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)
From President Obama’s speech on drones and national security today:
“It is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live…
Let us remember that the terrorists we are after target civilians, and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against Muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes…”
He feels pretty bad about it, but really the terrorists should feel worse.
So, there’s that.
My own sense is that he didn’t actually apologize at all, though he expects people to take what he said as an apology. What he actually said was:
I do not hide behind flowery language I do not pull my punches ah, when I’m passionate about something it comes out on the air, it’s real and it will always be that way …. What I said Friday was an emotional predecessor to a thought which can and will find a more refined expression by me and others in the future, I guarantee you. But this isn’t a newspaper or a magazine and we don’t filter our views or commentary before we say it, it is radio, it’s immediate, it can be emotional both in its immediate expression as well as its response. It’s unrealistic, I think, to expect a compete filter for anybody doing live media …. Um, but there are those who would silence the opposition in their desire to have their way, majority rule not withstanding. We all have the right to express our opinions on any subject.
So, yeah, not an apology.
Instead, he made it seem like critics of his ridiculous and offensive remarks were attempting to stifle his freedom of speech, he promised his listeners that they’d continue to get the unvarnished “truth” from him in the future, and he made clear that he’ll continue to explore the idea that led him to want to tell the Newtown shooting victims and co-victims to “go to hell.”