The Florida Commissioner, Ted Galatis, is making news this week after he was forced to issue a public apology for trotting out the risky “N” word, used in a racial slur against an African American woman following a parking lot confrontation. According to NBC News on Sunday, the South Florida city commissioner apologized for using the derogatory insult after a road rage incident in which Galatis said he felt “threatened.”
The incident surrounding the use of the racial slur has now pitted the damning effect of using the “N” word against the aggressive actions of the woman and her passengers against Galatis. According to NBC, a confrontation occurred in a Publix supermarket parking lot between Commissioner Ted Galatis and a woman in another vehicle.
The details of the brief altercation were not revealed. Galatis left, but the car started following the Wiltons Manor Commissioner out of the lot, honking over and over at him, driving aggressively with the driver evidently feeling duty-bound to follow Galatis all the way to his home. At that point, the driver of the car said Galatis “began calling her and her passengers N*****s,” according to the police report. The black driver then called the police, saying she was upset that Galatis used the slur, and "did not want him to get away with it."
However, Galatis said he and his wife, who was traveling in the car with him, were clearly threatened, and his use of the word was an uncharacteristic lapse because of the charged situation. Galatis said he used the word “while protecting myself from the immediate threat.”
He offered the following statement of regret: “I apologize for my use of the ‘N’ word. It is something I never say. I offer no excuse, other than it was uttered when I was being threatened in front of my own home.”
According to NBC, his wife, Donna Galatis, told reporters that the woman and her passengers “launched verbal attacks of their own,” calling her a “white b***h,” and threatening her with: “I’ll slice you up.”
Police said no charges were filed against either party.
Local residents are now up in arms – some against the Florida Commissioner and others who feel that he should not be the one to bare the burden of issuing immediate apologies. Here again we have another use of the all-powerful “N” word by a white person against a black person, and the focus appears to be solely on Galatis, as opposed to the fanatical step this woman took to tail Galatis to his home, even before he used the racial slur. Evidently, his use of the smear overshadows and absolves her of any wrongdoing?
Is the apology necessary and acceptable? Or is Galatis forever linked with the use of this insult? (See Sterling, Donald)
Sound off below.