The town of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, wants to fire their Police Commissioner. He was overheard in a restaurant saying that every time he turned on the TV he was sick of seeing "That f***ing N***er" - meaning President Obama. A local woman reported what she heard to the Police Commission of the town, and Commissioner Robert Copeland made it worse by refusing to apologize because Obama fit "all his criteria" for being a "N***er."
Free Speech is fine, but as Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy recently learned, coming out as an unapologetic racist has consequences. And people just don't find Archie Bunker funny anymore. And while it's true that many old, angry white men have a problem with "The Negro" in the White House, Copeland is an elected official who runs their police department and therefore should be held to a higher standard because of the fairness that should be inherent in his job.
These folks don't want a town that's like the movie "In the Heat of the Night." I will update this post as things unfold in the coming week.
UPDATE: Sheriff Copeland has resigned!
From the Portsmouth NH Patch
The Wolfeboro police commissioner who used the "n word" in reference to President Obama has verbally told the police chief and town he has resigned.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Robert Copeland has yet to submit a written resignation, which Wolfeboro Town Manager David Owen is looking forward to seeing to begin to put the controversy behind the town.
"We'll be very happy to get this into our past," Owen said in a phone interview with Patch. "Unfortunately, I think the town's image and our brand may have been tarred a little over this."
Owen said he received two calls, one from the police chief and the other from the chairman of the police commission, informing him that Copeland had resigned.
WMUR New Hampshire
WOLFEBORO, N.H. —A police commissioner in a predominantly white New Hampshire town said he won't apologize for calling President Barack Obama the N-word, and he sat with his arms crossed while angry residents at a meeting called for his resignation on Thursday.
Town resident Jane O'Toole, who moved to Wolfeboro four months ago, said she overheard Copeland say the slur at a restaurant in March and wrote to the town manager about it. Copeland, in an email to her, acknowledged using the slur in referring to the president and said he will not apologize.
"It's not like I was eavesdropping. Mr. Copeland was being very loud," O'Toole said.
Copeland was silent during Thursday night's meeting. He was asked to resign and said nothing. He did say plenty in a letter to O'Toole after she wrote to his bosses about his racial slurs.
"The letter really took the wind out of my sails, really," O'Toole said.
"I believe I did use the 'N' word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse (sic)," Copeland said in the email. "For this, I do not apologize -- he meets and exceeds my criteria for such."
This video of the Wolfeboro Police Commission Meeting at the local public library should be required viewing for all Civics and Government students in this country. This is what a "grassroots" movement really is - standing up to a Racist, telling him to resign and get out of their town government.
From the Wolfeboro Town Selectmen:
STATEMENT REGARDING POLICE COMMISSIONER ROBERT COPELAND
The Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen (the Town’s governing body) and Town Manager (its chief executive officer) are appalled at the language used by Commissioner Copeland relative to President Obama, and have publicly stated that we find it reprehensible and totally inconsistent with the Town’s open and welcoming character. Mr. Copeland’s views are in no way representative of the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Wolfeboro, its administration, or the men and women of the Wolfeboro Police Department.
The Wolfeboro Police Commission is a separately elected Town board that does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Board of Selectmen or Town Manager, and there is no provision in New Hampshire State Law or the Town’s ordinances that would enable us to remove Mr. Copeland from his elected position on the Police Commission for his egregious behavior.
Therefore, we are hopeful that Mr. Copeland will accede to the public outcry and finally do the right thing and resign from his elected position to save the Town any further embarrassment of his making.
David Owen, Town Manager
Boston Herald - Mitt Romney Rips Copeland
The Wolfeboro, N.H., police commissioner who has stood by his comment calling President Obama a racial slur is facing a growing cascade of calls to step down, including from the tiny lakeside town’s most famous summer resident — one-time Obama opponent Mitt Romney.
“The vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community,” the former Bay State governor, who owns a home in the popular Granite State vacation spot, said in a statement to the Herald. “He should apologize and resign.”
Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland calls Obama N-word - #SMH #FF @cspanwj #NH http://t.co/b1FfHEyweo pic.twitter.com/MvSDsyQUQn
— Maverick™ (@spooney35) May 16, 2014