Rep. Winkler tweets

Rep. Winkler Tweet Calls Clarence Thomas ‘Uncle Tom’ Then Backtracks

COMMENTARY — Rep. Winkler tweeted a not-too-thickly veiled insult in the general direction of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday. With emotions running high in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote against a key provision of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), Ryan Winkler (D-MN) blasted out the angry tweet that I’ve posted below.

In part, it reads: “VRA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas.”

Uh oh. The reaction to Rep. Winkler’s tweet was soon overwhelming.

There’s a little bit of irony in calling out the justices for fighting civil rights when you just used a racially loaded insult. Winkler’s opponents from the other side of the aisle wasted no time in challenging him.

If you’re wondering why I posted a screenshot instead of the actual tweet, it’s because Winkler soon experienced Twitter remorse and deleted it. Alas for the representative from Minnesota, anything on the internet is pretty much alive forever.

The next move was to make a series of apologies and/or explanations for the tweet. I’m going to suggest that trying to explain a complicated political issue in 140 characters or less is an effort that might be doomed to failure, but you’re welcome to review the subsequent series of tweets and make up your own mind.

At some point the exchange got a little testy, with Winkler inviting his detractors to march north: “And if Virginia wants a battle flag back from their war to defend slavery, they can march to Minnesota and take it.”

I think we can all agree that Ryan Winkler doesn’t have a brilliant future ahead of him as a diplomat.

And it’s too bad that the insult detracted from his actual message: “The VRA is maybe the most important step our nation has taken to eliminate racial discrimination. It gives meaning to the 15th Amendment.”

Rather than give you a blow-by-blow, I’ll let Rep. Winkler’s tweets speak for themselves. At the time of writing, all of these tweets except the original were still posted to Rep. Winkler’s official Twitter.

Rep.  Winkler Tweet screenshot
This is the screen capture being posted all over Twitter.









While I fully understand his sense of outrage, I have to acknowledge that Rep. Winkler’s tweets seem fairly defensive.