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Rep. Lori Saine defends her House floor comments on lynchings

Republican State Rep. Lori Saine, from Northern Colorado, is not backing off comments she made on the House floor last week during a resolution honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

DENVER — A Republican representative from Northern Colorado is not backing off comments she made on the House floor last week during a resolution honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

On Jan. 18, Rep. Lori Saine (R-Firestone) said on the House floor:

"Colleagues we are standing in the moral arc of history today, as we celebrate a reverend that changed history for all Americans. We have come a long way on that arc since the Reconstruction, when whites and blacks alike, were in nearly equal numbers lynched, for the crime of being Republican."

RELATED: Colorado State Representative says black people and white people were lynched in nearly equal numbers because of political affiliation

On Thursday, after she left a committee hearing, Next with Kyle Clark was able to interview Saine and ask her if she stands by those comments that lynchings were based on political affiliation and not race.

"If you look back at that time, you will find a lot of evidence of that. I was trying to bracket, not only the reconstruction area, but I was also trying to bracket the decade after, and that was when there was a huge spike in those executions, not only for white Americans, but black Americans," said Saine. "It meant no way to downplay that two-thirds of those executions were directed toward African Americans. It was no way meant to downplay the horrors. I can't even imagine that time period. It was probably as close to hell as you can get without actually stepping foot in hell. There's [sic] martyrs of all colors when we're talking about civil justice, and I know Martin Luther King would not want us to go backwards."

During that House floor speech, Saine also challenged her fellow lawmakers.

"Our march toward justice is not over when a colleague is barred from introducing a resolution on this floor because of the color of her skin," said Saine. "Our march of justice is not over when a member of this body who represents Americans of all races, creeds and religions is told that Martin Luther King does not represent her heritage."

When Saine posted video of her comments on the House floor on her Facebook page on Monday, she captioned the video that State Rep. Perry Buck (R-Windsor) was not permitted to introduce a resolution honoring King on that day "because, among other discriminatory comments, King 'didn't represent her heritage.'"

Buck was one of dozens of co-sponsors behind House Joint Resolution 19-1006, which commemorated King’s birthday. State Representatives Jovan Melton (D-Aurora) and Leslie Herod (D-Denver) were the primary sponsors. The resolution passed unanimously after both representatives introduced it, but all lawmakers were able to speak following the vote.

Buck addressed the House floor about 50 minutes before Saine.

“Absolutely just honored and delighted to be a co-sponsor of this,” she said. "I want to go on record today, that I truly say that I love each and every one of you, no matter what side of the aisle you're on.”

Buck did not return multiple phone calls and texts earlier this week seeking answers to what Saine has brought up.

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