Sure, DeSantis Could Return Money From Racist Donors But Then He Wouldn't Have It Anymore

Post-Racial America

Republican Ron DeSantis, future failed candidate for Florida governor, is facing yet another race-based incident. One of his supporters and major donors, Steven M. Alembik, shouted "FUCK THE MUSLIM NIGGER" in a crowded Twitter. This was his cogent response to a GOP tweet stating, "Without a hint of irony, [Barack] Obama smears President Trump's 63 million Republican voters as divisive & resentful." You show 'em, Wrongly Spelled Stephen.

Initially, Alembik said he didn't believe he wrote that but then, after reviewing the tweet, said "when I write anything inflammatory, it's because I'm seriously pissed off. 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."

So Alembik doesn't know what Twitter actually is. Sure, much of the content on the site is masturbatory but there's still a sizable audience. You're not just shooting tweets at the ceiling. Can he make this worse?

"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?" the 67-year-old Alembik said, adding that what's considered racially charged language now wasn't racist when he was a kid. "I grew up in New York in the '50s. We were the kikes. They were the n------. They were the goyim. And those were the spics."

Yeah, the 1950s were wonderful, with Grease and Elvis and most of Back to the Future, but it was also very racist. Black people had to walk to work for a year to convince white people to let us freely use the seats on public transportation. I wouldn't point to that decade as a great example of racial harmony.

This is awkward for DeSantis. Alembik's Twitter tirade is the fifth racial incident tied to his campaign in the past month. On the other hand, it's not the sixth. There are established protocols for this sort of crisis: 1) Reject the offensive comments without qualification. 2) Distance yourself from the person who made them. 3) Just to be on the safe side, return any money donated to you by the offending person. It's a simple plan, but as detailed on the CW documentary "The Flash," even the best plans have a way of "going off the rails." Let's see how DeSantis is doing.

At [Florida International University] Thursday, Desantis condemned Alembik's tweet.

"I totally disavow the tweet. I'm not surprised he did that. I'm not responsible for it, reject it. We're focused on our message and we're focusing on what we're putting out," Desantis said.

OK, that's a trifle incoherent but let's cut him some slack, he's losing to a black guy in Florida. Now on to distancing himself from Alembik. This is easy-peasy. Just last Friday DeSantis blocked former state Rep. Ralph Arza from co-chairing a fundraiser for his campaign. In 2006, Arza allegedly called Miami-Dade County's first black schools chief a "black piece of shit" in Spanish. He couldn't even use the Chris Rock defense because few of Rock's performances are bilingual. DeSantis is just a non-racist guy who seems to attract racists, presumably for no other reason than his dazzling good looks. Unfortunately, distancing himself from Alembik's money has proven more challenging.

Alembik has donated more than $20,000 to DeSantis over the years, and DeSantis claims he'll never take another dime. He won't, however, return donations from Alembik's company, SMA Communications, because that money's been spent already, and once money's gone, it's gone forever. That's how money works. Beside, the money's not even racist. It's currency of color, a protected class.

I don't think black people expect DeSantis to literally return the exact same money SMA Communications donated. We're not that picky. DeSantis's campaign can go to the bank and withdraw entirely new money to return to the racist. That's fine by us. Maybe his campaign is strapped for cash with its new "no money from racists" policy, but he can always lean on the Black Republicans of South Florida. They're hard at work defending Alembik, who lives in racial utopia Boca Roton, from charges of racism.

Sean Jackson, the chairman of the most embarrassing black people in Florida group, insists everything that Alembik has freely admitted to is "false," "incorrect," and a "flat-out lie." Like a self-loathing Socrates, Jackson poses the question, "How can Alembik be a racist when he has a 'plethora' of black friends?" (Black people come in "plethoras" -- there are 12 in each, unless you get a good deal at the bakery.) Jackson also reminds us that Alembik is Jewish and he "doesn't know too many racist Jews." I guess Stephen Miller never invited him out for sushi.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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