By M. Swift
Florida Republican senator Frank Artiles is facing resignation calls after his racial slurs towards Black colleagues came to light.
Frank Artiles’ Comments
The incident occurred while Senator Artiles was talking with Democratic senators Audrey Gibson and Perry Thurston at the Governors Club. He then began going in on fellow Republican Senator Joe Negron blaming “these six n****rs” for his becoming Senate President.
Then the conversation got worse. Frank Artiles called Senator Gibson “girl.” He also said “this f***ing a******” and “this b***h.” Gibson left the group with Senator Thurston dealing with Artiles. He asked the Republican senator “Dude, did you say ‘n****rs?'” According to Thurston, Artiles said, “No, I said, ‘n***as’.” The “Hard R Gambit,” one of the oldest excuses in the book.
Senator Thurston says he asked that Senator Artiles apologize the following day, but the Republican senator held off until Senator Negron’s office got the news.
“In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate, I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me,” Artiles’ statement read. “There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologized to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”
Florida’s Democratic Party called for Senator Artiles to resign. “His use of horrific racist and sexist slurs towards his colleagues is disgusting, unacceptable and has no place in our democracy or our society,” the party’s statement said. “There is never an excuse for racism or misogyny and the people of Florida aren’t buying it. Resign now.”
Frank Artiles became a senator in the 2016 U.S Election. Prior to that, he served as Florida’s House of Representative from 2010 until 2016.
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M. Swift writes on Black history for Your Black World and Black Then. He also writes on wrestling, comics, gaming, and Black sci-fi and fantasy.