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Minn. lawmaker apologizes for ‘Uncle Thomas’ tweet



Published: Tue, June 25, 2013 @ 3:00 p.m.

Minn. lawmaker apologizes for ‘Uncle Thomas’ tweet

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Democratic legislator from Minnesota swiftly apologized today for a tweet he sent that referred to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Thomas” following a major ruling on the nation’s landmark voting rights law.

Thomas, who is black, was part of a 5-4 majority that invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act meant to deter racial discrimination in elections. The ruling makes it tougher for federal officials to prevent states and localities, primarily in the South, from adopting policies that add barriers to voting.

In response, state Rep. Ryan Winkler tweeted: “(hash)SCOTUS VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas. Marriage decision may blur Court’s backsliding.”

“Uncle Tom” is a connotation to describe someone subservient to another and has its roots in Harriett Beecher Stowe’s pre-Civil War novel about slavery, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” The latter part of the tweet refers to the high court’s expected decision on gay marriage.

Winkler deleted the tweet and later told The Associated Press that he was trying to make a point about institutional racism resulting from the ruling.

“I used a term that was too hot for the issue, but I didn’t intend for it to be derogatory,” Winkler said.

Winkler, of Golden Valley, had been weighing a run for Minnesota secretary of state, the office that oversees elections. He said he ruled that out several days ago but hadn’t announced it.

The fourth-term lawmaker represents a district that covers western Minneapolis suburbs and is an attorney.


Comments

1AtownAugie(697 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Maybe the AP will ask Paula Deen what she thinks should be done with Rep Winkler (D-MN).

Suggest removal:


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