Wolfeboro official: No apology for using slur to describe Obama
Commissioner Bob Copeland, an 82-year-old retired lawyer, said he’s not racist and doesn’t hate anybody. But in an online posting, Copeland wrote Obama “meets and exceeds my criteria for” using the slur, which is often referred to by just the first letter -- n -- of the six letter word.
Commission Chairman Joseph Balboni Jr. said he expects at least 60 people to be on hand.
Copeland’s remarks came to light when town resident Jane O’Toole summarized them in a Facebook post and a letter in a local weekly newspaper.
She said she overheard a man she later learned was Copeland use the word at Nolan’s Restaurant in March.
In an article, O’Toole acknowledges that Copeland is “within his 1st Amendment rights to spout off anything he pleases.” But she wonders if readers would have voted for him if they knew what views he harbored.
In a written response to O’Toole’s letter, Copeland states he did use the N-word “in reference to the current occupant of the White House.”
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Copeland said he will attend today’s meeting.
Copeland said he worked with black people for many years, including with the U.S. Navy as a deck officer and in the Special Forces and at Ford Motor Co. in Detroit. He said he also worked in New Jersey on a factory loading platform.
Commission Chairman Balboni said he conferred with town counsel Mark Puffer about the situation. “We can’t fire him,” Balboni said. “The guy went out to dinner, and used the word against Obama, and this lady picked up on it. It is what it is,” he said.
Copeland said he ran so that he could support the Police Department.