A small-town elected official was in a local restaurant last month when he took an opportunity to express his opinion of the president. Robert Copeland, a member of the police commission in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, exclaimed loudly that he hated watching TV because every time he turns it on, he sees “that fucking nigger.” An appalled witness, who didn’t know who Copeland was at the time, asked if he was just “throwing the n-word around,” and he responded, “Yeah.” She later went to the media over the incident, but Copeland has made the bold, insane decision to own it.
The Concord Monitor reports that the witness, Jane O’Toole, wrote a letter to the town manager, as well as Copeland’s fellow board members on the three-person police commission, only to get a note back from Copeland himself. He wrote, with almost absurd levels of racism:
“While I believe the problems associated with minorities in this country are momentous, I am not phobic. My use of derogatory slang in reference to those among them undeserving of respect is no secret. It is the exercise of my 1st Amendment rights,” it read. “I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse [sic]. For this I do not apologize – he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”
The commission’s chairman, Joseph Balboni, added of the controversy, “I think it’s crazy. Bob is a very nice person, and he’s been very generous to the town of Wolfeboro,” opting for the Donald Sterling defense. “He’s worked with a lot of blacks in his life … He said some harsh words about Mr. Obama, and here we are. This woman, she’s blowing it all out of proportion.” What’s her problem, anyway? Never heard a casual slur about the president before?
The AP reports that O’Toole, who moved to Wolfeboro just four months ago, is gathering a group of people to call for Copeland’s resignation tonight at a police commission meeting. The town of about 6,300 includes around 20 African-Americans, none of whom are full-time police officers and all of whom would probably like to move.