Fla. Secretary of State Resigns After Photo Emerges of Him in Blackface as a ‘Katrina Victim’

Florida’s former Secretary of State Michael Ertel
Florida’s former Secretary of State Michael Ertel
Screenshot: Fox 4 News

Another day, another person is forced to resign because he thought it would be funny to paint his skin black, tie his hair in a scarf and wear a shirt that read, “Katrina victim.”


Don’t worry if the joke is lost on you, that’s because it’s not funny.

On Thursday, photos Florida’s Secretary of State Michael Ertel dressed as a Hurricane Katrina victim in full fucking blackface cost him his job after the photos of him at a Halloween party found their way to the Tallahassee Democrat.


The newspaper took the photos to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office on Thursday morning and within hours, Secretary Ertel had issued his resignation.

“The governor accepted Secretary Ertel’s resignation,” the Governor’s Office told the Democrat.

DeSantis addressed the resignation during a hurricane news conference.

“It’s unfortunate. He’s done a lot of good work,” he said, adding that he accepted the resignation because “I don’t want to get mired in side controversies.”


From the Democrat:

The photo was taken in 2005, eight months after Ertel was appointed Seminole County supervisor of elections and two months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

After the Democrat texted the photos to him last week, Ertel, 49, identified himself as the white man in blackface and red lipstick, wearing earrings and a New Orleans Saints bandanna, and falsies under a purple T-shirt that had “Katrina Victim” written on it.

Over the phone and in person, Ertel would not comment on the record about the circumstances surrounding the photo.


The photo was also taken a few months after Hurricane Katrina had devastated New Orleans and surrounding areas. Considering that a Hurricane Katrina joke is never appropriate he literally made the joke as many had lost everything they had. He made the joke as dead bodies were still being found in and around the area. He made the joke while people were still wondering where and how they were going to live.

“There’s nothing I can say,” Ertel told the newspaper.

Ertel submitted his resignation in an email around 2 p.m.

“I am submitting my resignation as Florida secretary of state effective immediately,” he wrote. “It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida.”


He could’ve added that he was a trash human being and that he was going to spend the rest of his life punching himself in the mouth to give himself a true blackface.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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Not Enough Day Drinking

I think we should reserve judgment until we get more information. Like that time when everyone got upset about that Catholic school and it turned out is was exactly what people’s initial reaction thought it was?  Yeah.  It’s never good to be right too early.