WA Lawmaker Apologizes for Calling Arizona 'Racist Wasteland'

WA Lawmaker Apologizes for Calling Arizona 'Racist Wasteland'

Joe Fitzgibbon, the Washington state lawmaker, apologized on Monday evening for saying the state of Arizona was a “desert racist wasteland” after the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday. 

Fitzgibbon, a Democrat, claimed he was thinking about how the NFL moved the Super Bowl out of Arizona when it did not recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and had “idle thoughts” about the SB 1070 law and immigration reform–all while watching an intense football game. He conceded he is not much fun at a party. 

“I said something hurtful about a lot of people that I don’t know. I called a whole state racist,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It was wrong, I regret it, and I’m very sorry”:

To Arizona: I love deserts. I truly do not believe yours is a state populated by racists. I don’t know why I insulted your state. I’m deeply impressed by those of you who love and are proud of your state and are working it to make it a better place. But I do not love SB 1070, and I believe in the power of state government to make things better for the people of a state. I’d love to visit and talk about any of this, particularly with any of you working on environmental issues or civil rights.

He then wrote messages to the Cardinals, Seahawks, his constituents and said he was sorry to “anyone else who was inadvertently hurt: I’m sorry. It’s a painful but good reminder for me to think about the effect that my words, intentional or careless, can have.”

Fitzgibbon used 769 words in his apology to opine about a variety of non-related matters. He deleted his tweet shortly after he sent it on Sunday and did not apologize for it until Monday evening.