Florida state senator resigns after n-word tirade at black colleagues

James Tennent
Frank Artiles

A Florida state senator who garnered national condemnation over a racist rant at two black colleagues in a club has resigned.

Republican Frank Artiles came under intense pressure to step down after details of a private conversation he took part in were released earlier this week.

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On Monday night, Artiles was reported to have approached Senator Audrey Gibson at the members-only Governors Club in Tallahassee and called her a "bitch".

Senator Perry Thurston was said to have intervened before Artiles started insulting Florida Senate president Joe Negron, saying that his election was down to "six n*****s" who voted for him.

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Thurston and Gibson are both black, while the six senators Artiles was reportedly referring to are all white.

Artiles said later: "I clearly made comments that were hurtful, unacceptable and inappropriate.

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"The American people and Floridians want their leaders to be accountable and responsible, and by resigning my elected office I believe I am demonstrating those qualities they desire and deserve."

The incident was first reported by the Miami Herald. Artiles had originally attempted to defend himself against accusations of racism by saying that he was using a variation of the 'n-word' that was slang and was referring to white colleagues.

Democratic Senate leader Oscar Braynon said: "In our communities, our state, and our country, there should be a message of hope, of tolerance, of unity.

"We cannot afford the high cost words of divisiveness and cruelty leave in their wake."

In a Twitter post, Negron added:

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