Arizona lawmaker demands Black colleague be ‘sat down’ in voting rights debate

Arizona lawmaker uses racist language, demands Black colleague be ‘sat down’ in clash over voting rights bill

State representative Travis Grantham used term ‘coloured people’ during clash

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
@graemekmassie
Friday 23 April 2021 14:32
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An Arizona lawmaker used racist language and demanded that a Black colleague be “sat down” in a clash over a voting rights bill.

Republican state representative Travis Grantham interrupted Democrat Reginald Bolding as he made a speech against a voter suppression bill.

Mr Grantham, who is white, asked the house to stop Mr Bolding from speaking using a House Rule that no member shall “use language that is personally offensive”.

And in doing so he used the phrase “coloured people”, which itself is now viewed as offensive for its links to the Jim Crow era of the late 19th century.

“I feel personally that motives were arraigned of members, including myself, with regards to coloured people, Black people, whatever people this individual wants to single out, in their ability to vote, and I think it’s incorrect,” claimed Mr Grantham.

“I think he should be sat down and he shouldn’t be allowed to speak,” he added.

As per House Rule 19, “If any member, in speaking or otherwise, transgresses the Rules of the House, the Speaker shall, or any member may call him to order, in which case he shall immediately sit down unless permitted to explain…”

The Independent has reached out to both Mr Grantham and Mr Bolding for comment.

This article was amended on 23 April 2021 to include some additional context relating to members being asked to sit down

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