A Colorado state lawmaker sparked uproar in the legislature this week after calling one of his colleagues “Buckwheat” during a House session.
Rep. Richard Holtorf (R) was talking about about military rules of engagement while discussing a piece of legislation on Wednesday when another representative tried to chime in, KDVR reported.
“I’m getting there. Don’t worry Buckwheat. I’m getting there,” Holtorf told the representative.
“That’s an endearing term, by the way,” he added moments later.
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) May 5, 2021
The remark caused an eruption in the chamber, with multiple people speaking out. One Democrat yelled from the back of the room, apparently confronting Holtorf.
The GOP lawmaker returned to the mic later and offered an apology to the House for his remarks.
“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 afterwards, I’d be more than happy to visit with them,” Holtorf said, according to Fox-affiliate KDVR.
Multiple local news outlets said it was unclear who Holtorf was referring to when he made the remark.
The term “Buckwheat” originated from early 20th century Jim-Crow era serials and was depicted by comedian Eddie Murphy in Saturday Night Live sketches in the 1980s. The term has now been deemed a racial slur.
Rep. Leslie Herod (D) posted to Twitter on Wednesday blasting the comment.
“This is what I have to deal with Every. Damn. Day. #onwepress,” Herod wrote.
— Leslie Herod (@leslieherod) May 5, 2021
The Hill has reached out to Holtorf for comment.