Regardless of how the ‘n-word’ was spoken, one Florida senator has learned that the term remains offensive as both Republicans and Democrats have bashed him for utilizing the offensive word during a conversation with two colleagues who are of African American descent.
Republican Senator Frank Artiles attempted to explain that his use was not the original slur, but rather “ni**as”, saying this was the manner of speak in Hialeah, a city nearby where the senator grew up in Miami. He apologized in the Senate on Wednesday.
“I grew up in a diverse community. We share each other’s customs, cultures and vernacular,” stated Artiles, a Cuban-American.
His excuse garnered outrage from Oscar Braynon, Senate Democratic Leader.
“It is not acceptable in Hialeah for that to happen,” said Braynon. “It is not how they talk in Hialeah.”
Braynon also stated that is the case regardless of how the term ends.
“To say that the ending of the word changes the connotation of it, I think the word may be asinine,” he stated. “Whether it’s -er, -a, -z, whatever it is, it’s offensive. It’s not something that anyone should be saying. No one should be called that word.”
Republican Senator Rene Garcia also was offended. He represents Hialeah.
“My constituents and I would agree that this language is simply unacceptable. Senator Artiles owes the residents of Hialeah an apology for unfairly associating them with this kind of behavior,” he stated.
“Racial slurs and profane, sexist insults have no place in conversation between Senators and will not be tolerated,” said Negron in a recent statement.
People have begun calling for his removal from office.
“I am so sorry for the words and tone I used with you,” said Artiles. “There is no excuse, nor will I offer one. My comments to you are the most regretful of all because they injured you personally.”
“I did not insult anybody directly. What I had was a heated debate with a colleague and I basically apologized for that,” he said. “Arguments happen.”