Florida Democratic National Committee member John Parker is facing calls to resign from African-American activists and other party members, including his own wife, after he referred to blacks as "colored people."
Parker, a Florida state committeeman, told Politico that he simply mangled the phrase "people of color" and didn't mean to say "colored people" at a January party meeting at the Burrito Gallery in Jacksonville.
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But not everybody believes that explanation, and some argue it wasn't an isolated incident.
Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks, who attended the meeting, said Parker "freely used" the phrase "colored people" and that he expressed concern Jacksonville would become more like Atlanta, a city with a majority-black government, First Coast News reports.
"Why would you still think that ‘colored' was cool? Because to me it's a Jim Crow terminology and it's unacceptable," Seabrooks said.
Parker has also allegedly called a woman the "mayor's mammy" and allegedly referred to the Working People Caucus as the "Poor Black People Working Caucus," Politico reported.
The Florida Democrat denies he made those comments.
Now, Florida Democratic Party officials are worried what the controversy could do to black turnout.
They have refused to comment on the record, though, citing confidentiality rules governing an active complaint.
"The last thing we need is racial turmoil and John is doing nothing to help us," a Democratic consultant said on background. "The fact is that the more we talk about this the more Republicans, Rick Scott and Trump win."
Evelyn Garcia, founder of the Democratic Haitian American Caucus of Florida, said that after President Donald Trump's controversial comments about African countries, it's important for her own party to clean house.
"As a first generation American from one of the current president's sh..hole countries, I look forward to our cleaning up our own house," Garcia wrote to state Democrats. "I look forward to a favorable response and resolution."
More than two months later, Parker has not been disciplined.