Arizona GOP lawmaker casually uses racist slur to describe Black voters


Republican state Rep. Travis Grantham used the term while condemning a Democratic lawmaker who said the GOP's voter suppression bill targets Black people.

A Republican state lawmaker in Arizona on Tuesday used the racist slur "colored people" to describe Black voters in the state.

State Rep. Travis Grantham used the language — which was prevalent in the racist, segregationist pre-Civil Rights South and has been considered inappropriate for decades — as he condemned a speech from state Rep. Reginald Bolding, a Black lawmaker who said a voter suppression bill that was being debated targets Black voters, among others.

"I feel personally that motives were arraigned of members, including myself, with regards to colored people, Black people, whatever people this individual wants to single out in their ability to vote, and I think it's incorrect," Grantham said, referring to Bolding, according to a video captured by Daily Kos Elections.

"I think he should be sat down and he shouldn't be allowed to speak," Grantham added.

Bolding had been calling out S.B. 1485, a bill that would purge voters from the Permanent Early Voting List if they do not vote in two consecutive election cycles. Those who signed up for the list opted to receive absentee ballots for all elections — and a whopping 3.2 million voters in the state are on the list, according to CNN.

If the bill is signed into law, about 200,000 voters could be removed from the list, according to the Arizona State Press.

Bolding slammed the Republican introduced measure, calling it "an injustice to democracy," and saying it targeted people who already experience challenges while voting.

"The affect of this bill will make it harder for independent voters, seniors, Black, brown, and low-income people to vote," Bolding said.

That's when Grantham interjected.

Ultimately, the bill seeking to purge the early voting list passed the state House on party lines.

It now heads back to the state Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans.

It's one of the hundreds of voter suppression bills Republican state lawmakers have introduced across the country in the wake of Donald Trump's loss.

Like many of the bills, the measure specifically targets mail-in ballots — which Trump railed against and blamed for his loss.

However, a new study published this month found that absentee ballots do not measurably benefit one party or the other.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.