A Democratic state representative from Minnesota attacked Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with racially charged language on Tuesday after Thomas joined a majority of justices in striking down a portion of the Voting Rights Act.
That majority "is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas," tweeted Rep. Ryan Winkler, a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, a state affiliate of the Democratic Party.
The "Uncle Thomas" comment was a reference to the racially loaded term "Uncle Tom," which Urban Dictionary defines as "A black man who will do anything to stay in good standing with ‘the white man’ including betray his own people."
Winkler deleted the tweet after he came under fire for the offensive remark.
@atrupar I did not understand "Uncle Tom" as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it. I do apologize for it, however.
— Ryan Winkler (@RepRyanWinkler) June 25, 2013
Winkler was one of many overly distraught liberals in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The court overturned Section 4 of the Act, which required nine states to seek approval from the Justice Department before making changes to state voting laws.
The Atlantic’s Andrew Cohen said the decision was "as lamentable as Plessy or Dred Scott," referring to Supreme Court rulings that upheld racial segregation in schools and affirmed slaves’ status as property. MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry tweeted, "Damn, that citizenship thing was so great for awhile."