A Democratic state committeeman from Duval County, Florida and a member of the Democratic National Committee, is resisting calls from African-American activists and party officials for him to resign over an instance where he referred to black people as "colored people," Politico is reporting.
John Parker apologized for his words and said he mangled the phrase "people of color" at a Jan. 22 meeting.
"I misspoke and used the term colored people when I meant people of color," Parker told Politico.
Local activist Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks disputed Parker's claim, telling First Coast News that he "freely used" the term "colored people" at the meeting and was concerned that Jacksonville, Florida would become like Atlanta, Georgia — a city with a majority black government.
"Why would you still think that 'colored' was cool? Because to me it's a Jim Crow terminology and it's unacceptable," Seabrooks told First Coast News.
Other claims against Parker have been filed, such as allegations that he called an unnamed woman "the mayor's mammy" and referred to the local Working People Caucus as the "Poor Black People Working Caucus," Politico reported.
Republicans have carried the Duval County area that Parker represents, while about 55 percent of the county's registered Democrats are African-American. Democrats would struggle to counteract bigger Republican margins throughout much of rural north Florida without those voters, Politico noted.
"The last thing we need is racial turmoil and John is doing nothing to help us," a top Democratic consultant told Politico. "The fact is that the more we talk about this, the more Republicans, [Florida Gov.] Rick Scott and [President Donald] Trump win."
Rep. Kim Daniels, an African-American Democrat from Jacksonville, called on Parker and his wife, Lisa King, the chairwoman of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee, to resign.
"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 was for him to resign," Daniels said in a statement to First Coast News.
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