Ron DeSantis’ advice to Joe Rogan on N-word draws Black lawmakers’ demand for apology
Bobby Powell

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Bobby Powell slammed DeSantis' defense of comedian's right to use 'a dehumanizing slur rooted in slavery.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ advice this week, telling Joe Rogan not to apologize for past racial slurs, has raised the hackles of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus. The group is now calling on the Governor to apologize for his “unacceptable remarks.”

Rogan has become a lightning rod for criticism after singer India Arie showed a mashup of numerous times Rogan used the N-word on his podcast. After that, Rogan himself agreed he “f—ed up” by using the slur.

But DeSantis told Fox News three days ago that Rogan shouldn’t have apologized. Sen. Bobby Powell said DeSantis is erroneously portraying those offended by the use of the N-word as a “mob” that should be told to “pound sand.” Powell called the N-word “a dehumanizing slur rooted in slavery.”

“People throughout Florida and our nation outraged over the ignorant use of racist slurs by a man in a position of great influence are not a mob lusting for blood,” Powell said in a news release issued on behalf of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus. “They are a collection of individuals demanding human dignity and respect — something our Governor will not or cannot understand.”

Charlie Crist has also rebuked DeSantis’ advice to Rogan this week, saying the Governor’s remarks were “shameful statements.”

Christina Pushaw, the Governor’s spokeswoman, said that the Governor would not use the N-word himself.

“He was clear in his remarks that the left and legacy media are out to destroy Rogan, and that apologizing to appease a mob is counterproductive,” Pushaw wrote in an email, without responding to Powell’s call for an apology.

The N-word controversy is not the sole reason “The Joe Rogan Experience” has landed in headlines in the last 15 days. Rocker Neil Young said he didn’t want his music played on Spotify, the music and podcast streaming service, because it also finances Rogan’s podcast. He and folk singer Joni Mitchell spotlighted Rogan’s spread of COVID-19 misinformation.

Rogan apologized for that on Jan. 31 and pledged to bring more mainstream viewpoints about the virus to the show.

DeSantis criticized that apology, too.

Powell argued DeSantis’ advice to Rogan is part of a long line of attacks against minorities in Florida and part of his strategy to win the White House with culture war issues.

“From the beginning, his tendency has been catering to his ultra conservative base by tearing down and tearing into the rich diversity of Florida, eroding the freedoms every one of us is entitled to as Americans,” Powell added in a news release from his office.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected]


43 comments

  • Antonio

    February 12, 2022 at 6:24 am

    Another “Desantis Bad” hit piece from a biased journalist, made egregiously worse by trying to attach race baiting to it. Desantis was saying Rogan shouldn’t apologize to those trying to cancel him because no matter how much he apologizes, the mob will still go after him because the point is to get him off the air, so to speak. So absolutely, you do not apologize to people trying to cancel you. Miss Geggis includes all this in the article, yet chooses to frame it in a race baiting negative light. Yet another reason why people have lost trust in media.

    • Brad In Pensacola

      February 12, 2022 at 7:31 am

      Your entire comment is bull****. Ron Desantis knew exactly what he was doing with his performative and unnecessary commentary and furthermore, even Rogan himself has admitted he was wrong.

      Desantis basically called Andrew Gillum a monkey in 2018 so it’s only natural he’s against apologizing for racist remarks.

      And the only people who’ve “lost trust in media” are people who believe lies about stolen elections, and folks who think Trump was a great president in spite of all his corruption, an insurrection, and his lies that led to close to 1 MILLION AMERICANS DYING FROM COVID.

      • Antonio

        February 12, 2022 at 11:49 am

        1) “Your entire comment is bull****. Ron Desantis knew exactly what he was doing with his performative and unnecessary commentary and furthermore, even Rogan himself has admitted he was wrong.”

        Rogan had guests that disputed vaxx mandates. They tried to get him off air because it goes against the narrative. He said he would do better. They trot out a selectively edited vid of Rogan using a slur. He apologizes. It’s still not good enough and they still want him off air…Which was always the point. Which is why you do not apologize to the mob. Which is what Desantis meant. Just because YOU believe that Desantis is a racist doesn’t mean that his calls not to apologize are being made about a racial slur. It’s clearly about not apologizing to the mob and regular people that aren’t in a political tribe can see that.

        2) “Desantis basically called Andrew Gillum a monkey in 2018 so it’s only natural he’s against apologizing for racist remarks.”

        You mean this?: “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. That is not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.” He’s clearly talking about screwing things up. If racial slurs are the first thing you think of when you see the word monkey, maybe you should look in the mirror before calling others racist.

