No inoffensive way to say the "n-word", Fla. senator learns
Apr 21 2017
Perry Thurston, who was part of the conversation Monday night that led to Artiles' apology.
But the contrition may be too little too late for the embattled senator.
In a memorandum to all senators, Negronsaid he has directed DawnRoberts, general counsel of the Florida Senate, to conduct an investigation and present a report and recommendation to the Rules Committee by Tuesday.
In the hours since the initial reporting of his remarks, Artiles has been accused of also making derogatory remarks against the LGBTQ community, the latest in a pattern of inappropriate language and disrespectful actions that accompany a host of questionable policy positions that stifles opportunity in many local and statewide communities.
Numerous people overheard Artiles' words to Thurston and Gibson. "And she (Gibson) said it herself this morning, words have consequences".
Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Brayon, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson and two Democrats running for governor have called on Artiles to resign. Frank Artiles went off on a verbal tear against black lawmakers on Monday night, using the n-word, and calling one a "fucking asshole", a "bitch", and a "girl", according to two African-American state senators, the Miami Herald reports.
Artiles, who is Cuban, also said "I'm from Hialeah" as if to infer that being from the predominately Hispanic city gave him a pass. Sen.
And both of the Senators who happen to be African-American, it said in the paper they know they weren't being targeted with the word.
Thurston, who spoke to local network CBS4, said: "It was about some bill and she (Senator Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville) said he cursed at her when I walked away". He also fired obscenities during a conversation with Democratic Sens.
Members of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and other citizens demanded Artiles step down as a senator. Though Artiles and Gibson coincided Tuesday on the Senate floor and at a transportation budget committee, Artiles didn't apologize on either occasion, Gibson said.
Current Gov. Rick Scott hasn't said whether he thinks Artiles should issue that resignation, but he has called his comments "disgusting", according to several media outlets.
Like any sane person, Thurston responded, "Excuse me?"
"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", Negronwrote.
Artiles further commented on the matter in a series of text messages to Politico, saying, "I am not a racist". "We'd be asking for him to stay right there, so in '18 we can run against him, put this exact article on every mailer", Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, said. We get it that Artiles meant to convey that he is from a blue-collar neighborhood where calling it as you see it sometimes supersedes sensitivity.