Florida Democratic National Committee (DNC) member John Parker resigned Wednesday after continuing criticism from activists who didn’t accept his explanation that he meant to say “people of color” when he used the expression “colored people,” Politico reports.
“I misspoke and used language that was hurtful. I apologized and pledged that I would learn from my mistake,” John Parker wrote in a letter of resignation from his office of Duval County Democratic state commiteeman and as a member of the DNC.
“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,” he wrote.
Parker insisted “that a full investigation would have shown that I erred with my mouth, not my heart.”
“I am confident that a full investigation would have shown that I erred with my mouth, not my heart,” Parker wrote, explaining he was resigning for the good of the party.
Parker told Politico that he was trying to say “people of color” but didn’t get it right. Parker’s own wife had joined the chorus of African-Americans and Democratic officials who say the DNC committeeman from Duval County, Florida, needed to step aside.
Parker made the remarks on Jan. 22 while speaking at a party meeting in Jacksonville and apologized after the initial uproar from those present at the Burrito Gallery restaurant, where he was holding forth.
“Why would you still think that ‘colored’ was cool? Because to me it’s a Jim Crow terminology and it’s unacceptable,” Diallo-Sekou Seabrooks told First Coast News.
Some in the black community say Parker’s choice of words represented a pattern.
At the now infamous Burrito meeting, his critics claimed he also bemoaned the affects of racial integration while others accused him of using the description “mayor’s mammy” and calling the Working People Caucus the “Poor Black People Working Caucus.”
Parker again denied those contentions on Wednesday.