New York State Senator Kevin Parker tried to clarify comments he made on Thursday about not showing up to “a meeting with four white guys.”
“What I said was, ‘Don’t show up to a meeting with four white guys,'” Parker told the Times Union Friday, referring to the comment he made at the Renaissance Albany Hotel while speaking of the impending New York state legislative session.
Parker told the newspaper that his purpose was to be “entertaining” while making a point about the diversity of the New York chamber’s Democratic majority as well as why companies and organizations should diversify.
“I’m disappointed that anybody was offended by my comment. It was meant to be provocative and not offensive, but I stand by my point,” Parker told the Times Union. (RELATED: Louis Farrakhan Issues Sunday Call For An End To White Men)
The Times Union reported:
He noted that the makeup of the Democratic conference is in stark contrast with the chamber’s outgoing Republican majority, which has no minority members. The incoming freshman class of Democrats includes the first Iranian-American, Indian-American and Taiwanese-American senators.
Parker said the fact people in attendance felt the need to “snitch” on him to the Times Union was proof positive of the need for diversity, as he felt the larger issue he was raising fell on deaf ears in the mostly white crowd. He said that a few people of color thanked him for his comments when he was done.
He did acknowledge that black and Latino senators might be more comfortable engaging with black and Latino lobbyists, who are not the majority in Albany. “It’s not that my colleagues can’t talk to white guys,” Parker added.
The day before his comment, Parker debated Fox News host Tucker Carlson about a bill he introduced that would require police to research the social media accounts of potential firearm buyers.