(NYPOST)A state senator publicly apologized on the Florida Senate floor on Wednesday, saying he was sorry for insulting them and using a racial slur during a private conversation earlier this week.

Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, apologized directly to Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Democrat from Jacksonville whom he called a “bitch” at the members-only Governors Club in Tallahassee on Monday.

“I extend a heartfelt apology to my colleagues and to all those I have offended,” Artiles said, according to the Miami Herald, before addressing Gibson directly.

“My comments to you were the most regretful of all, because they injured you personally,” Artiles continued. “No one deserves to be treated like that.”

Artiles apology follows a report by the Miami Herald detailing the lawmaker’s conversation with Gibson and Democratic Sen. Perry Thurston, both of whom are black. Artiles, a Cuban-American and former Marine who was elected to the Senate in November, told them that Senate President Joe Negron rose to power because “six n——” in the Republican caucus had elected him.

Artiles later told the lawmakers that he used the term “n—–,” a suggestion that the slang term was not intended to be derogatory or insulting, the Herald reports, adding that it’s unclear exactly whom Artiles was referring to since the only black senators in the state Senate are all Democrats — none of whom backed Negron’s bid. Artiles also used a vulgar term in reference to Negron, calling him a “p—-.”

Artiles did not use the n-word during his apology on Wednesday. He said the slur was aimed at “no one in particular” and acknowledged that his excuse for using it – having lost his temper, according to a statement he released Tuesday – was “inadequate,” according to the Herald.

“I realize that my position does not allow me for the looseness of words or slang, regardless of how benign my intentions were,” said Artiles, who was stripped of his chairmanship of the Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee.

The apology lasted less than 4 minutes and the legislative black caucus plans to hold an emergency meeting Wednesday, the Herald reports.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, Negron said he was “appalled to hear that one senator would speak to another in such an offensive and reprehensible manner,” the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

“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 the statement. “Senator Artiles has requested a point of personal privilege at the beginning of tomorrow’s sitting, during which he intends to formally apologize to Senator Gibson on the Senate floor.”

Artiles apologized to Gibson late Tuesday after news reporters began asking questions about the incident, the Herald reports.

“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.”

The Florida Democratic Party, meanwhile, has called on Artiles to resign.

“Frank Artiles must resign now,” Democratic Party spokeswoman Johanna Cervone said in a statement to the Tallahassee Democrat. “His use of horrific racist and sexist slurs towards his colleagues is disgusting, unacceptable and has no place in our democracy or our society.”

Gibson, meanwhile, said on Tuesday she couldn’t even stand to look at Artiles after their discussion Monday because she had “never, ever, ever” been treated in that way before.

“Maybe I should’ve asked him to leave the table,” she told the newspaper.

Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Brandenton, said Artiles’ comments cannot be undone by an apology.

“I understand that President Negron is allowing Senator Artiles to formally apologize on the Senate floor [Wednesday],” Galvano said told the Tallahassee Democrat. “Such comments cannot be repaired by a formal apology, but I trust that it is an appropriate step to be taken by the president and the Florida Senate to handle this matter, and to ensure that this behavior is not tolerated and does not happen again.”
Share To:

OTG Daily News

Over Time Grind Productions, LLC is based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in 2011 they have won Philly Hip Hop Award and worked with some of the largest talent coming out of Philadelphia. We have ran blogs and distributed information to millions around the world. Please visit OTGHelps.com to contact or email supplythework@gmail.com to be removed.

0 comments so far,add yours