Joe Fitzgibbon, D-Burien, is a state Representative from Washington State. Last night, he was upset about the Seahawks’ loss to the Arizona Cardinals, so he posted a tweet calling Arizona a “desert racist wasteland.”
Fitzgibbon subsequently deleted the tweet and posted this tweet:
Upset re hawks loss, and failure of smart immigration reform–shouldn't have conflated the 2 though. Happy holidays, better for both in '14
— Joe Fitzgibbon (@joefitzgibbon) December 23, 2013
Note that he is not apologizing for calling Arizona a “desert racist wasteland.” If anything, he seems to be doubling down on that characterization, complaining that the state hasn’t passed “smart immigration reform.”
In other words, according to Rep. Fitzgibbon, it’s fine to call Arizona residents who believe in border security racist, as long as you don’t do so in connection with a football game.
Fitzgibbon is very sorry he got caught.
And yet on Sunday, while trudging out of CenturyLink Field following a frustrating 10-17 loss to the Cardinals, I did not display Win Forever behavior. I said something hurtful about a lot of people that I don’t know. I called a whole state racist. It was wrong, I regret it, and I’m very sorry.
Now, you may fairly ask yourself why someone would feel it necessary to make that connection, let alone share them with people. Fair enough. As I was watching our quarterback get sacked—four times—I got aggravated. For some reason I got to thinking about how the NFL once moved the Superbowl out of Arizona when it refused to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which led to idle thoughts about SB 1070 and the failure this year of commonsense immigration reform at the national level. (Yeah, I’m really fun at parties.)
As for why I shared it—this was one of those moments where I suffered from the incorrect belief that I had a thought worth sharing. As best I can tell we all seem prone to them, though my generation is the one that’s probably most disposed to sharing them online. My generation, like every young generation before it, is also a generation demanding gains in equality and justice, and we’re doing it online, so I’ll take the tradeoff of too many dinner plate pics and the occasional errant tweet by a loud-mouthed politician.
Did I forget to mention I’m an elected official and that’s why we’re still talking about this? Yep. We’re talking about it because I’ve asked people to care what I say, and then I said something stupid and careless. For that I sincerely apologize.
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.
Read the whole post on Facebook.