Caplis Tries To Bail Out Saine But She Won’t Let Him

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Lori Saine (R).

During a radio interview yesterday, one of the state’s most partisan Republican radio hosts essentially begged State Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone) to walk back her statement at the Capitol last week that blacks and whites were once lynched in “almost equal numbers.” But Saine didn’t take the hint.

First, KNUS 710-AM host Dan Caplis, tried this:

CAPLIS: “…the Greeley Tribune version of the comments, as you know, is that you said essentially that black and whites had been lynched in nearly equal numbers during Reconstruction, and lynched for being Republican. Do you want to clarify those comments? What’s your view of all that now?

SAINE: And I clearly meant [during] Reconstruction. And Reconstruction is a period from 1865-1877, by the way. There is not a tremendous amount of data for a lot of those years, but the data that we do have….

Caplis tried again:

CAPLIS: “I think one of the concerns – and one thing you may want to qualify – is the reason why people were lynched – because my guess is, and this is not something I’ve researched – but intuitively I’d guess that an awful lot of the whites who were lynched were lynched for various alleged crimes such as stealing horses, bank robbery, etc., whereas blacks were just being lynched for the color of their skin. Am I right?”

SAINE: So, I have heard that argument before, but, if you look at the lynchings earlier in the 1800s versus the numbers coming right out of Reconstruction, it’s hard to say that all of a sudden they went from – you know, if you look at 1882 its 64 whites, 49 blacks….

Then Caplis said to Saine:

CAPLIS: “But we know – don’t we? – that blacks were being lynched based on the color of their skin. And whites weren’t being lynched based on the color of their skin, right?”

SAINE: So, the accounts that we have of history that people have written books about – I mean, there is a lot of sources on this. But there’s even an African American Congressman – his name is John Lloyd Lynch….

Then Caplis finally said to Saine as an apparent last resort:

CAPLIS: “But some could easily view this as you attempting to equate the plight of whites with black when it came to lynching, or to somehow downplay the horror that was inflicted on blacks, to politicize it, to make it a Republican thing. So, can you see where people would see your comments that way?”

SAINE: Well, that certainly was not my intent. And the rest of my speech goes on to say that Americans of all faiths, creed, and race stood by Reverend King to march for civil rights. And they were beaten, they were tortured, they were killed….

 

The exchange is shockingly unusual, because it took place on a platform that’s usually friendly turf for Republicans like Saine, who are under fire in the rational media world, to walk back, criticize, slam, flip flip, whatever it takes to get back on message.

But in this case, Saine looked awful going into Caplis’ show–and she looked even worse when she departed. Read the entire exchange below.

State Rep. Lori Saine, Dan Caplis Show, January 22, 2019

CAPLIS:  I really appreciate the opportunity to talk with Representative Lori Saine. Welcome to 630 KHOW!

SAINE: Thank you so much for having me….

CAPLIS: I don’t know if you saw The Denver Post editorial today. My guess is somebody probably pointed it out to you. It was pretty vicious, aimed at you, over comments made on the floor of the legislature. And the Greeley Tribune version of the comments, as you know, is that you said essentially that black and whites had been lynched in nearly equal numbers during Reconstruction, and lynched for being Republican. Do you want to clarify those comments? What’s your view of all that now?

SAINE: And I clearly meant [during] Reconstruction. And Reconstruction is a period from 1865-1877, by the way. There is not a tremendous amount of data for a lot of those years, but the data that we do have – and I should have modified, or made a modifier to that speech I gave on the floor. But when you’re writing things on the fly –.

SAINE: Now, I knew – I’ve seen the numbers before. I should have said “during Reconstruction or the decade after.” And it turns out that, when you look at the data, and I’ve shared this data multiple times, because it’s out there – it’s public. It turns out that there were more whites than blacks lynched. The numbers: 525 for whites and 371 for blacks up until 1887. And so, you know, that’s a full decade after Reconstruction. Now, nobody is denying that more blacks than whites were lynched over the course of the next – you know – 80-some years. But that was the point I was trying to make: we’ve come a long way since then. We’ve come a long way since, you know, that form of torture and political punishment was used to try to silence, and try to undo all the benefits of Reconstruction.

