The Florida 2018 midterm election is finally, mercifully over. Gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and longtime Sen. Bill Nelson have conceded their races to Republican challengers who openly stoked racist and anti-immigrant hatred in order to win. Broward's embattled and bungling supervisor of elections, Brenda Snipes, has resigned. While the dust is finally settling on one of the most chaotic and incompetently run recounts in state history, the public now needs to settle in for the long emotional winter that will be the Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott administrations.
Here is something we shouldn't forget, though: The protests outside the Broward elections department brought out many of the worst far-right whack jobs. A video published Friday by longtime investigative journalist Greg Palast is evidence. It shows a white woman hurling the N-word at a black, ostensibly pro-Democratic counterprotester.
In the clip, the black woman, wearing sunglasses and a black shirt, walks past a crowd of protesters. The white woman — at the 15-second mark — can be heard muttering the N-word under her breath. She then swirls around and asks the pro-Gillum woman if she "tried to hit" her.
The harassed woman shouts something inaudible in response before saying "keep walking," turning to the camera, and alleging the white woman "called me a n****r right in my ear."
The video is perhaps the single worst piece of drivel to emerge from a weeks-long rally that included neofascist Proud Boys, multiple InfoWars contributors, a few known local Islamophobes, and at least one guy in a white-nationalist "Pepe the Frog" T-shirt. Crowds of people chanted "Lock her up!" at Snipes, and people were filmed hurling outright racist and offensive comments at others. Asma Khalid, a reporter for NPR who is Muslim and wears a hijab, said that as she walked past a crowd of DeSantis supporters at the elections office, the crowd screamed insults at her:
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Walked back into the elections office in Palm Beach County after doing a live @npratc hit, and turned around to take a pic of the scene. Was greeted with shouts of “Creeping Shariah! No shariah law. This isn’t Dearborn.” pic.twitter.com/Nff2nK1trN— Asma Khalid (@asmamk) November 15, 2018
And, notably, one woman was fired from her real-estate job after she was filmed mocking black, pro-Gillum protesters outside the elections office:
Throughout his congressional career and his 2018 gubernatorial run, DeSantis has drummed up support by either dog-whistling to racists or making racist comments himself. He began the 2018 general election by using the word "monkey" when talking about Gillum, after all. DeSantis can have no good answer when asked why his supporters feel emboldened to use the N-word in public.