A Florida Democratic National Committee (DNC) member resigned on Wednesday after other officials — including his wife — denounced his use of the term “colored people.”
In a letter obtained by Politico, John Parker offered his resignation as state committeeman of the Duval County Democratic Party and as a state DNC member after fierce pushback of his use of the term "colored people." He also reportedly praised segregation during a dinner party on Jan. 22.
“I misspoke and used language that was hurtful,” Parker wrote. “I apologized and pledged that I would learn from my mistake.”
Parker told Politico on Wednesday that he had simply misused the phrase when he intended to say “people of color.”
Head of the Black Commission in Jacksonville, Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks, told First Coast News that the remark did not appear to be an error.
“Why would you still think that 'colored' was cool? Because to me it's a Jim Crow terminology and it's unacceptable," Seabrooks said.
Seabrooks said Parker openly discussed problems created by integration of “colored people” into the city.
"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 said. "Structural racism is as normal as the absence of a black agenda inside of the Democratic Party which is 55 percent black."
Parker said that he was resigning for the good of the Democratic Party.
“I am confident that a full investigation would have shown that I erred with my mouth, not my heart,” Parker said.
Parker’s own wife of 23 years, Duval County Democratic Executive Committee Chairwoman Lisa King, called on him to resign.
“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 told First Coast News in a written statement.
King said she had never heard him use the phrase “colored people” before and told him that his choice of words was offensive.
“While I do not believe John had any intent of malice in the manner in which he spoke, it is imperative that for the good of this city and the local and statewide party that he take this action,” State Senator Audrey Gibson said in a statement Wednesday.