Sometimes thinking before you say things helps. A Republican lawmaker in Washington has apologized for comments he made during a public hearing in which he described minorities as “colored” and “coloreds.”
At a Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing last week on racial disparity, Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) said the poor commit most crime and that “colored” are most likely to be poor.
Honeyford issued a written apology Thursday, saying that he realized that the language wasn’t appropriate and that he will continue to serve his district “with diligence and increased sensitivity,” according to the Associated Press.
Last week Honeyford made his remarks during a hearing on a bill that would require future legislation to have impact statements identifying potentially disparate consequences for minorities.
Honeyford described ethnic minorities as “colored” and “coloreds” at the hearing and in subsequent interviews.
Honeyford responded just after his initial remarks were highlighted in the media by repeating them.
“I want to correct what I said. I said the poor are more likely to commit crimes and colored most likely to be poor,” he said.
“I didn’t say anything else other that. And I believe that’s an accepted fact. If you check any of your sociology books or anything else, you’ll find that’s an accepted fact of our society.”
Then later, he claimed to have meant “people of color” but left that part out somehow. Several times.
And now the lawmaker has issued an apology of sorts.
The Seattle Times reports:
Honeyford, 76, should get updated by listening closely to those in his district, which is 60 percent people of color.
In an apology released Thursday, Honeyford said that for years he has encouraged residents from diverse communities to become politically active.
“I regret anything that takes away from those efforts,” he said in an email.
He promised to represent his “entire community with increased sensitivity.”
“Colored’ is an offensive term, reminiscent of times gone by when black people had to use the ‘Colored only’ bathroom facilities or drink out of the ‘colored only” labeled water coolers. That was in the Jim Crow-era, a time which some people have a hard time letting go of.
Good luck getting the “Colored” vote next time, Sen. Honeyford.
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