State Watch

Tempers flare in Colorado House after member calls another ‘Buckwheat’

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.

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.

Holtorf later told the outlet Colorado Politics that Rep. Tom Sullivan (D) was “spitting mad” and shaking his finger at the Republican. The pair have clashed before, including over gun violence. 

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. 

The Hill has reached out to Holtorf for comment.

Tags Colorado Racial slur Racism Richard Holtorf

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video