Wyoming state representative apologizes after racist tweet

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming state legislator has apologized after posting a racist tweet about the state’s first Black sheriff.

Republican state Rep. Cyrus Western replied on social media Monday to an article about Albany County Sheriff Aaron Appelhans’ appointment with a clip that showed a Black character from a movie asking, “Where the white women at?”

Western said he has since called Appelhans to apologize. The state representative, who deleted his tweet after criticism mounted, said that his post was intended to be a reference to the film Blazing Saddles and not meant to disparage the state’s first Black sheriff. In the film, a former slave serves as the sheriff of an all-white town.

“I’d like to issue a retraction,” Western wrote in a tweet Wednesday morning. “My remark about the new Albany Sheriff was dumb and uncalled for.”

“What I did was insensitive, and, while unintended, I recognize that it was wrong,” Western added. “I hope he accepts my apology.”

Appelhans said he was disappointed when he learned of the incident. Racist incidents similar to this has happened to him before, he said.

“We definitely had a conversation about — how do I say it — his tweet and the connotations of it as well, racist connotations,” Appelhans said. “He was apologetic and we had a conversation about being a politician and making sure you’re representing the people who elected you to office.”