UPDATE #2: Colorado Democrats blast Rep. Ron Hanks in a release:
Shenika Carter, Chair of the African Diaspora Initiative of the Colorado Democratic Party:
“To call the comments made by Mr. Hanks today disgusting and ignorant would be a gross understatement. For him to downplay the indisputable, historical fact that enslaved Black people were treated less a person’s worth both in law and in practice is offensive and beneath the dignity of our state legislature. Mr. Hanks needs to apologize immediately, and he needs to educate himself before he makes ignorant comments with such recklessness in the future.”
Halisi Vinson, Executive Director of the Colorado Democratic Party:
“I don’t know when Republicans thought it became appropriate to whitesplain the historical experience of Black people in our country, but it needs to stop. The fact that Representative Hanks thought it would be appropriate to make a ‘joke’ about lynching — especially at a time when we’re seeing a rise of racially motivated assaults on people of color across our country — is utterly despicable. The Colorado Republican Party, and Republican leadership in the State House, need to hold Representative Hanks accountable and immediately join us in condemning his disgusting comments. Condemning such blatantly racist rhetoric from our elected officials shouldn’t be a partisan issue.”
Morgan Carroll, Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party:
“From my time as a Colorado state representative to my time as Colorado Senate President, I can say these comments are inappropriate and just plain wrong. What I heard from Representative Hanks say on the floor of the State House this afternoon is an insult to the dignity of Coloradans and to the dignity of that chamber. He owes his colleagues, the people of Colorado, and all Black Americans a sincere apology for his ignorant and hurtful comments. Colorado Republicans should join us in immediately condemning these insulting comments and ‘jokes’ that Representative Hanks made today.”
UPDATE: 9NEWS’ Marshall Zelinger with the icing on the proverbial cake:
During debate on Civics bill, GOP Rep. Ron Hanks brought up the 3/5ths compromise. He was initially called up as “Rep. Lynch” (Mike Lynch is a lawmaker). “Being called Mr. Lynch might be a good thing for what I’m about to say, no, just kidding.” #coleg #copolitics pic.twitter.com/8T70vFxeFU
— Marshall Zelinger (@Marshall9News) April 15, 2021
Rep. Ron Hanks is, as they say, a real piece of…work.
In a debate today in the Colorado House of Representatives over Senate Bill 21-067, a bipartisan bill to improve education in civics and government in Colorado schools, whack-right freshman GOP Rep. Ron Hanks of Penrose gave everyone present a potent reminder of why education in civics is so important.
As is so often the case, it was a lesson delivered…unintentionally:
HANKS: Going back to the founding, and going back to the The 3/5ths, and I heard the comments and I appreciate them, and I respect them, BUT the 3/5ths compromise of course was an effort by non-slave states to not, to try to reduce the amount of representation that the slave states had. It was not impugning anybody’s humanity, [Pols emphasis] it was an effort to, uh,
(inaudible comment from the gallery)
Well it’s important to say we had this conversation on one side, let’s talk about it on the other. Is this really racist to be talking about what the 3/5ths compromise was? I don’t think so and I think it’s important and it’s part of a civics lesson here. It was brought up, and it merits discussion. It was an effort by the north to try to keep the south from having too much representation and push slavery beyond, and ultimately it worked out. It took a war to do it. It took 600,000 American lives. It took a lot of treasure. That’s the kind of thing that ought to be taught.
We can, maybe this is a contentious issue, I didn’t think it was when I came up and said it but the hisses have proven me wrong…
Let’s start with the really basic stuff that Rep. Hanks should have learned, you know, in civics class. Hanks claims that the 3/5s compromise was “an effort by non-slave states to reduce the amount of representation that the slave states had.” This is factually backwards: the compromise was originally proposed by 1787 Constitutional Convention delegate Charles Pinckney of South Carolina. Opponents of slavery in the North did not want slave populations counted at all because it boosted the population of slaveholding states for representation purposes, but it was the South that demanded a compromise under threat of leaving the Union right then and there.
So yes, the 3/5 compromise most certainly “impugned” the “humanity” of those who were counted for less. It was not the idea of abolitionists, who didn’t want slaves counted because they didn’t want slaves to exist. The compromise was about appeasing slave states.
In short, Rep. Ron Hanks is wrong, way wrong, just like now ex-Rep. Lori Saine was outrageously wrong when she claimed that “whites and blacks alike were in nearly equal numbers lynched for the crime of being Republican” on MLK Day 2019. It’s not just the mistake, it’s what this mistake implies about their whole worldview. And when you’re this wrong about a point in history of such importance to race relations in America, literally while debating a bill about civics class…
Well, people are going to gasp in disbelief. That’s what happens.