CAPLIS: Right.

SAINE: And you know, going on to the present day, you know, Dr. King would not want us to go backwards. I mean, there has been so much accomplished, even since his time. And we’ve been moving forward together. And there are very few countries that enjoy the level of comfort that we have. You know, their middle class has less room – square footage – than we do, eats less red meat, doesn’t have all the conveniences that even the folks that are considered under the poverty level [here]. America is amazing! It’s amazing what it has brought innovation-wise. We’re one of the top countries in the world still. I think up to a fourth of the innovations come out of the United States. I mean, it’s amazing.

CAPLIS: Sure. And, Representative, I don’t think there’s any doubt, if people are being honest about it, that African Americans in this country are still tremendously disadvantaged in numbers far too great, particularly when it comes to equal opportunity in education. I think that can be traced, almost always, to policies of the Democrats, which have the effect of being blatantly racist. I’m not saying they’re intended that way. But, my goodness! – they have such an obvious racist effect, and disadvantaged African Americans in so many ways. But let me ask you this, if I may, because I do want to give you the chance to clarify on this statement about lynching, because obviously you know that when it comes to something like lynching, that was such as tool of ultimate terror and is most directly – as you know– associated with the subrogation of African Americans in this country, I think one of the concerns – and one thing you may want to qualify – is the reason why people were lynched – because my guess is, and this is not something I’ve researched – but intuitively I’d guess that an awful lot of the whites who were lynched were lynched for various alleged crimes such as stealing horses, bank robbery, etc., whereas blacks were just being lynched for the color of their skin. Am I right?

SAINE: So, I have heard that argument before, but, if you look at the lynchings earlier in the 1800s versus the numbers coming right out of Reconstruction, it’s hard to say that all of a sudden they went from – you know, if you look at 1882 its 64 whites, 49 blacks. But that number jumps up on whites in 1884 to 160. It’s hard to believe that that many people would say, “Gosh, I’m going to rob a bunch of banks today or do some horse trading.” And then the number spikes for blacks in 1892 and 1892 – a big spike! And, you know, there has got to be a reason for that other than that many more people were caught stealing horses.

CAPLIS: But we know – don’t we? – that blacks were being lynched based on the color of their skin. And whites weren’t being lynched based on the color of their skin, right?

SAINE: So, the accounts that we have of history that people have written books about – I mean, there is a lot of sources on this. But there’s even an African American Congressman – his name is John Lloyd Lynch. And he had mentioned specifically — this is somebody that served during that time – that blacks were hanged in greater numbers because of their opposition to the Democratic Party. So, it was probably easier to tell by the color of their skin. Then I’m sure there’s no doubt that they were also lynched because of hatred – somebody who looks different. There’s no doubt about it.

CAPLIS: Well, right. I don’t think that there’s any doubt that that was the central motivation for lynching blacks and then blaming it on whatever the killers and murderers chose to blame it on.

SAINE: Right. Exactly

CAPLIS: But one thing that you’ve been criticized for – and I want to give you the chance to say whether it’s accurate or not – is that you said that the reason for the lynchings was “being Republican,” quoting the Tribune story – the Greeley Tribune. “A Colorado Republican said white people and black people were lynched in nearly equal numbers for being Republican in the post-Reconstruction era.” Is that accurate – the Republican piece of that?

SAINE: So, the interesting part of this conversation is a lot of people emailed me and said no whites were ever lynched. That’s not true, for one thing. You can look at the numbers and see that it was [true]. So, that’s sort of an interesting conversation that people did not know about. But there’s plenty of accounts in history. There’s books [that have] been written from that era. There’s – it has been pointed out to me that even Ron Chernow who wrote the Hamilton book – which was very well-received, made into a play – he wrote another [book] about Grant. And he was talking about some of the violence against white Republicans, and specifically the carpet-baggers, those young people who came down from the North to not only look for jobs but they were also there to help black folks in the South. And white folks that helped black folks in the South– who were already there in the South– were called ‘scumbags’. So it’s — you know, there’s a lot of sources on this. I’m not saying that all of them were based on the fact that they were part of a political party. I never said that. I didn’t say all of them were. Does that satisfy your question?

