How To Self-Immolate Using One Simple Slur

I’m no paid political pundit, but it seems to a amateur like myself that dropping an n-bomb in front of African-American colleagues to criticize white party leadership delimits a politician’s career trajectory. While it appears the current political climate is more amenable to displays of racial animus than had been the case in recent memory, the unguarded usage of that epithet is still a cause for controversy.

[Florida state Senator Frank Artiles] called Senate President Joe Negron, a Republican, a vulgar word for female genitalia and said he had won his position because “six n‑‑‑ers” had elected him, according to the Herald.

When Gibson and Thurston recoiled at the comment, Artiles tried to defend himself by saying he meant to use a different version of the n-word, ending with “as” rather than “ers,” according to Politico.

Failing to employ coded language and dog whistles like the more sophisticated (and not coincidentally, more politically successful) breed of racist lawmaker, Artiles turned to the “‘as’ not ‘ers'” defense. The “‘as’ not ‘ers'” didn’t work during the height of gangsta rap in the 1990s, and time has only rendered it more feeble.

If Artiles’ career survives this, he had best stick to the gendered insults going forward. Misogyny gets a pass, as long as he doesn’t personally attack the wives or daughters of anyone important.

(Year Zero/Day Ninety)