Florida Senator apologizes for issuing racial slurs

Florida Senator apologizes for issuing racial slurs

A Florida senator of Cuban descent publicly apologized Wednesday for issuing a racial offense and obscene insults during a private conversation with two African-American colleagues, but black lawmakers considered it insufficient and demanded that he be dismissed. Republican Senator Frank Artiles apologized for three minutes in the Senate floor at the start of the day’s chamber activities. “I offer a heartfelt apology to my colleagues and all those I have offended,” said Artiles, a Cuban-American from the Miami area. “My hard words have reflected more adversely upon me than they could ever have done on anyone else.” Less than three hours later, the 28-member black bench in Florida voted unanimously to file a complaint against Artiles to demand that he be dismissed. “Are the words of regret enough to erase the damage that Senator Artiles has caused, or do we insisted at last that he pay the consequences?” Asked Democratic Senator Perry Thurston, who was in the Monday night talk Artiles said what he later lamented. “This is not the first incident, nor do we believe it will be the last, of a man who has not yet learned the value of respect and dignity due to the members with whom he provides a public service,” he added. Artiles told obscenities to Senator Audrey Gibson, including one especially offensive to women, during a conversation at the Governors Club near the Capitol. After Thurston intervened, Artiles continued with his diatribe and blamed “six n…” For allowing Joe Negron, Senate President, to rise to that post. He also referred to Negron with a vulgar term. The Cuban-American lawmaker was less contrite in talking to reporters after he apologized. “I did not insult anyone directly. What I had was a heated debate with a colleague and I basically offered an apology for that, “he said. “Sometimes there are arguments.” Artiles said he would not only resign, but plans to run for re-election next year, and insinuated that Democrats have been outraged by his claims because they want the seat he has.

AP

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