Florida state senator apologizes for racial slur

Florida State Senator Drops Racist, Profanity-Laden Rant On Colleagues

A Florida state senator apologized publicly for using racial slurs and insults in a private after-hours conversation with African-American colleagues.

During a conversation at the Governors Club, a bar near the state Capitol, Artiles was reportedly talking to Democratic Senator Audrey Gibson about Senate business when he called her a "f***ing a******", a "bitch" and a "girl".

"I am so sorry for the words and the tone that I used with you regretfully Monday night", Artiles said to Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat. Gibson said she never meant to talk publicly about Artiles' remarks, but his tirade was witnessed by enough people that the story hit the press.

"I'm not going to tolerate any senator treating another senator with that level of disrespect, and using words that show racial bias, gender bias, or show a complete disregard for the right of another person to be left alone", Negron told reporters.

Frank Artiles cursed at state Sen. 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.

Sen. Bill Galvano (R-Brandenton) said Artiles' comments can not be undone by an apology.

"If every time a senator made a mistake or someone made a mistake that they were to resign, we would have half the Senate gone for whatever reason", Artiles said. "'No, I said 'n*ggas, '" which is different in his mind". Artiles claimed he had used the term with an "a" sound at the end - instead a hard "er" sound, as if that made a difference.

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Senator Artiles admitted to the Miami Herald that he allowed his temper to dictate his utterances and that he had apologized to one of the lawmakers.

"I grew up in a diverse community".

Here's the twist: According to the Herald, Negron did not have support from any black senators, so Artiles just created a half-dozen phantom "niggas" to rail against. "Senator Artiles should do the right thing and step down immediately". "We share each other's customs".

Negron said he was "appalled" to hear that Artiles would speak to a colleague "in such an offensive and reprehensible manner". "What I had was a heated debate with a colleague and I basically apologized for that", Artiles said. But the Florida Democratic Party is still calling on Artiles to resign.

The legislative black caucus - whose members belong to the Senate and House of Representatives - plans to hold an emergency meeting at noon.

Negron announced shortly before Wednesday's session that Artiles will no longer serve as chairman of the Senate's Committee on Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities.

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