Colorado House Erupts After Rep. Uses ‘Racial Slur’
A session in the Colorado House of Representatives turned south when one of the state's lawmakers referred to one of his colleagues with what many consider a racially insensitive term.
The incident occurred yesterday, Wednesday, May 5th, as Republican Representative Richard Holtorf was addressing the house about a piece of legislation when another representative chimed in, seemingly from the back of the room.
The piece of legislature was in regard to military rules of engagement, though it is unclear exactly what the bill entails.
However, following the remark during Holtorf's speech, he said the following to the representative:
I'm getting there. Don't worry, Buckwheat. I'm getting there.
This remark resulted in the house speaker slamming her gavel as the commotion in the house erupted. Holtorf then tried to ease the situation by saying that the term he used to confront his dissenter was "endearing."
However, this did not stop the commotion and the session was put on hold as many of the state lawmakers were outraged at the term that Holtorf had used to refer to his colleague with.
For those unfamiliar, 'Buckwheat' was a character on the 1920's TV show 'Our Gang,' later referred to as 'The Little Rascals.' The original character was portrayed by William Thomas Jr. in a highly stereotypical fashion.
The character was later portrayed in a satirical fashion by Eddie Murphy during his tenure on Saturday Night Live, and revived for the 1994 film 'The Little Rascals,' but in a much less stereotypical fashion.
However, in recent years the term has been deemed a racial slur, especially when referring to people of color. Following the incident, Holtorf issued this apology:
I apologize if I’ve offended anybody in any way. It is not my intent, ladies and gentlemen. If anyone would like to talk to me afterward, I’d be more than happy to visit with them.