State Rep. Apologizes After Allegations Of Racist Remarks October 28, 2006Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Racist.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — State Rep. Ralph Arza has offered a public apology on the floor of the House for any remarks he has made that might have offended anyone.But he denies accusations that he made racist remarks about Miami-Dade schools Superintendent Rudy Crew.akers applauded following Arza’s apology, and they crowded around him to shake his hand.In his remarks, Arza, a Republican from Hialeah, said he could be intense, passionate and sometimes a little abrasive. But he said he has never been, nor could he ever be, a racist.The controversy started last week, when the Miami Herald cited four unnamed sources who said Arza had used a racial epithet in English and Spanish when referring to Crew, NBC 6’s Ike Seamans reported.”I have never made a single negative comment, public comment, about Dr. Rudy Crew. And if I have ever made a statement to any one of you that you believe would be offensive to Dr. Crew or even racially insensitive, then I apologize, for that was not my intent to hurt anyone or to be insensitive, prejudicial or disrespectful,” Arza said.
Many outraged black leaders had called for Arza’s resignation. He did not do that on Thursday, but apologized while insisting he is falsely accused.”Once again, I ask for your forgiveness and understanding if I have ever offended anyone by anything I have said,” Arza said.Arza, who is Hispanic, said he is a minority and he talked about having two black men as mentors when he was growing up.On Thursday afternoon, Crew made comments about the apology.”While I’m glad he chose to apologize to his colleagues, it does not constitute an apology to me. Whether said in public or in private, the language he used is despicable. There’s no question about its insensitivity and no excuse for it. A statesman would stand up and admit he did wrong and offer a sincere apology,” Crew said. Arza said the accusations have caused him and his family great pain. He talked to Gov. Jeb Bush about the situation. The governor told Arza that even if he did not say anything wrong, it would be OK to apologize if he felt there had been a misunderstanding.