Florida DNC member and Duval County Democratic state committeeman John Parker resigned after coming under fire for using the phrase “colored people” on Jan. 22 at a local Democratic Party meeting in Jacksonville.
Parker resigned on Wednesday after many of his fellow party members called on him to quit in recent months, including his wife, Lisa King, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Duval County. Parker claims he meant to use the phrase “people of color” rather than “colored people.”
“I misspoke and used language that was hurtful. I apologized and pledged that I would learn from my mistake,” Parker wrote in his resignation letter (via Politico). “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.”
Parker says his resignation was for the benefit of the party, but he contends that an investigation would have proved that he did not hold racist views. “I am confident that a full investigation would have shown that I erred with my mouth, not my heart.”
Parker also faced other accusations that he used worse, racially charged language, which he flatly denied. It’s likely that party officials ousted Parker, knowing well that they will need a strong African-American voter turnout if they are hoping to elect a Democrat to become Florida governor for the first time in 20 years.
Like former Minnesota senator Al Franken, Parker’s resignation signals a pattern in the nationwide Democratic party where any officials who have had allegations of wrongdoing made against them have resigned in order to claim the moral high ground on behalf of the party. The Democratic party knows it would be hypocritical of them to criticize President Trump or anyone in his administration for horrible allegations made against them when they also have officials with similar allegations, though often less severe than those of the Republican party.