and doesn’t represent the ideals of the Republican Party. Unfortunately for the GOP, Rep. Saine does, in fact, represent the ideals of a majority of the current Republican Party. All of this seems to have taken place because Rep. Saine was feeling butt hurt after she was told she could only be signed on as a sponsor to the resolution, and not be the co-author of the resolution. More specifically, she was claiming that fellow Republican Perry Buck was pushed out because of her “heritage.” Rep. Leslie Herod (D-Denver), chair of the black caucus, had introduced the resolution along with Rep. Jovan Melton (D-Aurora). Rep. Buck was the first to sign on to the resolution and reportedly made a very nice speech in its support.
Herod said Buck was added as the first co-sponsor of the resolution, and she said Buck spoke very eloquently.
“She handled it very well,” Herod said. “Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Lori Saine.”
Rep. Saine seems to have turned a bipartisan slam dunk resolution into a racist political football.