BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The popular head of GoAuto Insurance has apologized for a Facebook comment he made that included a derogatory term to describe Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Greg Tramontin is known from his commercials as the "GoAuto Guy.”
When recently commenting on a Facebook post, he described President-elect Joe Biden and Harris as “power hungry Joe and the hoe.” The controversial term “Joe and the Hoe” has appeared in multiple places, including on campaign signs and t-shirts.
Tramontin issued an apology for the comment Wednesday night (Nov. 11).
“Last week I was involved in a Facebook discussion about the 2020 presidential election and I posted something in jest about Vice-President elect Kamala Harris that was obviously inappropriate. But now I ask myself, why? Why did I think, for even a second, that this was something to express?
I have to be honest that I was caught up in the deep political divide and the toxic rhetoric that this country has been living in for the past several years. My words were hurtful. I sincerely apologize. This is my wakeup call.,” Tramontin said in a statement released Wednesday.
Eugene Collins, president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP, was troubled by the post.
“It is extremely troubling that in 2020, we still have to have this conversation,” Collins said. “If you can refer to the vice president-elect of the United States in that way, imagine what he says about just everyday folks, so that comes to mind. It represents the things that have been said by some white men in this country over time about Black women for a number of years.”
Baton Rouge community activist, Gary Chambers, posted Tramontin’s message online, urging people not to do business with Tramontin’s insurance company.
“Greg benefits from many Black women who currently have auto insurance with his company,” Chambers wrote. “I think that every one of the women who support his company and family by purchasing auto insurance should know this is how he thinks and speaks about Black women. White men in power struggle to respect anyone else but other white men in power. They can’t grasp that anyone else is competent enough to lead. Greg and his business should feel this. There should be Black men and women calling to cancel their insurance policies and going where they won’t be called a ho when they reach the second highest office in America.”
Chambers said as a Black man, he could not just sit back and watch a Black woman be disrespected.
“If I allow it for VP-elect Harris, someone else will allow it for my Black daughter. That’s why this must be addressed. We can’t just let everybody slide all the time. His words should have financial consequences.”
According to its website, GoAuto sells insurance in Louisiana, Nevada, and Ohio. Tramontin is the president and CEO of the company. GoAuto is one of the ten largest writers in the Louisiana auto insurance market. The company wrote more than $163 million in auto insurance in the state in 2019, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance.
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