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Joe Carollo likens Ken Russell's appearance to Kim Jong-un after haircut, sparking racism debate

Carollo

@joeflech

A joke likening a Japanese-American a commissioner's appearance to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sparked anger and accusations of racism in the halls of power in Miami, a town where politicians love to heave comparisons to foreign dictators at rivals like spears.

Commissioner Joe Carollo made the joke about Commissioner Ken Russell's recent haircut at the end of an 11-hour commission meeting late Thursday night.

"I've been meaning to say this, but I wanted to wait til the end. Through the day, the more I look at you, I'm becoming fond of the 'Kim Jong-un,'" Carollo said, referencing Russell's haircut. "I was just wondering if that's in favor of the nuclear negotiations with Trump or showing your protest against Trump and his negotiations with Kim."

Russell later decried the joke as racist on Twitter, which Carollo denied Friday morning in an interview with the Miami Herald.

"If it was racist, I don't think anybody there would have been laughing," he said.

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