Dan Caplis Show, Lori Saine, January 22, 2019

Station:     KHOW, 630 am

Show:       Dan Caplis Show

Guests:    Saine, Lori

Link:        https://khow.iheart.com/content/2019-01-22-dan-speaks-with-rep-lori-sane-01-22-19/

Date:       January 22, 2019

Topics:      Martin Luther King, Jr., MLK Day, Resolution, House Resolution, Perry Buck, Co-sponsor, Blacks and Whites, Republican, Racism

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CAPLIS: Rep Lori Saine will join us – she’s in the middle of a firestorm at the Capitol, after saying that blacks and whites were lynched in nearly equal numbers during Reconstruction for being Republican, and also rightly complaining about Rep Buck being denied – DENIED! – the opportunity to be prime sponsor on a resolution honoring MLK. Why?– because of the color of her skin. Think about how racist, and wrong, and sadly ironic that was, all in connection with Dr. King.  That’s the far left for you, in the legislature. Welcome Rep. Saine!


CAPLIS: I wanted to give you a chance to tell folks the story of what happened here during your address on the floor of the CO House on Friday

SAINE:  It was quite a surprise.  I didn’t learn until pretty late that– it turns out it may have been more than one member of the Black caucus, — but they told her she couldn’t run a resolution that she introduced earlier.  In the rules of the House and Senate, whoever introduces a resolution first, typically, that’s who gets to run it.  Theirs was pulled earlier. It was the same as last year. And they somehow pulled the same resolution with identical wording.  And that resolution, by the way, — I don’t know if you remember Dave Schulteis – Senator Schulteis


SAINE:  He’s the one who wrote that resolution

CAPLIS: So, anyway, but back to the point.  I couldn’t believe someone would say that to another colleague who also represents America – which is all faith, color, and creed – that they couldn’t introduce a resolution on the House floor honoring Rev. Martin Luther King.

CAPLIS: And the reason being — ?  I know we had this conversation with Perry Buck – Representative Buck – earlier in the show.  But from your understanding, Rep. Saine, what was the explanation given to Rep. Buck?

SAINE:  I was told that she couldn’t run the resolution because it wasn’t her heritage. That’s what I was told

CAPLIS: Yeah, which to me, seems overtly racist. And I don’t use that term often because, as you know, it has now unfortunately been rendered pretty meaningless because it’s used by the left on anybody who disagrees with the left on virtually any issue.

SAINE:  Mm-hmm

CAPLIS: But in this case, it seems to be textbook racist, as I told Rep. Buck, that you are denied the ability to introduce a motion – ironically, one commemorating and honoring Dr. King – for no other reason than the color of your skin.

SAINE:  Mm-hmm

CAPLIS: I mean, that’s racist, isn’t it?

SAINE:  Well, I think everybody would agree with that. If somebody is denied what every other member of that body enjoys based on the color of their skin, that I think you’re right

CAPLIS: Think about what an insult that is to Dr. King. Whoever that is – and Rep. Buck did not name the person, but I have zero doubt that she’s 100% accurate in her account.  I think she just wants to try to avoid this becoming any more divisive than the Democrats have made it. But what an insult to Dr. King, to deprive somebody of the opportunity of honoring Dr. King because of the color of that person’s skin.   So, to me, whoever did this – and those who support it; and those who don’t condemn it I think are supporting it – you know, they’re – I can think of some terms probably not appropriate for a family show – but they are dishonoring Dr. King.

SAINE:  Yeah. And you’re right.  Dr. King spoke for all of us. And I mean, his speeches were very pointed about not drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred, to judge folks by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.  He was very clear in the speeches he gave.

CAPLIS:  But the other thing – and I know you’ve spoken to this. The other thing that Dr. King did so well, though, was he stood up to hatred. And he stood up to bitterness. And he stood up to racism. So, I think it’s critical that the GOP stand up to the racism the House Democrats showed on this issue.  And so, are we going to see that? I know we’ve had listeners this afternoon — over and over again – saying, “Where is the Colorado GOP on this? Why isn’t there some organized effort to call out the Democrats, demand an apology, have a promise that this won’t be repeated?”  Because it seems to me, this kind of awful behavior isn’t going away unless people stand up to it.

SAINE:  That’s right. And the first part of standing up is speaking out.

CAPLIS:  Yeah, do you expect –.

SAINE:  If you don’t speak out, — you know, if you sweep it under the rug, it will just keep happening.

CAPLIS:  Right. Exactly. And it will just encourage the bullies. Because this obviously was worse than even bullying. But it was a form of bullying, based on the race of the representative who was trying to honor Dr. King.  And then, Rep. Saine, as you know — 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 –.  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.  I mean, do I have it 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:  Mmm-hmm.  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– that 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.  Is that why 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 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:  No, not at all. Of course not.  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. And then, of course, for those just joining us, then we have at the same time going on, Rep. Perry Buck denied the ability to introduce a resolution honoring Dr. King simply because she is white, which brings us back to the state of the legislature today. So in the minute we have left, Representative Lori Saine, this outrageous treatment of Rep. Buck based solely on the color of her skin, is that going to have any ramifications throughout the legislative session?

SAINE:  Well, I guess we’ll have to see.  But hopefully, this whole conversation will spark a kinder and gentler treatment of all representatives, regardless of what side of the aisle they sit on.

CAPLIS:  Boy, I sure hope you’re right on that.  And I appreciate you coming on the show. Thanks so much for that.

SAINE:  All right.  Thank you