State legislation meetings rarely go THIS off the rails -- in the middle of a debate, a Colorado lawmaker called a colleague "Buckwheat" ... pissing off another legislator who is a Black woman.
Richard Holtorf, a Republican legislator who reps the eastern part of the Centennial State, made the shocking comment while discussing military rules of engagement during a House session. But, as he tried getting to his point, Holtorf looked at a colleague, it's unclear who, and said, "I'm getting there. Don't worry, Buckwheat. I'm getting there."
He quickly followed that up with ... "That's an endearing term, by the way." The scene led to an immediate recess and a shouting match with Rep. Tom Sullivan, and Rep. Leslie Herod ... who is Black.
For you young'uns ... Buckwheat was an African-American character on the '40s and '50s film and TV series 'Little Rascals' -- also known as "Our Gang" -- which espoused stereotypes and racial gags. Eddie Murphy also famously portrayed an adult Buckwheat on 'SNL' skits in the early '80s.
The NAACP, as well as other civil rights groups, deem the character a derogatory portrayal of Black people.
Holtorf ultimately apologized and told FOX31, "I had no intentions of insulting, hurting anyone’s feelings, or being racial or using a racial slur in anyway."
He explained the term this way ... "Where I'm from in eastern Colorado, as a country boy, I’ve had people call me that term many times. Buckwheat. It has a different connotation where I’m from."
He added, "I guess I didn’t have the insight to realize that that would be received in such a negative way."