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Minority Office — Press Release


April 19, 2017

CONTACT: Michelle DeMarco, 850.487.5833

Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon, II on Artiles Controversy

Tallahassee —

Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon, II (D-Miami Gardens) on Wednesday issued the following statement on the disparaging remarks recently made by Senator Frank Artiles:

“Words matter. So, too, do the consequences.

“Senator Artiles appears to have an issue with people who don’t look like him, who don’t think like him, and who don’t act like him.

“Worse, this isn’t just one isolated incident; rather, it’s an extremely troubling pattern that continues to escalate.

“To simply say “I’m sorry,” might work if this were the first affront, but it’s not. He’s attacked Muslims with the same fervor he’s now demeaning African Americans, and it cannot stand.

“The slurs he slings so easily fly in the face of every oath he’s taken, and every creed he’s sworn to uphold. As a sitting state Senator, his conduct has transgressed the honor, professional conduct, and representation of the membership he holds and the responsibilities he’s obligated to discharge.

“The question now becomes whether the Senate views these violations with the gravity they deserve.

“Simply dismissing these charges Senator Artiles has admitted to as a passing lapse, or his temper getting the better of him, or a product of his childhood town, doesn’t cut it. Neither does his “I’m sorry” when the “I’m sorry’s” continue to multiply. Especially when the latest long-awaited apology was compelled.

“At some point, it’s time to take a stand, to say that words are not enough. At some point, the Senate must be compelled to act.”