“I misspoke and used the term colored people when I meant people of color”
It’s a tough life, being a Democrat. A slip of the tongue (so he says) and you’re a racist who must resign from political life.
Florida Democrat National Committee member John Parker resigned Wednesday after referring to African Americans as “colored people” in January. Parker claims he meant to say “people of color”.
Once Parker’s words were made public, activists demanded his resignation. Parker apologized, but the damage was already done, so much so, that even Parker’s wife, Lisa King, chairwoman of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee, advised Parker to resign.
King said she had never heard her husband refer to African Americans as anything else:
“Though it is painful and awkward to air this conflict publicly, I have told John from the beginning that the most appropriate course of action for him was to resign,” King told First Coast News in a written statement.
She adds, noting their time spent together over 23 years of marriage: “I have never before heard him refer to African-Americans as anything other than black or African-American. When we returned home I told him that his choice of words and statements offended people. When I spoke to others present they confirmed their concern and offense.”
He later apologized for his words, but not before igniting a divisive election-year controversy that distracts from what Democrats say should be a focus on President Donald Trump’s bigotry.
The problem, local activists say, is that Parker’s remark was not simply an errant remark. Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks, an African-American who said he heard the remarks at the Burrito Gallery restaurant after a Democratic meeting, told First Coast News that Parker “freely used” the phrase, “colored people,” at the event and that he was concerned that Jacksonville would become like Atlanta, a city with a majority-black government.
“Why would you still think that ‘colored’ was cool? Because to me, it’s a Jim Crow terminology and it’s unacceptable,” Seabrooks told the station.
Parker denied the accusations. Politico ctd:
Parker denied those and other claims that have become the subject of local and state Democratic Party complaints lodged against him — that he spoke pejoratively of the aftermath of integration that evening, and on other occasions called a woman the “mayor’s mammy” and allegedly referred to the local Working People Caucus as the “Poor Black People Working Caucus.”
“I misspoke and used the term colored people when I meant people of color,” Parker told POLITICO on Feb. 13, when first asked about his remark. But he said any other claims that he used racially insensitive remarks “did not happen.”
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