RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

The chairman of the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee has apologized for referring to the black character "Stepin Fetchit," who is considered by many to be a racist caricature.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says Howard Katz has apologized for the comment he made during a central committee gathering in Moreno Valley on Monday. His wife was supposed to speak but begged off because of a cold. Katz stepped in at the microphone, saying "I will be your Stepin Fetchit."

Some were offended by reference to the lazy black character of the 1930s and called for Katz to resign.

Katz says he didn't mean to offend.

Basil Kimbrew, chairman of the California Friends of the African American Caucus, says he's satisfied that Katz has apologized for his mistake.