Denver Councilman Paul Lopez asked to resign because he found ‘Mexican Man’ racist
Author: Kristen Meriwether, Colorado Politics - February 20, 2018 - Updated: February 21, 2018
A Facebook dispute over whether a mustachioed, poncho-wearing “Mexican Man” Halloween costume is racist, as Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez alleged last October, spilled over into the Denver City Council meeting Tuesday night.
Victoria Reynolds called for the councilman’s resignation and demanded an apology.
“I want this person removed from the City Council, unless he is willing to give a public apology with a press conference,” she said.
Reynolds alleges Lopez called her a “g**damn racist” and a “b***h” at a Denver Democrats’ House District 4 meeting on Feb. 3 in an argument stemming partly from their October exchange on social media, partly over whether she’s really a Democrat.
The chain of events began on On Oct. 30 when Lopez posted photos on his professional Facebook page of what he deemed racist Halloween costumes.
“Utterly insulting to see that both my ethnicity and the oppression we face are still Halloween costumes,” he posted.
Reynolds replied to the post, “Interesting how you don’t even know your own culture and are race bating (sic) and looking for racism where the only racist is you Mr. Lopez.”
The photos in the post featured costumes for “Mexican Man,” a border patrol officer and an American Indian costume for a woman; Lopez urged people to call stores to urge them to pull the items off the shelves.
Reynolds replied, this time in Spanish, to again argue that the costumes were not racist and that she was thankful Lopez is a city official and not a state legislator.
Lopez replied, also in Spanish, “Poor dear wants to dress up like one of us for Halloween so badly, that you have nothing better to do than troll my page w racist posts. Bye Felicia!”
Lopez, 38, is viewed by many Democrats as a rising star in the party. He has expressed an interest in running for Denver city clerk next year, but many expect him to be a future candidate for statewide or national office.
Fast forward to the Feb 3. At the Democrats’ meeting, where Reynolds spoke as a surrogate for legislative candidate Ed Britt, one of five Democrats hoping to succeed term-limited Rep. Dan Pabon.
Reynolds allegeds Lopez called her a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Reynolds said she is a former Libertarian Party official but is now a registered Democrat. The state Libertarian Party website lists her as the Denver County chairwoman. (Colorado Politics was unable to verify her party registration by press time.)
Asked about what he said to Reynolds, Lopez said he called her a “g**damn racist,” but he vehemently denied calling her any other names.
“I never, ever used that language,” he said Tuesday night. “That is false.”
Will he apologize or resign, as Reynolds asked? “Absolutely not,” he said.