Wash. lawmaker apologizes for 'desert racist wasteland' Tweet

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by Chris Daniels / KING5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 23 at 6:26 PM

SEATTLE – Twitter has become a second screen during Seahawk games, and a place for fans to cheer - or vent, depending on the outcome.

It was the latter on Sunday, and one big Hawk fan was quick to Tweet his opinion.

“Losing a football game sucks. Losing to a desert racist wasteland sucks a lot,” wrote Joe Fitzgibbon.  

The Burien man represents Washington’s 34th District in the State Legislature.

“My mom is there. All my siblings are there. My family is there. I grew up there. It is a great place to grow up,” saID Keith Schipper, who also is the communications director the Washington State Republicans. “To call a multi-racial community like Arizona is racist and a wasteland is the height of intolerance, and disgusting, his holier than thou attitude is an embarrassment.”

Twitter users lit up Fitzgibbon, calling him a “clown and a joke,” a “bigot” and a “moron,” and other names not suitable for print.

Fitzgibbon backpedaled on his Tweet on Monday, admitting he was at the Hawks loss to the Cardinals, and his emotions got the best of him.

“Sometime I mix sports and politics too much in my own brain, and I made a point not very delicately,” he said. “That was not a kind thing to say, and I’m sorry for what I said. It wasn’t fair to most people in Arizona.”

He says he’s passionate about immigration, and policy reform, but admits trying to frame it in a sports context was not the best choice.

“I didn’t make that point well,” said the Burien Democrat.  “There are a couple of mistakes. I shouldn’t have mixed the two, shouldn’t have painted a broad brush, and Twitter is not always the best way to make points like that.  That’s the lesson I’ve learned.”

State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz called the Tweet “a bit harsh,” but says he also has issues with Arizona’s immigration policies.

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