Once could be written off as a mistake. Five times is a pattern.
Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for Florida governor, has another racial issue to deal with. Less than a month after telling Florida voters not to “monkey this up” after Democrat Andrew Gillum won the democratic gubernatorial nomination, one of his leading donors recently tweeted a racial slur directed at former president Barack Obama.
On Sept. 8, Steven Alembik responded to a tweet from the Republican National Committee that criticized Obama for correctly saying that “over the past few decades, the politics of division and resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.”
Alembik, who has given $23,000 to DeSantis, responded to the tweet by tweeting “F— THE MUSLIM N—–”, in reference to Obama.
Alembik told Politico on Wednesday that he understood that DeSantis’s campaign would need to distance himself from the comments — which the campaign promptly did.
“We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: we adamantly denounce this sort of disgusting rhetoric,” DeSantis campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson said in a written statement.
As is always the case, he insisted that he’s “absolutely not” a racist despite very clearly using the racist slur and wondering aloud why white people can’t call black people “n—–s” while black comedians can.
“So somebody like Chris Rock can get up onstage and use the word and there’s no problem,” Alembik said. “But some white guy says it and he’s a racist? Really?”
Alembik, who is Jewish, also tried to claim that back in the day, no one had a problem with it. It was just how people talked.
“I grew up in New York in the 1950s,” he said, attempting to justify his rhetoric. “We were the k—-. They were the n——.”
Alembik’s racism is the fifth racist incident tied to the DeSantis campaign in the last four weeks. Gillum said that instead of calling these statements a racist dog whistle, he called it a “bullhorn” — with the state Democratic Party chairwoman calling the remark “disgusting.”
“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,” Zach Hudson, spokesman for the liberal research group American Bridge, said. The group exposed Alembik’s tweets.
“These aren’t isolated incidents, these represent a pattern for DeSantis,” he said, “and that is what’s most disturbing about these connections.”