A Republican donor is in hot water over his repeated use of the N-word during a racist Twitter rant and again during media interviews defending his comments.
Steven Alembik, a GOP activist who’s donated more than $20,000 to Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis‘ campaign, recently called former President Barack Obama an “f—–g Muslim n—-r” on Twitter and made a host of other incendiary remarks. Alembik said he penned the Obama tweet in anger and insists he is not racist — despite his casual use of racial slurs.
DeSantis’ campaign has distanced itself from Alembik’s comments, a spokesman later condemning the “disgusting rhetoric.”
According to Politico, this is the fifth racism-related issue involving the Florida candidate, who, the day after clinching the Republican nomination in the Aug. 28 primary, warned voters not to “monkey this up” by electing his Black Democratic opponent Andrew Gillum. The remark drew fierce backlash for its racist dog whistle connotations.
Alembik, a self-employed IT provider who once helped DeSantis set up a speech at Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago resort, admitted to using the slur in a Sept. 8 post after then-president Obama gave a speech criticizing the GOP, saying “over the past few decades, the politics of division, resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.” The remark was highlighted in a tweet by the Republican National Convention.
“Without a hint of irony, Obama smears President Trump’s 63 million Republican voters as divisive & resentful,” the RNC wrote, leading Alembik to quote the tweet and respond in all caps: “F— THE MUSLIM N—–.”
Defending his comment, Alembik, 67, griped to Politico that there’s a double standard for white folks when it comes to using the n-word. He insisted he is “absolutely not” a racist, however.
“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?” he told the news site, adding that words that are considered racist today weren’t so problematic when he was younger. “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—-.”
Alembik also argued that his behavior on social media should be held to a different standard than what he says in public.
“When I write anything inflammatory, it’s because I’m seriously pissed off,” he said. “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.’
Alembik has since deleted the tweet.