GOP Lawmaker Calls Colleague 'Buckwheat' During Legislative Session

by Erica Gerald Mason
Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post/Getty

The representative walked back comments at first, then seemingly doubled down

Before we get too far into this story, take a deep breath, hold it for a count of three, then scream for as long as you feel necessary. Much like a pressure cooker, it’s better to release pressure gradually, rather than allowing all of the energy to build up. Feel free to pause and take a scream break at any point during this story. You might need it.

We good? Okay then.

This week ON THE FLOOR OF THE LEGISLATURE, Colorado State Representative Richard Holtor called a Black colleague ‘Buckwheat.’

The unabashed act of racism happened as Holtor gave prepared remarks during an open session. It appears that a Black colleague expressed frustration at the speed in which Holtorf delivered his speech. Noting the frustration, Holtorf says to the offscreen legislator, “I’m getting there, Buckwheat, don’t worry, I’m getting there.”

As all hell breaks loose on the floor, Holtorf raises his voice and adds, “I’d like to say, that’s an endearing term by the way.”

Kyle Clark tweeted that Holtor was immediately checked by Rep. Tom Sullivan, of whom Holtor ‘previously told to get over the murder of his son in the Aurora Theater shooting.’

As Sullivan voiced his disapproval, Holtor repeatedly asked from the lectern, “Mr. Sullivan, why are you yelling at me? Why are you yelling at me?”

At that point the House went into recess.

The video continues as Holtor gestures angrily at an unnamed Black woman and then toward the (now vacant) House chair.

A Twitter user pointed out Holtorf’s behavior following the incident.

“Notice this piece of shit Holtorf immediately plays the victim, claiming that he’s being yelled at…typical white supremacist, human filth,” the tweet reads. “He should be expelled from the legislature & the GOP — but we all know the GOP loves this kind of behavior…”

After the recess, Holtorf took pains to chastise his colleagues about the need for civility and decorum before adding, “I think we all need to consider what we do here and how we talk to each other. We all have to do better. I will start with me.”

“I apologize if I offended anyone in any way. It is not my intent,” Holtorf said. “If anyone would like to talk with me afterwards, I’d be more than happy to visit with them.”

Holtorf later walked back his apology, telling a Fox afffiliate, “There is two sides to every story.”

Clark later tweeted, “UPDATE: GOP Rep. Richard Holtorf appears unlikely to face consequences for calling a colleague “Buckwheat,” the tweet reads. “House Republican leader @hmckean brushed off my question about sanctioning Holtorf, referring me to Holtorf’s apology.

@cologop has not responded to a request for comment.”