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Far-Right Rep. Sparks Instant Backlash After Using Phrase 'Colored People' In House Floor Speech

Republican Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona's use of the phrase while referring to non-White military members sparked immediate outrage from the Congressional Black Caucus.

Eli Crane

Arizona Republican Representative Eli Crane is under fire after referring to Black people as "colored people" during a speech on the House floor.

The shocking comment came during discussion of an amendment proposed by Crane, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, that would eliminate consideration of minority status in recruitment and retention processes in the U.S. military.

After Ohio Democratic Representative Joyce Beatty, a Black woman, voiced her opposition to removing these considerations, Crane took the floor to respond and made the offensive comment, as seen below.

In her comments, Beatty said Crane's amendment, which would ban consideration of "race, gender, religion, or political affiliations, or any other ideological concepts" in the military's personnel policies, would effectively roll back hard-won rights and protections for women and people of color in the military.

Crane rebutted by saying:

"My amendment has nothing to do with whether or not colored people or black people or anybody can serve, okay?"
“What we want to preserve and maintain is the fact that our military does not become a social experiment."
"We want the best of the best; we want to have standards that guide who’s in what unit, what they do.”

Loud dissent immediately erupted in the background as Crane continued to make his point that "the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians, the North Koreans" are not focusing on diversity issues like the United States is.

Of course, all four of those countries are essentially dictatorships and are infamous worldwide for their shocking human rights violations and brutality against minorities, as Crane should know.

China, for example, manages minority groups like the Uyghurs by imprisoning them in "re-education" camps. There's a reason countries like these aren't known for their diversity, equity and inclusion policies and it's not because they're more efficient.

In response to Crane's comments, Beatty took the dais to rebuke his use of the phrase "colored people" and move to have his comments stricken from the record.

“I’d like to be recognized to have the words ‘colored people’ stricken from the record. I find it offensive and very inappropriate…"
"I am asking for unanimous consent to take down the words of referring to me or any of my colleagues as ‘colored people.’”

Crane later claimed he "misspoke."

But many felt the comment was more like a revealing slip than an incident of Crane stumbling over his words.

Crane also requested his words be changed to "people of color" in the record, but his request was denied.

Beatty's request to have the offensive phrase stricken, however, was accepted without hesitation.