Ryan Winkler, a Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota, as well as newly established mouth piece for Democrats across the Nation, sent out a tweet today decrying the acts of, “four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas.” The “Uncle Thomas” here refers to Judge Clarence Thomas, whose vote solidified the 5-4 majority needed to overturn the Voting Rights Act this morning.
For those unaware, for one black man to call another black man an “Uncle Tom” is an insult and ethnic slur comparable to a white man using the “N” word. What makes this story strange is that Ryan Winkler himself is white, and after deleting the tweet, claimed ignorance towards the terms hateful meaning.
“I did not understand ‘Uncle Tom’ as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it. I do apologize for it, however,” Winkler said of the incident.
The term “Uncle Tom” refers to the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The term, when used pejoratively, implies a type of simple-minded black man who behaves subserviently to whites. In his tweet, Winkler accused Judge Thomas of betraying his fellow African Americans in favor of pleasing his white superiors.
There aren’t many ways that Winkler could have learned about the term Uncle Tom without also learning that calling a black Supreme Court Justice one is a really bad idea.
Whatever his motives, Winkler did make a mess, and now the Democratic party gets to see what happens when a no-name law maker on their side says something dumb. It seems a Republican can’t go five minutes talking about abortion, or gay-rights issues without saying something terrible that makes everyone angry. Fair or not, when an irrelevant Republican says something stupid, the entire party faces blame for the words of one senile fool.
Well guess what, Democrats? Someone from your side just said something terrible and bigoted, and now you and your entire party should feel bad until the next news cycle.