A Short History of Ignorant Bigotry in South Florida Politics
After North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre's wife caught unhinged activist David Leven on camera calling her the politically incorrect words for -- excuse our French -- African-American, female dog, and the feminine sexual organ, Banana Republican decided to dig up other embarrassingly bigoted moments in South Florida politics:
- In 2007, a year before she was elected to the Broward County School Board, Ann Murray was reprimanded for using the N-word within earshot of her African-American co-workers when she was employed as a school bus terminal supervisor. Several colleagues had complained Murray described the nose-bleed seats at Dolphin Stadium as "nigger heaven." She made a public apology this past March only after Broward-Palm Beach New Times columnist Bob Norman reported on the internal investigation and African-American activists demanded her resignation.
- Around the same time Murray was coming up with creative offensive metaphors for the Miami Dolphins' home turf, Bill Smatt, running for Miami Beach mayor, planted a 30-foot banner on his front lawn that read, "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." He told WSVN he was merely expressing his religious views.
- In 2006, then-state Rep. Ralph Arza of Hialeah was accused by another Cuban-American state legislator, Bruno Barreiro, of calling the Miami-Dade schools superintendent a "nigger." Arza was also investigated by a House ethics committee for allegedly calling the schools chief a "negro mierda," which translates to "black piece of shit." Arza denied making the racial slurs, but he subsequently resigned and was criminally charged for making threatening phone calls to Barreiro for snitching. In one of the calls, Arza said, "You ain't nothing but a bitch, brother, my nigger."
- The same year, Miami Police Chief John Timoney was caught saying, "Fuck the Cubans," by two Miami New Times editors at an Ocean Drive magazine party. Timoney vehemently denied making the offensively insensitive remark.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.