        3) “And the only people who’ve “lost trust in media” are people who believe lies about stolen elections, and folks who think Trump was a great president in spite of all his corruption, an insurrection, and his lies that led to close to 1 MILLION AMERICANS DYING FROM COVID”

        And you reveal yourself to be a raging partisan lunatic that gets his opinion assigned to him by the mainstream media. Because of course, if one doesn’t believe the MSM it must only be because Trump called them fake news. As if humans don’t have individual minds and like to come up with their own conclusions. You Dems want to be Borg like and have no diversity of thought, have at it. But you don’t get to just brush off everyone that disagrees with your ideology as an ist or a phobe of some kind in lieu of having a conversation. This is why you people (as in Democrats) are loosing regular people like me.

      • Antonio

        February 12, 2022 at 12:51 pm

        1) “Your entire comment is bull****. Ron Desantis knew exactly what he was doing with his performative and unnecessary commentary and furthermore, even Rogan himself has admitted he was wrong.”

        Rogan had guests that disputed vaxx mandates. They tried to get him off air because it goes against the narrative. He said he would do better. They trot out a selectively edited vid of Rogan using a slur. He apologizes. It’s still not good enough and they still want him off air…Which was always the point. Which is why you do not apologize to the mob. Which is what Desantis meant. Just because YOU believe that Desantis is a racist doesn’t mean that his calls not to apologize are being made about a racial slur. It’s clearly about not apologizing to the mob and regular people that aren’t in a political tribe can see that.

        2) “Desantis basically called Andrew Gillum a monkey in 2018 so it’s only natural he’s against apologizing for racist remarks.”

        You mean this?: “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. That is not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.” He’s clearly talking about screwing things up. If racial slurs are the first thing you think of when you see the word monkey, maybe you should look in the mirror before calling others racist.

        3) “And the only people who’ve “lost trust in media” are people who believe lies about stolen elections, and folks who think Trump was a great president in spite of all his corruption, an insurrection, and his lies that led to close to 1 MILLION AMERICANS DYING FROM COVID”

        And you reveal yourself to be a raging partisan lunatic that gets his opinion assigned to him by the mainstream media. Because of course, if one doesn’t believe the MSM it must only be because Trump called them fake news. As if humans don’t have individual minds and like to come up with their own conclusions. You Dems want to be Borg like and have no diversity of thought, have at it. But you don’t get to just brush off everyone that disagrees with your ideology as an ist or a phobe of some kind in lieu of having a conversation. This is why you people (as in Democrats) are loosing regular people like me.

      • Missy Allen

        February 12, 2022 at 1:18 pm

        Ron Desantis is a butt liking coward! Republicans have proven themselves to be the party of nothing, (Not all but most) I agree with your comments above. Trump has destroyed this country. There is to much hate being passed around and I for one am fed up with it. Desantis thinks following trumps playbook will get him elected as president. I have a feeling that will backfire on him. Or I’m hoping it will. I believe most Floridians are smarter than to want a trump wanna be as our next president or Governor for that matter.

        • Impeach Biden

          February 12, 2022 at 2:11 pm

          Trump destroyed the country? Do you really believe that? This idiot we have for President in one year’s time has brought historic inflation, he has ignored our Southern Border. Over two million illegals from over 150 countries have invaded. We give them food, shelter, and medical care. So our moron in Chief could care less about our Southern Border. Meanwhile he activates B52 bombers, USAF fighter jets, sends troops to defend the Ukrainian border. Jimmy Carter wakes up every day and thanks people like you that took the burden of him being the worst President in US history and bestowing it on Brandon.

          • Missy Allen

            February 12, 2022 at 3:03 pm

            Yes I really believe that! All you want to concentrate on is the negative, take a look at the good…. infrastructure and covid response as well as helping people get through all this without losing everything they have. if it wasn’t for the extra money people received from the democrats, we would be seeing homeless families out on the streets. Now that those funds are no longer available, more people of all colors are heading towards that fate. Thanks to the Republicans……by the way, I’m an independent and look at things from both sides. Republicans have lost their way under Trump. Caring about the people that put them in office isn’t to much to ask for.

          • Missy Allen

            February 12, 2022 at 3:07 pm

            INVADED!!! Where are your roots from? Another country if you’re not an American Indian!

      • Antonio

        February 12, 2022 at 2:08 pm

        Let’s try this in parts since my full reply is awaiting moderation:

        1) “Your entire comment is bull****. Ron Desantis knew exactly what he was doing with his performative and unnecessary commentary and furthermore, even Rogan himself has admitted he was wrong.”

