DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler calls Clarence Thomas "Uncle Thomas"
"And if Virginia wants a battle flag back from their war to defend slavery, they can march to Minnesota and take it," Winkler also wrote.
Clarence Thomas (left); Ryan Winkler (right)
:::: UPDATE :::: Rep. Ryan Winkler says he thought "Uncle Tom" meant "turncoat"
Rep. Ryan Winkler, D-Golden Valley, got himself in hot water for a racially insensitive tweet about today's U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that a key section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is unconstitutional.
In an ironic twist, Winkler's offending tweet was meant to criticize the Supreme Court's allegedly racially insensitive logic.
The 5-4 ruling, which weakens federal oversight of state-level voting rights -- oversight that was originally targeted largely toward making sure officials in southern states couldn't prevent blacks from voting -- was pretty much split between the court's right-leaning and left-leaning members. In the majority were John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito... and the court's only black justice, Clarence Thomas.
Here's what Winkler had to say on Twitter about Thomas's vote:
An "Uncle Tom," of course, is "a black who is overeager to win the approval of whites (as by obsequious behavior or uncritical acceptance of white values and goals)," as Merriam-Webster defines it.
Winkler's tweet outraged a number of folks and was deleted about 45 minutes after it was published. Here's what Winkler had to say about that decision:
I didn't think it was offensive to suggest that Justice Thomas should be even more concerned about racial discrimination than colleagues.-- Ryan Winkler (@RepRyanWinkler) June 25, 2013
But if such a suggestion is offensive, I apologize.-- Ryan Winkler (@RepRyanWinkler) June 25, 2013
And after this post was first published, Winkler directed this tweet toward yours truly:
@atrupar I did not understand "Uncle Tom" as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it. I do apologize for it, however.-- Ryan Winkler (@RepRyanWinkler) June 25, 2013
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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