Democratic National Committee member John Parker announced his resignation following backlash he received for calling African-Americans ‘colored people’
Parker made the comments during a January 22 local Democratic Party meeting, caused consternation, but all along he had resisted calls to step down
Eventually a party executives jittery in an important campaign year forced him out
Several party members, African-American activists and Parker’s wife, Duval County Dem party chairwoman Lisa King, called on him to quit following the mounting backlash
Parker apologized saying in a resignation letter he meant to say ‘people of color’, although angry party colleagues revealed several occasions where he employed racist or misogynistic language
The comment came at a time when Florida Democrats are trying to mobilize voters for this year’s election when a new governor will be elected
Florida Democratic National Committee member John Parker [right], seen in photo with this wife Lisa King [left], resigned after he called African-Americans ‘colored people’ during a party meeting in Jan. King is the chairwoman of the committee
A Florida Democratic National Committee member has quit following uproar over his use of the term ‘colored people’ during a party meeting.
John Parker who is married to the Democratic Party chair in Duval County. Lisa King, resigned Wednesday after several African-American activists and party members, including his wife, called on him to quit.
‘I misspoke and used language that was hurtful. I apologized and pledged that I would learn from my mistake,’ Parker said in a letter to Politico.
Parker denied other accusations that he used more racially charged language. As he resisted calls to step down, some felt their complaints were being ignored in the ensuing months.
Florida DNC Member John Parker’s use of language was seen as racist and so divisive, even his own wife wanted him gone from the committee
That led to increased media scrutiny and the remarkable call by Parker’s wife, Duval County Democratic Executive Committee Chairwoman Lisa King, to say Monday that he should quit.
After the story on the controversy was published on Wednesday, Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo broke months of silence and said he needed to go.
“Along with DEC Chair Lisa King, I also asked John Parker to resign. I believe him stepping down is the right thing to do,” Rizzo said.
Parker had said he meant to say “people of color” instead of “colored people” and eventually apologized for his offhanded remarks Jan. 22 after a local Democratic Party meeting in Jacksonville, Fla.
“I am confident that a full investigation would have shown that I erred with my mouth, not my heart,” Parker wrote, explaining he was resigning for the good of the party.
John Parker [left], with Lisa King [center], and former president Bill Clinton [right]. Parker has publicly called on her husband to quit his appointment to the DNC
‘I understand my error perpetuates divisiveness and does not allow us an opportunity for the important types of meaningful discourse, a conversation our party must engage in sooner rather than later, that help us grow as individuals and a party protecting the dignity of all people’.
State Rep. Kimberly Daniels, who is from the county, was the first elected official to call on Parker to quit, revealed that Parker had made ‘disgraceful comments’ in the past.
‘Preceding this instance, he allegedly referred to the Working People Caucus as the ‘Poor Black People Working Caucus’ and called a constituent the ‘mayor’s mammy”, she said.
Parker denied the allegations but admitted in his resignation letter that he had made a mistake.
Expressing outrage state Rep. Kimberly Daniels [D-Jacksonville], also said Parker’s wife County chair, Lisa King, should step down as well because she showed “complicity” in not calling on him to resign until media pressure mounted.
Parker’s stalling tactics led to a slew of Democrat breaking their silence.
Daniels who leveled other more serious charges about Parker’s alleged use of racist language, including “disgraceful comments about integration,” wrote in a press statement Monday night that “Unlike, other leaders in Florida, even after a request from the Florida Black Caucus, Mr. Parker has not resigned.”
When Parker finally quit, he acknowledged his errors.
“I take responsibility for my mistake and as such is the impetus of my decision,” he said. “I resign for the good of my Party and all those who are fighting so hard for a better world than the one we are in now.”
King said in a statement Wednesday that she accepts her husband’s resignation because it’s ‘the right thing to do for our party’
‘I take responsibility for my mistake and as such is the impetus of my decision,’ he said. ‘I resign for the good of my Party and all those who are fighting so hard for a better world than the one we are in now.’
On Monday, Parker’s wife Duval County Democratic Executive Committee Chairwoman Lisa King called on him to step down.
‘While I know John odes not have malice in his heart, and has learned from this experience, he has lost the confidence of many of us to continue to serve in his leadership positions,’ she said, according to Fox.
In a statement Wednesday, King said she accepted Parker’s resignation because it was ‘the right thing to do for our party’.
‘Although he has dedicated over 35 years of service, his statements and actions necessitated his departure,’ she said. ‘All of our members deserve a party that prioritizes and models diversity and respect. I am committed to creating this culture and am confident that we will work together to create equity and respect for all.’
Parker’s comment came at a time when Florida Democrats are trying to mobilize voters in a critical election year. His stalling was troubling for party officials who worried about the increasing racial tensions in Duval County, a key Florida battleground where the party is counting on strong black turnout in November if Gov. Rick Scott challenges Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and if Democrats are to win the governor’s mansion for the first time in 20 years.