ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Democratic legislator from Minnesota swiftly apologized Tuesday for a tweet he sent that referred to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as “Uncle Thomas” following a major ruling on the nation’s landmark voting rights law.

Thomas, who is black, was part of a 5-4 majority that invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act meant to deter racial discrimination in elections. The ruling makes it tougher for federal officials to prevent states and localities, primarily in the South, from adopting policies that add barriers to voting.

In response, state Rep. Ryan Winkler tweeted: “#SCOTUS VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas. Marriage decision may blur Court’s backsliding.”

“Uncle Tom” is a connotation to describe someone subservient to another and has its roots in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s pre-Civil War novel about slavery, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” The latter part of the tweet refers to the high court’s expected decision on gay marriage.

Winkler, who is white, deleted the tweet and later told The Associated Press that he was trying to make a point about institutional racism resulting from the ruling.

“I used a term that was too hot for the issue, but I didn’t intend for it to be derogatory,” Winkler said.

Winkler, of Golden Valley, had been weighing a run for Minnesota secretary of state, whose office oversees elections. He said he ruled that out several days ago but hadn’t announced it.

The four-term lawmaker represents a district that covers western Minneapolis suburbs and is an attorney. He is known for rhetorical clashes with Republicans while on the House floor and on Twitter.

(Photo: AP)

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5 thoughts on “Minn. Lawmaker Apologizes For ‘Uncle Thomas’ Tweet

  1. ‘’Freedom of the same sex members causing a psycho-physic buckle to the youth, as long as the main question is: What does it bring to the generations have to come? As an offended witness of a young lesbian couple into a community swimming pool on a sunny Saturday at one PM, under the four intact teen eyes. One of that couple legs opened, yes! By opening legs moreover her partner holding her head and making love just like in a movie; A young mother of two among the four children had to leave, and come back while the unaware couple left. if you want to know where I was, just through the window of my apartment at the fifth floor of a seven story Building. So, can some body make me understand as a parent, what all of that might bring to the global society, than wrap it into the individual closet !’’

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