GOP Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis is facing yet another racial problem, after weeks of one controversy after another.
Republican activist Steven Alembik, who arranged for DeSantis to speak at Mar-a-Lago and who has donated more than $20,000 to DeSantis, recently tweeted about Obama, saying “F— THE MUSLIM N—-“, Politico reports.
Speaking to Politico, Alembik first denied he wrote the tweet but, after being shown the tweet, said that he wrote it in anger and that he is absolutely not a racist. “When I write anything inflammatory, it’s because I’m seriously pissed off. I’m an emotional human being. Do I have a filter on what I say? In public, yes. Would I use that word in public? No. This is Twitter.”
The 67 year old went on to lament the double standard that exists in the usage of the “N” word.
“So somebody like Chris Rock can get up onstage and use the word and there’s no problem? But some white guy says it and he’s a racist? Really?” the 67-year-old Alembik said, noting that what’s considered racially charged language now wasn’t racist when he was a kid. “I grew up in New York in the ‘50s. We were the k—-. They were the n——. They were the goyim. And those were the s—-.”Politico
After his interview with Politico, Alembik deleted the tweet and set his twitter account to private, Newsweek reports.
He also said he understood the DeSantis campaign would need to distance themselves from him, which the campaign quickly did.
In a written statement from the DeSantis campaign spokesman, Stephen Lawson said, “We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: we adamantly denounce this sort of disgusting rhetoric.”
Per Politico, DeSantis told reporters, “We’re not playing this game of any single person who says something on social media or does this or that, I can’t do that. I’m responsible for what I post and I’m happy to be that. I’m responsible for what I run on, my commercials, and I’m happy for, I’m responsible for anyone who is officially employed on the campaign. But I’m not going to go down these rabbit holes and say this person did this, that person did that, at some time on social media or everything. You know, that’s a rabbit hole.”
He continued, “We got to focus on the issues here, so please judge our campaign on our ideas, on our agenda, on what we are saying and I’m happy to defend that.”
The campaign notes that $11,000 of the $22,920 total Alembik has donated to DeSantis over the years was returned in June. $2,000 in donations earlier this year from Alembik were not returned.
Governor Rick Scott also returned a $1,000 donation from Alembik, his Senate campaign spokesman saying, “We will be donating his contribution to Shriners Hospital. These comments are disgusting. As the governor has said, there is no room for any racial politics here in Florida. No attempts to divide people by race or ethnicity will be tolerated.”
DeSantis has been besieged with accusations of racism after he used racially charged language in an interview with Fox News in which he said that voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Andrew Gillum, his Democratic opponent, who is African American.
He was then found to be an administrator of a Tea Party Facebook group in which racist comments were commonly made. DeSantis withdrew from the group, saying he was not aware that he was an administrator.
This past week, the DeSantis campaign blocked former state Rep. Ralph Arza from co-chairing a fundraiser. Arza left office after making racial slurs and threatening a colleague. The DeSantis campaign said, “Ralph Arza’s name was removed because of hurtful and disgusting racial slurs that he has used in the past. He is not affiliated with our campaign,” in a written statement.
Democrats point out that there is a disturbing pattern of behavior in DeSantis’ ongoing racial controversies.
But Zach Hudson, spokesman for the liberal research group American Bridge, which unearthed Alembik’s tweets, said “there seems to be no end to the long line of white supremacists Ron DeSantis associates with, the latest being a donor who used the ‘n-word’ to describe President Obama,” Hudson said. “These aren’t isolated incidents, these represent a pattern for DeSantis, and that is what’s most disturbing about these connections.”Politico