New Florida Majority’s North Florida Regional Director Moné Holder released the following statement on the organization’s reaction to the story of State Sen. Frank Artiles using racial slurs and other derogatory language in a private conversation with black legislators.
“State Senator Frank Artiles’ racist and misogynist comments and aggressive behavior towards Jacksonville-area State Sen. Audrey Gibson is evidence of the kind of treatment that women, especially black women, are facing in the public arena today. His insulting language and harassment should not be tolerated by anyone in state government, including his fellow elected officials.
The comments also do a disservice to the hardworking people of his district. While we know that a clear majority of his district would not condone his actions, his usage of that unquestionably racist term feeds into historical tensions and stereotypes between Black and Brown communities that serve to help no one.
Unfortunately, Sen. Artiles has 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. The real question is what will his elected colleagues do. Will they let him continue to reap the benefits of being an elected public official or will they hold him accountable for his embarrassing and insulting actions?
At NewFM, we look forward to leaders in Tallahassee and in the community to labeling these words as abnormal and unacceptable behavior of an elected official and restoring the public’s confidence that such actions have real consequences, regardless of the position of that official.”
The New Florida Majority (NewFM) is an independent political organization working to increase the voting and political power of historically marginalized and excluded constituencies toward an inclusive, equitable, and just Florida. For more information on NewFM, please visit our Website at http://www.newfloridamajority.org