That’s Minnesota State Representative Ryan Winkler, “apologizing” for referring to Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Thomas” after yesterday’s Voting Rights Act ruling.
On his Twitter account Tuesday, state Rep. Ryan Winkler called the justices’ 5-4 ruling striking down a part of the law racist, and the work of “four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas” ….
That tweet was quickly deleted, and Mr. Winkler, who is white and represents some upper middle class suburbs west-southwest of Minneapolis, offered a conditional-tense quasi-apology in subsequent tweets.
He said he “didn’t think it was offensive to suggest that Justice Thomas should be even more concerned about racial discrimination than colleagues. But if such a suggestion is offensive, I apologize.”
So … if you’re playing along at home, that’s a politician who was outraged by a Supreme Court ruling on the topic of racism pouring some of his own special brand of racist gasoline onto yesterday’s raging bonfire of racism.
And then the terrible, terrible apology was:
With regard to A) above (and to the quote with which this blog post began), Rep. Winkler’s Wikipedia page was recently updated to include this line: “Such a claim could raise questions about the veracity of his claim to have a BA in History from Harvard University.”
Seriously, though, will no one save these people from themselves and prohibit them from posting their thoughts on the internet?
HT: Ryan McIntosh.
(Cross-posted on my blog)
The guy who designs Lebron’s shoes either does or does not rejoice in Derrick Rose’s season-ending injury, linked in some way (apparently) to Rose’s choice of Adidas as his shoe supplier. It sort of depends which tweet you’re looking at.
First, directly following Rose’s injury Saturday: “You got one guy only getting stronger, and one guy breaking down before our very eyes. You chose poorly Pooh… #shouldasignedwithNIKE #GWS”
Next, as hordes of angry fans rebuffed him: “Y'all take sh#t too serious! Never want to see anyone get hurt- I hope DRose comes back stronger than ever, he's too good…”
Then, Saturday night: “Just to set the record straight- if you ain’t with me you against me, and if that’s the case I don’t give a F about you!”
The next morning, having apparently changed his mind and tweaked the meaning of ‘tongue in cheek’ to suit him: "Wow! Twitterverse I do apologize. It was really just tongue n cheek! Never meant any harm or disrespect!"
ESPN’s article has the full series and the response from Nike itself.
I Deeply Apologize To The McClain Family For Retweeting Their Address.It Was A Mistake.Please Leave The McClain’s In Peace.Justice In Court— Spike Lee (@SpikeLee) March 29, 2012
The “mistake” is outlined in this March 27, 2012 piece from The Smoking Gun:
With Twitter and Facebook continuing to explode with posts purporting to contain the address of George Zimmerman, property records and interviews reveal that the home is actually the longtime residence of a married Florida couple, both in their 70s, who have no connection to the man who killed Trayvon Martin and are now living in fear due to erroneous reports about their connection to the shooter.
The mass dissemination of the address on Edgewater Circle in Sanford—the Florida city where Martin was shot to death last month—took flight last Friday when director Spike Lee retweeted a tweet containing Zimmerman’s purported address to his 240,000 followers.
The residence on Edgewater Circle is actually the home of David McClain, 72, and his wife Elaine, 70. The McClains, both of whom work for the Seminole County school system, have lived in the 1310-square-foot lakefront home for about a decade, records show.
The thing is, Lee was just wrong to retweet the address. Even if it had been the correct address, it’s still an incredibly irresponsible thing to do because it seems to be encouraring people to take the law into their own hands.
The word “mistake” implies that the retweet was an accident, like he hit the button unintentionally … in which case it probably wouldn’t have taken so long to apologize, since apologizing for having done something accidentally is relatively easy. It’s much more difficult to say that the emotions he felt about the Trayvon Martin shooting briefly led him to encourage people to harass George Zimmerman at his home.