Colorado Republican Said Whites, Blacks Were Lynched In Nearly Equal Numbers

Lori Saine stood on the Colorado House floor last Friday and told her colleagues that whites and blacks had been lynched in near-equal numbers in the late 1880s for simply being Republican.

Saine, a Republican representative, backed up her remarks on Monday, all in support of a white state representative who was shunned from introducing a resolution to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In her statement that was televised, Saine said whites were lynched more often than blacks "in the beginning," and also acknowledged that blacks were collectively lynched at a far-higher pace over the next seven or eight decades.

Saine claimed whites and blacks were all lynched for the simple fact of being a Republican, which caught one college professor in the state off guard.

The Greeley Tribune interviewed Fritz Fisher, who's the chairman of the History Department at the University of Northern Colorado and specializes in 20th century American history.

"Blacks were lynched for the 'crime of being black,' which obviously isn't a crime — and not even close to equal numbers," Fisher said. "I suppose there were a certain number of blacks who were lynched who were Republican. But that was coincidental."

The history professor cited the works of David Barton, who wrote a book called "Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White." Fisher said Barton's message misleads "anti-history designed only to support a right-wing political agenda rather than deriving from actual historical research."

Fisher added the Republican Party of the 19th century' which was the party of Abraham Lincoln, shares no resemblance with the 21st century Republican Party.

"It is ahistorical for any politician to claim that anything that happened to Republicans in the 19th century has any connection whatsoever to Republicans of the 21st century," Fisher wrote in an email to the Tribune.

Saine said her speech was prompted by the state House not allowing Rep. Perry Buck (R-Windsor) to introduce a resolution to honor Dr. Martin Luther King. According to the Tribune, Buck was informed that since King "didn't represent her heritage," she couldn't introduce it. Saine said Buck tried introducing a similar resolution in 2018.

Reps. Jovan Melton and Leslie Herod — both black — introduced House Joint Resolution 19-1006, which commemorates King's birthday. Saine, Buck and several others co-sponsored the nonpartisan, joint resolution.