Rep. Eli Crane, a Republican from Arizona, referred to Black Americans as “colored people” during a floor discussion on his proposed amendment to a law governing annual military strategy on Thursday.

As reported by NBC, Crane said in his speech, “My amendment has nothing to do with whether or not colored people or Black people or anybody can serve. It has nothing to do with any of that stuff.”

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In retort, Rep. Joyce Beatty, a Democrat from Ohio, immediately asked that Rep. Eli Crane’s offensive language be taken out of the record after his comments. He received severe criticism for his allegedly racist remarks, especially from the Congressional Black Caucus.

Who is Eli Crane?

Elijah James Crane, 43, is an American politician and businessman. Since 2023, he has represented Arizona’s 2nd congressional district in Congress. Crane, who represents the Republican Party, has a broad range of experience.

He has experience serving in the military and has done so with the United States Navy SEALs. Additionally, he was a founding partner of Bottle Breacher, a business well-known for creating bottle openers from 50-caliber round casings. Crane defeated the incumbent Democrat, Tom O’Halleran, to win the 2022 race.

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He completed his high school education at Cibola High School in 1998. He then pursued sociology studies at Arizona Western College and the University of Arizona. One week after the September 11 attacks, Crane discontinued his college education and enlisted in the United States Navy.

He served in the US Navy from 2001 to 2014. He qualified as a Navy SEAL after completing Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) as a member of Class 256.

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Donald Trump, the former president, supported Elijah James Crane in his bid for the 2nd congressional district of Arizona in 2022. Prior to the primary election, Crane also received support from a far-right state senator, Wendy Rogers.