Colorado Republicans: Still Speaking for the Racists

What else could “Buckwheat” possibly reference?

As we discussed in this space a few weeks ago, the 2021 Colorado legislative session has been notable, in part, for a consistent effort from Republican lawmakers to abandon all attempts at maintaining basic social and political norms. On numerous occasions, Republicans have made hurtful comments and blatantly racist statements on the floor of the State House — comments that prompted little more than a shrug from Republican leadership.

In mid-April, Republican Rep. Ron Hanks tried to explain his alternative history of the 3/5ths compromise and opened his remarks WITH A LYNCHING JOKE. In response to an outcry from every person with a sense of decency, House Minority Leader Hugh McKean shrugged off the controversy. As The Denver Post reported on April 22:

The Loveland Republican told The Post he welcomes and encourages all perspectives. The lectern of the House, he said in a statement, “is the exact place where we can have uncomfortable discussions, about policy, about views and about the path forward in Colorado.”

According to McKean, racism is just a different perspective. It was thus inevitable that this would happen again; hell, we practically predicted as much. On Wednesday, Republican State Rep. Richard Holtorf took his turn:


As you can see from the video, Holtorf gets really upset that people are “yelling at him” for using a term that any nitwit knows to be racist (Holtorf claims that “Buckwheat” is a term of endearment, which just makes it worse). It’s hard to give Holtorf the benefit of the doubt anyway; after all, this is the same guy who told Rep. Tom Sullivan — whose son was killed in the Aurora Theater shooting — to just “get over it.”

Holtorf will no doubt have some sort of ridiculous explanation and half-assed apology along the lines of, Im sorry if anyone was offended, but this will keep happening as long as Republicans keep shrugging it away.

Colorado Republicans will be asking voters to return them to power in 2022, but it’s a tough argument to make when GOP leaders do nothing when their own members spout horrible, racist things on the FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. At least in previous election cycles, Republicans could argue that they weren’t being OVERTLY racist.

As we wrote just weeks ago:

If Republicans don’t want to be associated with white supremacists and hate speech, then they are free to be clear about distancing themselves from these viewpoints. But they’re not, and it isn’t from a lack of opportunity.

Republicans aren’t just refusing to distance themselves from racist rhetoric — they keep using the same language again and again and again.

You know who repeatedly uses racist rhetoric? Racists! At the State Capitol, we call them “Republicans.”

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    So, some Rep. speaking directly to Holtorf (R-Klan) from the lectern as, “Just hold on a moment, I’m getting there, cracker . . .” is just expressing his “endearment,” because, obviously, is there anyone anywhere who doesn’t really love a good saltine???

    Otay, then . . .

    . . . splain’ away this one, Fluffy?!

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    . . . but his friends called him “Stanley,” or just “Stan,” . . .

    . . . or “Mr. Dural” . . .

  3. The realist says:

    We know Republicans all over this country are panicking because Caucasians will soon be the minority race. But it's important to dig down a little to see what they're panicking over – it's not just the loss of power they face – it's the loss of the power to dominate others including racial minorities and women, it's the loss of power to write the rules on a slanted playing field so that white men always come out a little ahead, it's the loss of power to win elections because you can attract large sums of corporate money AND the money of wealthy white men who also don't want their power structure threatened. Apparently these guys are far weaker and more unstable at their core than we ever knew.  

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    No filters on Republicans now days.  No tact. No subtly. No nuance. No class.

  5. MattC says:

    Wait, please.

    Maybe they are not racist. They just say racist things.

    Maybe they are not racist, they just say things that racists like and agree with.

    Maybe they are not racist. Who is to say?

  6. MichaelBowman says:

    Buckwheat is also a Mother Grain; being a farmer Rep Holtorf would know about it. Unfortunately, he wasn't referring to that special grain *or* transformative power when he used the slur.

    Roxana Jullapat on the Transformative Power of Baking with Whole Grains

    A grain that I love and value tremendously is buckwheat. It [can be used to] fix the soil, it has a short growing cycle, and here in California, it can be grown all year round. But typically it’s used as a cover crop, it’s not cultivated. Can we give regenerative farmers a reason to maximize and monetize that buckwheat they’re planting as a cover crop? I’m just one baker with a tiny bakery, but these conversations are worth having, because if we trend that way, we’re promoting practices that are great environmentally and financially for our farmers. And we’re also increasing the diversity of grain for everybody.

    (Seventy-five percent of all food calories on the planet come from twelve plants and five animal species.  Of the 4% of the 250 000 to 300 000 known edible plant species, only 150 to 200 are used by humans. Only three – rice, maize, and wheat – contribute nearly 60 percent of calories and proteins obtained by humans from plants).

  7. JohnInDenver says:

    folks from Ohio don't mind being called Buckeyes … that's just about the same thing, right?

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