A local Florida politician is under pressure to resign after making racist remarks about African-Americans.
Lakeland city commissioners are calling on utility board member Steve Wade to resign after calling blacks “animals” with “backward culture.”
During a September 4 board meeting, Wade described what he views as the problems with the black community.
“Here in Lakeland we’re seeing everything,” Wade said. “Our black community in the northwest section — not just the gangs, but just a culture that has really gone backwards, almost like animals.”
Wade also observed that the problem with black girls is that they’re having too many babies.
“It’s not just the gang problem, it’s the teenage girls. We’ve got to get them to say no and quit having these babies,” Wade said, according to local affiliate Bay News 9.
As data published in 2013 confirms, between 1990 and 2009, pregnancy rates fell by 51 percent for non-Hispanic Blacks and non-Hispanic White teens.
In response to calls for him to step down, Wade said he wishes he hadn’t called black people animals, but he stands by his comments.
“When I used the word that I used and I apologize for that,” Wade said. “As soon as it came out of my mouth. I knew that was wrong.”
At Monday’s city commission meeting, black residents voiced their outrage.
“We are not animals. We are beautiful intelligent creative people,” said Shirley Goodwin.
“My main concern was that it seems as though he wasn’t corrected by the commissioner board as well as the mayor of the city,” observed Edgar Pickett, a local pastor.
Although city commissioners are calling on Wade to voluntarily resign, they all agree that he needs to go. Wade apologized to the mayor for his remarks.