DNC Member Under Fire for ‘Colored People’ Remark

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A member of the Democratic National Committee is under fire for using the term “colored people” to refer to black people—the result, he says, of tripping over his words when he meant to say “people of color,” Newsweek reported.

John Parker, a Florida member of the DNC, made the remark at a January party meeting. He later apologized and claimed he “misspoke” in an interview with Politico. But since the incident, more people have come forward to accuse Parker of using the term “colored people” and other derogatory terms for black people on more than one occasion, inciting calls for the committeeman to step down.

“Why would you still think that ‘colored’ was cool?” Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks, a black city council candidate who said he overheard Parker’s remarks, told local news outlet First Coast News. “Because to me it’s a Jim Crow terminology and it’s unacceptable.”

Recently, the calls for Parker’s resignation have come to include his own wife, Lisa King, who serves as the chair of the Duval County Democrats. On Monday, King released a statement saying she was “disappointed” in her husband’s comments.

“While I know John does not have malice in his heart and has learned from this experience, he has lost the confidence of many of us who continue to serve in his leadership position,” King said. “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’s statement doesn’t cut it for the state’s Democratic Black Caucus, whose leadership believes both Parker and King should concede their posts. The caucus will continue to pursue the complaint its members filed in March, which included additional allegations against Parker, like that he once said “shit” was “fucked up after integration,” and called school desegregation “inappropriate.” King has denied these allegations.

In light of the Parker controversy, Democrats in Florida feel that the Democratic Party’s biases have been exposed once again.

“I’m old enough to understand when people use context and frame that they are using it in and there was no joking in it,” Seabrooks, the city council candidate, said. “Structural racism is as normal as the absence of a black agenda inside of the Democratic Party which is 55 percent black.”

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