Minnesota State Representative Ryan Winkler took his frustrations over the recent Voting Rights Act decision to Twitter, calling Justice Clarence Thomas “Uncle Thomas,” and in turn, drawing national attention.
On Tuesday, the the Supreme Court Justices shot down a portion of the 1965 act in a 5-4 ruling. This will allow nine states to change their election laws without advance federal approval (via The New York Times).
Apparently no one told Winkler that the Internet is written in ink, and his slip of the tongue—or shall we say, fingers—quickly turned into the the tweet heard around the country.
You see, “Uncle Tom” is derived from Harriett Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a pre-Civil War novel about slavery, according to KSTP. The term can be used to describe someone who is subservient to another.
Winkler has since deleted the Tweet and issued an apology, but despite the controversy, he is sticking to his guns and claiming that he didn’t know the epitaph was racist.
With a history degree from Harvard and a law degree from the University of Minnesota, we find that kind of hard to believe.