#Senator hurls #Racial Slur at colleagues: - Miami State Senator, #Frank Artiles, 44, apologized for using a racial slur towards two of his African-American colleagues during a private conversation on Monday, April 17. The incident took place around 10:00 pm at Tallahassee’s Governor’s Club, a members-only club near the state capital. Senator Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville and Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale approached Artiles at the club; a tense exchange was had and Artiles hurled a few insults at the women in an alcohol-fueled rant.
Angry outburst comes to light
According to Thurston, a witness to the incident, Artiles called Gibson a “f**king asshole,” a “bitch,” and a “girl.” He then went on to say that (white) Senate President Joe Negron rose to his leadership position because “6 [racial slur]” in the Republican caucus had helped elect him.
The question remains whom Artiles was speaking of as the black senators in the #Florida senate are all registered Democrats; none of whom backed Negron’s bid either.
After being reported to Republican leaders, he personally apologized to Gibson on Tuesday afternoon, However, byTuesday evening, Negron called Artiles behavior "appalling" and demanded he formally apologizes on the senate floor on Wednesday. During his three-minute and 45-second-long apology, Artiles tried to justify his actions, explaining that he used a slang pronunciation of the n-word he thought inoffensive. Additionally, he revealed he grew up in a diverse community (Hialeah). “We share each other’s customs.”
Artiles apologizes for 'crass and juvenile' comments
“In an exchanged with a colleague of mine in the senate, unfortunately, let my temper get the best of me. There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologized to my senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely,” Artiles stated on Wednesday.
Despite apologizing to Gibson and Thurston, as well as Negron, Articles immediately lost his chairmanship of the Senate Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities. A few hours later, Thurston filed a formal complaint seeking “expulsion” of Artiles over his rant.
“The shadow he has cast over our chamber deserves the most severe punishment available,” Thurston stated. While Artiles apologized on the senate floor Wednesday, Thurston did not look at him once, instead keeping her back to him. Punishment for Artiles ranges from a reprimand to removal from senate. On Friday, April 21, Artiles submitted an official letter of resignation to the Senate president’s office. This comes four days after the incident, but he explains that his actions are now a distraction to his colleagues, the legislative process, and Florida.