“We have come a long way [...] since Reconstruction, since whites and blacks alike were in nearly equal numbers lynched for the crime of being Republican,” the Colorado state representative proclaimed during a speech on Capitol Hill last Friday, where lawmakers had gathered to mark a federal holiday in honor of the revered civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King jr.
The eyebrow-raising comments caused an uproar, with people reminding Saine on Twitter that the rise of the Klu Klux Klan, the Black Codes and the Colfax Massacre all took place during the period she referenced. Democrats from Colorado’s Black Democratic Legislative Caucus called the comments were “out of touch” and “inappropriate.”
Despite the controversy, Saine has been anything but repentant. She published a video of the speech on her Facebook page the following Monday, claiming her comments were motivated by unnamed “representatives in our state capital.” She said they allegedly told Colorado Rep. Perry Buck she couldn’t introduce a state resolution honoring Dr. King because King “didn't represent her heritage,” i.e. because she is white. The Democrat who did introduce the resolution, Leslie Herod denied the claim and questioned who told Buck so.
Doubling down on her theory, Saine on Tuesday implied that Democrats were opposing “King’s dream” while speaking to a radio talk-show host Jimmy Lakey. The host claimed that the Dems had turned Colorado into a “segregated state,” with which she agreed – causing more not-so-supportive comments.
This is not the first time Saine has attracted the wrong kind of national attention. In 2013, she made the questionable gesture of openly eating fried chicken during a meeting for a poverty reduction task force. In 2017, Saine was arrested when she brought a loaded handgun to the airport.
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