Miami Republican Senator Frank Artiles made a big mistake when he dropped the n-bomb in front of two African-American coworkers during a private conversation on Monday.
In a bout of anger, he used the words in what he thought was a endearing manner: “fucking asshole,” a “girl” and a “bitch.”
This occurred at a members-only governors club. When asked about it, Artiles said that he thought he was not being offensive because he was trying to say “niggas” instead of “niggers.”
These hateful words were used in reference to Senate President Joe Negron, who is a powerful player in the GOP. In addition to the aforementioned words, Artiles also called Negron a “pussy.”
Artiles apologized about his choice of words on Tuesday, saying that his temper got the best of him, but that it is no excuse.
Although the conversation was private and he did publically and personally apologize, some are calling for his resignation, such as Democratic spokeswoman Johanna Cervone.
From Miami Herald:
“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. The Black Caucus has scheduled an emergency Wednesday meeting.
To Gibson and Thurston, it was clear Artiles wasn’t referring to them or to any other Democrats as “niggas” but apparently to six Republicans who favored Negron for the job over Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater.
The discussion began Monday night after Artiles approached Gibson at the Governors Club to suggest that a series of questions he’d asked of one of her bills earlier in the day were payback for questions she’d asked before of one of Artiles’ bills.
At one point, Artiles referred to Gibson as “this fucking asshole” and “this bitch,” Gibson said. Gibson complained to Thurston, who had been talking to other people at Gibson’s table during the exchange. Thurston asked Artiles if he had in fact referred to Gibson in those terms. Artiles denied it, Thurston said — but urged by Thurston, apologized. Then, someone else at the table — not an elected official — asked Artiles about another word he’d used in reference to Gibson: “girl.” Artiles said he meant no disrespect. But when the conversation turned to Senate GOP leadership, Artiles used the n-word.
“He said, ‘If it wasn’t for these six niggers,’” Gibson said. By way of explanation, he added, “‘I’m from Hialeah,’” she said. “I said, ‘OK, Perry, I’m done,’” Gibson said. Gibson left the conversation to go to the restroom. “I said, ‘Dude, did you say ‘niggers?’” Thurston recounted. “‘No, I said ‘niggas,’” which is different in his mind.” But not in Gibson’s and Thurston’s, they said. Thurston urged Artiles to apologize to Gibson upon her return.