A Florida Democratic National Committee member has resigned after even his own wife joined the call for him to step down for allegedly referring to African-Americans as “colored people,” according to Orlando Weekly.
After the remark made headlines, Florida DNC member John Parker was met with calls for his resignation from the state party—a chorus that played out in public and eventually included his wife, Lisa King, who is the the chairwoman of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee.
“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 Florida’s First Coast News in a statement. “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.”
Lisa King and John Parker
The comment in question was reportedly uttered at a dinner following a party meeting at a Jacksonville restaurant on Jan. 22, according to Politico. Parker later explained to the outlet, that he had intended to say “people of color” and misspoke.
“I’m old enough to understand when people use context and the frame that they are using it in; and there was no joking in it,” Seabrooks said. “Why would you still think that ‘colored’ was cool? Because to me, it’s a Jim Crow terminology and it’s unacceptable.”
According to Politico, Parker has also been accused of making other racially-charged comments, including allegedly calling their local Working People Caucus the “Poor Black People Working Caucus,” and referring to a woman as the “mayor’s mammy.” Parker told Politico that these allegations are false.
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Because of the gap between the utterance of the remark in January and Parker’s resignation just this week, some have also called on King to resign her party post, Politico reports. Florida state Rep. Kim Daniels told the website that some of her constituents complained that her husband’s remark had been “swept under the rug.”
A grievance filed against Park by the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida with the state Democratic Party is pending before its judicial council, according to First Coast News.