        Rogan had guests that disputed vaxx mandates. They tried to get him off air because it goes against the narrative. He said he would do better. They trot out a selectively edited vid of Rogan using a slur. He apologizes. It’s still not good enough and they still want him off air…Which was always the point. Which is why you do not apologize to the mob. Which is what Desantis meant. Just because YOU believe that Desantis is a racist doesn’t mean that his calls not to apologize are being made about a racial slur. It’s clearly about not apologizing to the mob and regular people that aren’t in a political tribe can see that.

        • Antonio

          February 12, 2022 at 2:09 pm

          2) “Desantis basically called Andrew Gillum a monkey in 2018 so it’s only natural he’s against apologizing for racist remarks.”

          You mean this?: “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. That is not going to work. That’s not going to be good for Florida.” He’s clearly talking about screwing things up. If racial slurs are the first thing you think of when you see the word monkey, maybe you should look in the mirror before calling others racist.

        • Impeach Biden

          February 12, 2022 at 5:43 pm

          Yes Missy “Invaders”. I imagine your ancestors like mine entered the United States LEGALLY. What do you call these people crossing the Rio Grande in the middle of the night, running from Border Patrol as the tell them to stop. Yes they are invaders entering this country ILLEGALLY!!!

      • Jason Gillenwater

        February 13, 2022 at 12:01 am

        Not true. Liberal news programs are losing viewers at a rapid rate. Conservatives never watched CNN to begin with and their ratings have dropped 90% while Fox news has continued in an upward trajectory.. Their viewer base, which was primarily left…has left. People don’t trust the news anymore and it’s not just conservatives.

  • Claudia Uccello

    February 12, 2022 at 7:47 am

    I never thought I would say this but Desantes is worse than Trump!!

  • Impeach Biden

    February 12, 2022 at 8:25 am

    Go to a high school football game and listen to the “N” this and “N” that being tossed around by the black athletes. The “N” word is used on many rap songs. Now if a white person should say the “N” word now you are a racist. Oh it’s a term of endearment in the black community. Total hypocrisy.

    • Missy Allen

      February 12, 2022 at 2:23 pm

      Biden has done more for this country than any other president. You must be a republican. HE was not responsible for the Hundreds of thousands of people that passed from Covid. He is on the other hand the one that took on the challenges left by the last administration. Biden has proven to millions that he cares about this country time and time again. Last administration destroyed everything that had been accomplished over the last 50 years. GREAT LEGACY!!!!!! NOT! Trump did nothing for this country except to destroy our democracy. Biden and Harris are doing great for the American people. It would be even more successful if we didn’t have the party of nothing blocking everything they try to accomplish. I hold the orange haired twice impeached disgraced one term last guy for the things that are happening in our country today. You really should watch real news and not propaganda…….
      As for people of color using the n-word……its a cultural issue and they have the right to use it. Every culture has things they say that are offensive when said from someone outside that culture. Like the word cracker, its offensive when said by a person of color but not by another cracker! You may expand some of those brain cells if you took the time to ask a person of color why they find it offensive. You may get the same answer i got or an even a better explanation. Give it a try, you may be surprised at what you learn.

      • Impeach Biden

        February 12, 2022 at 2:53 pm

        Missy are you aware that more people have died from Covid since Biden has been President than Trump. Also next time you go to the gas station remember what the price of fuel was on 19 Jan 2021 and what it is now. You can thank Biden for that.

        • Missy Allen

          February 12, 2022 at 4:06 pm

          Do some real research. You just want to blame others for things they have no control over. Biden has nothing to do with the price of gas. Its because of demand. Not a lot of gas being delivered. There are not enough truckers to deliver goods. They are to busy shutting off the supply chain because of Mandates. More people may have died under Bidens watch then the former guy. I don’t know what the numbers on that are. Even still, we would not be in a better place with Trump. He ignored it existed, played it down as nothing to worry about, Lied on multiple occasions about the science. If he was in power now, we would still have the same problems Biden faces and possibly worst. Trump did nothing but deny there was a problem so now Biden has to clean up after him. We would not be where we are today if Trump had of nipped it in the bud before it got out of control. What else do ya got that needs the truth talked about?

          • Impeach Biden

            February 12, 2022 at 5:49 pm

            Do you remember what the price of regular fuel was on Jan 19 2021? I do and took a picture of my receipt. One of the first executive orders Biden signed was killing the Keystone pipeline. Before Biden was President the United States was an exporter of petroleum. Now we are dependent on OPEC and foreign supplies. Go to the grocery often? How about your grocery bill? What about the cost of housing? Inflation is at forty year highs. Simply amazing you give his old fool a pass. Now we have him more concerned about the Ukrainian border security rather than here at home. Missy it’s going to be rough for you and your Democrats come November.

