Florida State Representative apologies for potentially racist tweet

A Florida Representative is in trouble for sending out a tweet with implied racist content.

Here’s the background: There is drama going on in Florida politics right now.  Despite both being controlled by Republicans, State House and Senate chambers aren’t getting along on a series of issues.  As a result, State House leaders adjourned their session early.  Not everyone is happy with that move, including some Florida Democrats, who filed a lawsuit to stop the move.

That’s where State Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach) comes in.  Representative Gaetz shot out this tweet:

The issue?  Both Representative Joyner and Senator Bullard are African-American.  In a statement, Representative Joyner made it clear that he thought the tweet was racist, calling it a “racist barb” and adding, “His words are the kind I have fought against my entire life, the relic of days through which I lived and hope never to live through again.”  He also added, “The only difference in the members of the senate Democrats involved in bringing the lawsuit he chose to attack or ignore in his Twitter rant is the color of our skin.”

House Speaker Steve Crisafulli gave a half-hearted defense of Representative Gaetz with this tweet:

Eventually, Representative Gaetz made a half-hearted attempt to walk back what he said:

So, on the whole, a pretty stupid move by Representative Gaetz, and one he walked back very quickly after being “defended” by his own Speaker, who actually apologized on his behalf.

Tweets and Consequences

Like the blog?  Get the book!  Tweets and Consequences: 60 Social Media Disasters in Politics and How You Can Avoid A Career-Ending Mistake is now available on Amazon for purchase or download.

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