A donor to Florida's Republican gubernatorial candidate called Obama the N-word

Zach Gibson/Getty ImagesRep. Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Republican gubernatorial nominee.
  • A conservative activist and donor to Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Republican nominee for governor, called President Barack Obama a “F—- MUSLIM N—-” in a recent Tweet.
  • Steven Alembik told Politico that he is “absolutely not” a racist, and insisted it should be socially acceptable for him to use the N-word to refer to black people.
  • The DeSantis campaign condemned the comment, the latest in a series of racially-charged incidents concerning the candidate, who is running against Florida’s first-ever black nominee for governor.

A conservative activist and donor to Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Republican nominee for governor, called President Barack Obama a “F—- MUSLIM N—-” in a recent Tweet, and has made other offensive comments online.

While Steven Alembik, who says he has known DeSantis for years, insisted that he’s “absolutely not” a racist, he argued in an interview with Politico, which first reported the comments, that it should be socially acceptable for him to use the N-word to refer to black people.

“So somebody like Chris Rock can get up onstage and use the word and there’s no problem? But some white guy says it and he’s a racist? Really?” Alembik said, adding, “I grew up in New York in the ’50s. We were the k—-. They were the n——. They were the goyim. And those were the s—-.”

The Boca Raton resident has donated a total of $US22,920 to DeSantis’ campaigns over the years and organised a gala featuring DeSantis for a conservative group at President Donald Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago resort last February.

The event was originally supposed to be held at a Boca Raton resort, but Alembik said he moved it to Mar-a-Lago in a show of support for Trump after a series of cancellations following the president’s inflammatory comments about a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017.

Alembik said his tweet about Obama – which was made in response to a Republican National Committee tweet about the former president – was made in a moment of anger and suggested that what he says on Twitter shouldn’t be held to the same standards as what he says in public.

“I’m an emotional human being. Do I have a filter on what I say? In public, yes. Would I use that word in public? No. This is Twitter,” he told Politico.

DeSantis’ campaign condemned the remarks.

“We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: we adamantly denounce this sort of disgusting rhetoric,” DeSantis campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson said in a statement.

This is the latest in a string of racially charged incidents that have dogged DeSantis in the three-week-old general election.

Just a day after the gubernatorial primary, the Trump-endorsed Republican was accused of making racially insensitive remarks when he warned Floridians not to “monkey up” the state by electing his opponent, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum – the state’s first-ever black gubernatorial nominee.

Since then, it has emerged that DeSantis spoke at several conferences organised by right-wing activist David Horowitz, who has made controversial statements about slavery and Islam. And the campaign has been forced to disavow multiple associates and supporters who have made racially insensitive remarks.

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