    • Pastor Al

      February 13, 2022 at 8:46 am

      Yes, there is a difference in who and why a term is used. Blacks do not use the term as a negative racial slur. Much like the use of the word Redneck or Cracker, rural Whites often call each other Rednecks but if someone outside their cultural circle uses the term it can be considered offensive. But I am sure you understand that concept…

    • Vala

      February 13, 2022 at 3:23 pm

      Why do you want to say it? No ones stopping you from saying it.Go ahead and say it.You have freedom of speech but not of consequences. Get your teeth knocked out,fired,outcasted all you want.Die on that hill lol Your type of thinking is a byproduct of not getting checked by Im sure the just as shitty people around you.

    • Vala

      February 13, 2022 at 3:36 pm

      Also the term cracker has its roots in slavery.The term was used to describe the sound of the whip used by slave drivers and redneck isn’t a racially derogatory term its from the sun beating down on the necks of Southern workmen.It was part of their professions just like coal miners and being covered in soot,or stone cutters being covered in white residue.So yeah being called these things is nowhere near to the intended dehumanization and foul bigotry that is the use of the n-word clown ass.

  • Tom, too.

    February 12, 2022 at 8:29 am

    “Powell called the N-word “a dehumanizing slur rooted in slavery.””

    Shouldn’t that be the case regardless of the skin color of the person speaking it?

    • Debbie Delee

      February 12, 2022 at 10:00 am

      Of course it should… BUT it is CLEARLY targeted at African Americans, especially when a white person says that to a black person. You simply don’t understand unless you have walked on that side of the fence. I will be so glad when Jesus returns to clean up the racism and hatred. There will be no place for any of that in heaven. God made all of us and it’s a shame that we can’t seem to get past racism.

      • Impeach Biden

        February 12, 2022 at 10:39 am

        Then you will stop listening to rap music and criticize black folks for using that word as well. By the way as a white person I get dirty looks and ignored all the time by black folks in my profession. Racism goes both ways.

        • Sister Emily, Bishop Bob Hartley High School

          February 12, 2022 at 11:47 am

          Oh my oh my oh my. “As a white person” you get “dirty looks and ignored all the time by black folks” in your profession. You are sailing through life believing that your whiteness is the reason for your being disliked and ignored, when in fact it is just you, sir. It’s personal. It’s about who you are. For example, I am white and I don’t like you because you are a pompous ass who is one moment a name-calling bully and the next moment a sad little victim.
          Bless your heart, but it ain’t because you’re white.

          • Impeach Biden

            February 12, 2022 at 2:15 pm

            So Sister how does one come to that conclusion without even speaking to that person? Has to be just on looks alone. You don’t know my line of work and I am exposed to literally hundreds of people daily from all walks of life. I treat them all the same with respect. I don’t care what color or gender. I can tell you this I often do not get the same respect in return. I went to Catholic school and remember mean bitches like yourself..😜

          • Missy Allen

            February 12, 2022 at 2:41 pm

            Whole Heartedly Agree!!!! There is no reason for racism in a country that is built on diversity. People just need to be acceptant of other differences, no matter what they are. Most of my coworkers are of color and they show respect. With some people of color may be like that simply because they don’t know you. It’s been my experience that you get what you give. Im a White Person and I Love My Friends of color simply because of who they are regardless of color.

        • MommaSaidKnockYouOut

          February 12, 2022 at 1:58 pm

          You’re actually just a little bitch. Say the N-word in front of black people since you want to so bad, see what happens

          • Impeach Biden

            February 12, 2022 at 2:23 pm

            So if a black person says that to another black person, what happens?

        • yaboi

          February 12, 2022 at 1:59 pm

          You’re actually just a little bitch. Say the N-word in front of black people since you want to so bad, see what happens

          • Impeach Biden

            February 12, 2022 at 2:24 pm

            Call me a cracker or red neck to my face and see what happens.😜

          • TuffPuss

            February 15, 2022 at 9:34 am

            What will happen? You will show why your people are so high up on the crime list?

      • TuffPuss

        February 15, 2022 at 9:39 am

        Time to grow up instead of being delusional and rely on white inventions..

  • Jimmy Myrick

    February 12, 2022 at 8:41 am

    I am a registered independent and an American Citizen and I along with many others in America are darn tired of the people that call themselves reporters, including Ms Geddis, that have set about to try to keep themselves important by biased reporting on different stories that divide this country. Why don’t you think for just a minute and for once in your life try bringing the country together.

