Floridians were reminded of the existence of Rick Scott's Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll this past week whena former aide claimed she saw Carroll in a sexually "compromising position" with a female employee.
When asked about the accusations by a Tampa TV station, Carroll laughed off the claims, poked fun at the accuser's relationship status, and claimed "black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that."
were made by Carletha Cole, a former Carroll staffer, grandmother and minister, who was fired for going public about disagreements in Carroll's office and was then arrested for secretly taping a conversation between Carroll and her former chief-of-staff.
Carroll apparently isn't taking the accusations that seriously.
"The problem is that when you have these accusations that come out, it's not just one person you're attacking. It's an entire family," said Carroll. "My husband doesn't want to hear that. He knows the type of woman I am. I mean, my kids know the type of woman I am. For twenty-nine years -- I'm the one that's married for twenty-nine years. The accuser is the one that's been single for a long time. So usually black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that."
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If there's any evidence besides Cole's words that the relationship between Carroll and her aide Beatriz "Bibi" Ramos, neither Cole nor her lawyers haven't offered it up. At this point it's just accusations, and well, we wouldn't be all that surprised if that's all it was.
That being said, Carroll as a state leader and elected official could handle the accusations with a bit more maturity and sensitivity. Poking fun at Cole's single status comes off as plain old Mean Girls, and we're really not sure why she thinks her appearance disproves the accusations. Inferring that all lesbian and bisexual woman somehow look different than straight woman verges on homophobia.
If Cole is indeed slinging false accusations in desperation, that doesn't mean Carroll should join her down in the mud.