I’ll admit that I don’t know Ron DeSantis from the man in the moon.
He is the newly nominated Republican candidate for Florida governor. He is running this fall against Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum.
OK, it has gotten a bit complicated.
DeSantis — a devotee of Donald J. Trump — just happened to say that Florida voters shouldn’t “monkey this up” by electing Gillum as the state’s next governor.
Here it comes: Gillum is African-American. DeSantis’s use of the word “monkey” in a curious verb form has a good many folks wondering about the potential racial intent of using such a word regarding an African-American political opponent.
This particular word has gotten politicians and assorted public officials in trouble over many years. I need not chronicle for you why African-Americans — as well as many other Americans, such as me — find it at minimum careless.
At worst it reveals a hideous side of those who use such a term when referencing someone who happens to be a racial minority.
According to MSN.com: In a statement, Stephen Lawson, a spokesman for Mr. DeSantis, rejected the idea that the candidate’s comments had a racial undertone.
“Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses,” Mr. Lawson said. “To characterize it as anything else is absurd.”
OK, a prepared statement from a political flack isn’t good enough. We need to hear from Rich DeSantis. In person. Live and in real time.