Jeff Pearlman

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Frank Artiles likes the blacks. Really.

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Sooooo … this is pretty weird. But not weird. Or surprising.

Down in Florida there’s a state senator named Frank Artiles. He’s white, and conservative, and probably believes those two attributes give him some leeway in life (generally because those two attributes often do give people leeway in life). Anyhow, during a private meeting Monday night Artiles used the n-words to a pair of African-American colleagues—after, according to the Miami Herald, “calling one of them a ‘fucking asshole,’ a ‘bitch’ and a ‘girl.'”

Here’s a little more from the piece:

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Naturally, Artiles apologized and said he “regrets the incident profusely.” Which reminds me of the time Jason Giambi apologized after being caught as a PED user. He spoke of regret and remorse and feeling awful, and George Steinbrenner praised his slugger for manning up.

This, of course, missed the big point then and the big point now: Giambi “manned up” because he was exposed. Artiles “regrets the incident profusely” because he was exposed. Because it’s ruinous. Because his piddling political career has likely come to its completion. Do you think this is the first time Frank dropped an n-bomb? Do you think it’s the first time Frank’s called someone “a bitch”? Of course not.

In the coming days, Artiles will likely be invited to appear on some Fox News show (likely Hannity), where he’ll tell us that anyone who knows him knows this isn’t in his heart. There will be photos of him with his family, shaking hands with the local Girl Scouts, maybe even attending a Miami Heat game and meeting Chris Bosh (“Look! How can I be racist?”). That’s how these things go, and the whole endeavor is time-tested and dull.

Wait. Hold on. I’ll help him out …

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Happy family! Check.

See? Frank likes the ni ... he means, blacks. Check.

See? Frank likes the ni … he means, blacks. Check.

Really, Frank likes blacks! See, one in his office. Smiling. Check!

Really, Frank likes blacks! See, one in his office. Smiling. Even let her take a mint. Check!

Aaaaaannnnd ... just in case you whites are getting nervous. Don't sweat it. You're still Frank's peeps. Check!

Aaaaaannnnd … just in case you whites are getting nervous. Don’t sweat it. You’re still Frank’s peeps. Check!

Just watch.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life