A moment meant to highlight the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. raised questions Monday night.
The controversy centered around what Republican Rep. Lori Saine said about the history lynching in America. On Friday, she spoke on the floor about a resolution commemorating MLK.
“We are standing in the moral arc of history as we celebrate a reverend that changed history for all Americans. We have come a long way on that arc since that reconstruction when whites and blacks alike were nearly in equal numbers lynched for the crime of being republican,” Saines stated.
On her Facebook page, Saine said she used her time on the floor to speak up about apparent discrimination. Saine says her colleague, Perry Buck, could not introduce her resolution to honor Dr. King because King “didn’t represent her heritage.”
Nonetheless, it’s the statement she made that white and black individuals were lynched in equal numbers that has people asking questions.
According to the NAACP, between 1882-1968, there were 4743 lynching’s. Of those, 72.7% were black victims. The group goes on to say it is known not all lynching were ever recorded.
Democratic Representative Leslie Herod sponsored the MLK bill Saine was discussed on the floor.
Herod says Saine’s words were just a distraction.
“Her words did not resonate to the chamber. In fact we moved passed it pretty quickly. What we wanted to focus on were the strong words from both sides of the aisle that honored this holiday and her remarks, while they were completely out of line, they did not move many people in the chamber that day,” explained Herod.
We have reached out Rep. Lori Saine to see if she stands by her remarks, but we did not hear back as of 9PM Monday night.
We also reached out to Rep. Perry Buck for her statement on her effort to propose a resolution for MLK Day. We did not hear back as of 9PM Monday night.