Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fl.)—a Donald Trump acolyte—just won his party’s primary for Florida governor last night. His opponent is Andrew Gillum (D), who, if elected, would become the first Black governor of Florida.
And what might a Black person in the governor’s house do to the state of Florida, Rep. DeSantis?
DeSantis says Floridians shouldn’t elect Gillum because he would “monkey” thing up.
DeSantis follows up by saying Gillum’s socialist agenda would bankrupt the state, but monkey is frequently used as a derogatory term for Black people. In politics, former First Lady Michelle Obama was often called a monkey and an ape.
Conversely, “mess things up” is a very common phrase that refers to things being messed up and has no racial undertones to it whatsoever. “Mess things up” is the phrase you can say when you want people to know someone would mess things up.
That’s not what DeSantis said, however.
A spokesperson for DeSantis told NBC News it’s a phrase the congressman uses frequently and has nothing to do with “race or anything like that.”
This article has been updated.