    We are better than this as a country and as human beings. Just step up as a real journalist or step out of the conversation.

  • Beatrice

    February 12, 2022 at 8:45 am

    Our governor took an oath to represent all of Florida ,not part of Florida or some of Florida but all of Florida and he is doing a very bad job at it not to mention he is putting in a law where that if a Caucasia’s feels uncomfortable they have the right to call the law on anyone that causes it to happen. I remember as a child I had to use the rest room and before I could read ihad to know what that sign said on the doors, I was traumatized. I don’t want harm to anyone, nor do I see Florida going back to the days of separation again. The problem is they are not ready for the change that is happening before their eyes. What change is that? The one where their families are interracial just like mine, there’s no Country Club that divide us or money, because it is your grandchildren or a near relative that you can’t just us that N word so freely. You can’t stop this change or change it white people!

    • Antonio

      February 12, 2022 at 12:00 pm

      “not to mention he is putting in a law where that if a Caucasia’s feels uncomfortable they have the right to call the law on anyone that causes it to happen”

      Really? I find that extremely hard to believe. But if it’s real, please provide the bill number so we can all read it and condemn it accordingly.

  • Tweedie

    February 12, 2022 at 9:21 am

    “…called Andrew Gillum a monkey..”
    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it isn’t anything but.
    Get off of your high horse people.
    No racial slur there, just saying that there isn’t something totally right with the guy who wanted to be gov. Crack and alcohol addiction, male prostitutes, and other personal problems.

  • Concern Citizen

    February 12, 2022 at 11:19 am

    DeSantis is playing to the part of his base that is racist. Also, why won’t DeSantis denounce the Naxos protesters in Florida. Were not the Nazis a racist group?

  • Sister Eugenia, Bishop McCarthy Institute for Little Men

    February 12, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    Is there nothing original in DeSantis’s playbook? Rule number one, “Don’t apologize for anything,” is from Trump’s playbook. Rule number two, “Act like a tough guy”….same playbook. Rule number three, “hire butt-licking female as spokesperson,” same book.
    One thing about Trump, he plays his own game as taught to him by his coach, Roy Cohn. DeSantis needs a Roy Cohn, but Cohn is, fortunately, dead.
    Bless his heart.

  • Missy

    February 12, 2022 at 12:17 pm

    Just a question for Disantis. They have this law that people can sue if a person makes them uncomfortable by saying something racially motivated. How does it work the other way around? Don’t you think that you were making people feel uncomfortable while spewing your continued rhetoric ? You have made me uncomfortable as a white person with the things that you say about people of color. Simply because I made the mistake of voting for you. Can I file a lawsuit against you for that? I’m sure I’m not the only one that was uncomfortable with what you were saying. I think a class action lawsuit is in order. I’m going to have to check into that! You were elected by the people and you will be taken out by the people! You are losing your base faster than you think. As an independent I had the right to choose between democrat or republican. Republican caucus has made it clear that they are for nothing! They don’t care about the law! They don’t care about the people that they represent! All Republicans wanna do is play a game of payback because of trumps temper tantrum. This one is changing to Democrat. Never will I vote for a Republican again! Republicans are nothing but big Hypocritical-crybabies that have temper tantrum’s because they don’t get their way! I’m gonna have to check into that lawsuit thing. Everything you say while you’re in office makes me uncomfortable!

  • Average FL gal

    February 13, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    I agree with Missy on all her points. Ron DeSantis started out great with bipartisan appointments and solid measures to address all kinds of FL issues. What has happened in the last six months or so has left me shaking my head. All these “laws” he’s pushing through are just mind boggling. His body language at every televised event are very telling. He’s taking a page from the former you -know -who and has turned into an ugly person. I want to like him; I really do, But my neighbors, my friends and even people out of state ask me what’s wrong with him. I’m not sure of the other candidates, to be honest, but I fear FL is becoming a state that is not that I remember.

  • Jim R

    February 14, 2022 at 11:55 am

    DeSantis needs to be imprisoned for the manslaughter of every Floridian child who who caught COVID-19 at school and died from it. His anti-science legislative agenda is killing Floridians. He is a liar and a traitor to his country.

    And, as we see now, a racist pig.

    DeSantis belongs in jail.

  • AFROMURICANS

    February 15, 2022 at 9:31 am

    What an idiotic country, you have certain people calling each other that word and then you pretend if others use it its offensive. Also look at your privileges…being able to complain about a word while being free…such a struggle…

Comments are closed.


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