Black Activist Jarrett Maupin: Jeff Flake's "Half-Assed" Apology for Son's Racism Not Enough
Phoenix African-American activist Revered Jarrett Maupin II wants Senator Jeff Flake to do more than issue a "half-assed" apology for his teenage son's racist comments on the Internet.
As you can imagine, Maupin was not at all pleased to hear that Flake's son used the handle "N1ggerKiller" in an online game, and casually used racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic remarks on his social media accounts.
"I do not accept the Senator's apology," Maupin tells New Times. "No one Black I've spoken to today accepts the Senator's apology."
Flake's apology came in the form of a canned statement sent to inquiring media outlets.
"I'm very disappointed in my teenage son's words, and I sincerely apologize for the insensitivity," the statement said. "This language is unacceptable, anywhere. Needless to say, I've already spoken with him about this, he has apologized, and I apologize as well."
Maupin says he's calling for Flake to meet with Black leaders to "help his family better understand the black community" -- a request that seems pretty appropriate about now.
Maupin's been critical of Flake representing Black Arizonans, especially after he discovered Flake's family roots in slavery.
It's fairly well-known that Flake's great-great-grandfather William J. Flake crossed the country and eventually settled in what's now known as Snowflake, Arizona, doing jail time for polygamy in the process. There's also William J. Flake's father, James Madison Flake, a guy who owned one of the fist Black Mormons, Green Flake, as a slave.
The Senator's clearly quite removed from slavery, but Maupin's always been weary, especially given Flake's support of the South African government in the '80s, with its apartheid system.
"There's something terribly wrong with that family in regards to their understanding of race," Maupin says, later adding, "Apparently they didn't get the message . . . Black folks have dignity."
On the same token, Flake's son also made a lot of homophobic comments, including a lot of usage of the word "faggot."
Jeff Flake's second-cousin, Kent, is gay, and was featured in a 2010 New Times cover story about Republican Congressman Matt Salmon's gay son, who was in a relationship with Kent.
Kent declined to comment on the issue.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.