Updated Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 1:05 p.m. EDT: Artiles claims that he was referring to white colleagues as “niggas” and insists that he’s not racist, Politico reports.
Another day, another Republican showing out in the name of white supremacy.
This time it’s Frank Artiles, a Cuban state senator in Miami serving Florida’s 40th District, who called six black colleagues “niggers” in a racist rant that shocked his black companions.
While having drinks at Tallahassee’s exclusive Governor’s Club, “Artiles told Sens. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale that Senate President Joe Negron of Stuart had risen to his powerful GOP leadership role because ‘six niggers’ in the Republican caucus had elected him,” the Miami Herald reports.
According to reports, Artiles also called Gibson a “fucking asshole,” “girl” and “this bitch.” Gibson reportedly stormed out of the Governor’s Club after the exchange, and Thurston confronted Artiles about his words.
After claiming that he said “niggas,” not “niggers” (as if that gives him a pass), Artiles has apologized for being caught with his cape off:
“In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate, I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me,” Artiles said in a statement. “There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred, and I have apologized to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”
Here’s the twist: According to the Herald, Negron did not have support from any black senators, so Artiles just created a half-dozen phantom “niggas” to rail against.
“Racial slurs and profane, sexist insults have no place in conversation between senators and will not be tolerated while I am serving as Senate president,” Negron said in a statement late Tuesday. “Sen. Artiles has requested a point of personal privilege at the beginning of tomorrow’s sitting, during which he intends to formally apologize to Sen. Gibson on the Senate floor.”
That is, rightfully, not enough for the Florida Democratic Party, which has called for Artiles’ resignation:
In response to the racist and sexist slurs used by Frank Artiles when referring to his African-American and female colleagues in the Senate, the Florida Democratic Party issued the following statement:
Frank Artiles must resign now. His use of horrific racist and sexist slurs towards his colleagues is disgusting, unacceptable and has no place in our democracy or our society. This is just the latest in a string of violent, hateful incidents in which Artiles blames his “temper.” There is never an excuse for racism or misogyny and the people of Florida aren’t buying it. Resign now.
Read more at the Miami Herald.