Republican lawmaker claims blacks, whites were lynched in 'nearly equal numbers' for being Republican
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A Colorado state lawmaker in a recent floor speech said both black and white people were lynched in “nearly equal numbers” for being Republican during Reconstruction in the late 1880s.

“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,” Republican state Rep. Lori Saine said during a speech on the state House floor on Friday, according to The Denver Post

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While lynchings of white, Hispanic and Native American people have taken place in the United States and Republicans were targeted during Reconstruction, evidence points to African-Americans being by far the greatest number of victims of lynchings, which were used as a tool for racial suppression. 

The Post noted that, according to the NAACP'S history of lynchings, about 73 percent of those lynched between 1882 and 1968 were black. 

Saine did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The Republican state lawmaker is also under criticism for saying that she and another GOP lawmaker, state Rep. Perry Buck, were not allowed to introduce a measure honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day because they are both white.

“My colleagues, how can you redeem your marginalized voice by marginalizing ours?" Saine said in the speech. "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."

 

According to the Post, Saine and Buck were two of dozens of members of the state House who sponsored the resolution honoring King’s birthday. 

The measure was introduced by Democratic state Reps. Jovan Melton and Leslie Herod. 

Herod told the Post that she and Melton introduced the measure because Herod represents the district once held by former state Rep. Wilma Webb, who was instrumental in making MLK Day a holiday in the state. Melton was a close friend of Webb's, Herod told the Post.

“There was no keeping anyone off this resolution,” Herod told the Post in reference to Saine’s remarks, however. Herod also called Saine’s comments “completely off base.”