CAPLIS: Yeah, well, — yeah. But I’m sure you can see why there was such a strong reaction to this, in that some might have viewed it as – and I assume you’ll tell us it was not your motive, and I would believe that. But, some could easily view this as you attempting to equate the plight of whites with black when it came to lynching, or to somehow downplay–

SAINE: No, not at all. Of course not.

CAPLIS: –the horror that was inflicted on blacks, to politicize it, to make it a Republican thing. So, can you see where people would see your comments that way?

SAINE: Well, that certainly was not my intent. And the rest of my speech goes on to say that Americans of all faiths, creed, and race stood by Reverend King to march for civil rights. And they were beaten, they were tortured, they were killed. And the point of the matter was that he stood for all Americans. He stood on the mountaintop for all Americans to have the same rights. And I believe that King was about unity. So that’s really where the flow of that speech was going. It was never meant to say – or to downplay or to take away from the horrors that happened in the Civil War and the Reconstruction era.

CAPLIS: Well, and to the point of context for this, I hope folks are aware that your comments – and the comments on lynching, personally, I wish had not been part of your overall comments – but your overall comments, in fairness, you were on the floor to honor Dr. King. And that is what the bulk of your comments did. And that was clearly the intent behind your appearance.

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  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    I saw Mike Littwin's column on this on the Colorado Independent site, and was astonished by the specifics of Rep. Saine's response — a position that didn't fit with my recollection of the history of lynching (which is informed by a fair amount of reading in US history and close attention to American rhetoric since the Civil War).

    I went looking for the numbers Rep. Saine used in a radio interview with Dan Caplis, reported on Colorado Pols. And I found them: a National Humanities Center timeline ” TIMELINE: 1860-1920, to accompany the Seminar Toolbox “The Making of African American Identity” Vol. II: 1865-1917 http://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/maai2/timeline.pdf
    The numbers there are credited to * Lynching statistics from Tuskegee Institute Archives, as presented by Prof. Stephanie Browner, Berea College and a no longer functional web address.

    Digging around more … I found “Many whites were lynched for fighting racism,”  Richard Emanuel, Alabama Voices Published 1:40 p.m. CT Sept. 25, 2017 | Updated 10:36 a.m. CT Sept. 28, 2017 https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/opinion/2017/09/25/many-whites-were-lynched-fighting-racism-opinion/700690001/

    Alabama Voices columnist Richard Emanuel, Ph.D., is a professor of communication at Alabama State University. Emanuel has taught for more than three decades at two-year and four-year public and private colleges. He has authored dozens of research articles that have been published in national and international refereed academic journals.

    Emanuel wrote:

    While some whites were lynched for murder or stealing cattle, there is another important reason many were lynched. Many whites were lynched for helping blacks or being anti-lynching. According to David Barton’s extensively well-documented book, “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White,” the original targets of the Ku Klux Klan were Republicans, both black and white. The Klan terrorized both black and white Americans not to vote for Republican tickets. “Of all forms of violent intimidation, lynchings were by far the most effective.” Republicans often led the efforts to pass federal anti-lynching laws and their platforms consistently called for a ban on lynching.

    And who, pray tell, is his source, David Barton? Wikipedia says

    “David Barton (born January 28, 1954) is an evangelical Christian political activist and author. He is the founder of WallBuilders, LLC, a Texas-based organization that promotes unorthodox views about the religious basis of the United States. He has been described as a Christian nationalist; his work is devoted to advancing the idea that the United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation and rejecting the consensus view that the United States Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Scholars of history and law have described his research as highly flawed, “pseudoscholarship” and spreading “outright falsehoods”.

    So, a cherry picked item of truth, wrapped in a polemic, with an attribution of "the reason" behind it based on a Christian nationalist, untrained historian.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Dan,

    Quit trying to do the impossible, and just face the fact . . .

    You can’t fix stupid.  

                  Ron White

  3. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Sometimes the racist is just a racist.

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