Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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"I believe I did use the 'N' word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse," Copeland wrote in the April email sent to the two other commissioners and forwarded to O'Toole. "For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such."

WOLFEBORO, N.H. (AP) — A town police commissioner has resigned after he admitted using a racial slur to describe President Barack Obama, an official said Monday.

Robert Copeland, 82, resigned Sunday night from the post to which he was re-elected in March, Board of Selectmen Chair Linda Murray said, putting to rest a controversy that drew national attention and sparked impassioned debate in this resort town of 6,300 on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.

"The town is pleased," Murray said Monday. "This gives us the opportunity to move on. We are a very accepting community that really takes care of each other."

At a meeting last week, Copeland defiantly sat with his arms folded as more than 100 residents pushed for his ouster and tore into his comments, saying he didn't speak the town or its people.

Copeland admitted using the slur, preceded by an obscenity, while he was at a restaurant in March. A resident, Jane O'Toole, overheard him and complained to town officials when she learned that Copeland was a police commissioner.

Copeland has not returned several calls seeking comment.

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Highlander65
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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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While I don't agree with Copeland or his comment, as a nation we need to be very careful of this trend of punishing people for their opinions. Did he break any laws? No. Did the people elect him to his position? Yes. Would he get re-elected? I seriously doubt it.

This type of thing has been in the media a lot recently. Someone makes an unpopular comment, or is reported to have done so, and is punished by the media and the public instead of the legal system. That is how we lose our freedoms. We should be free to have our own opinions no matter how unpopular they might be. If speaking our opinion gets us punished in the media and even by private organizations (NBA) taking actions that are damaging to us financially, publicly, or otherwise we are allowing our freedom of speech to be ripped from us by the very people that tout that freedom as our highest of all.

But, supporting an unpopular person for having an unpopular opinion is an unpopular act. You have to be strong and not fear the retribution of the weak minded followers. You need to remind people that we are a nation run by laws and not emotionally hyped up mobs being manipulated by media conglomerates who's only real goal is to make more money off the mob they have stirred up.

Our constitution gives us the right to have our opinions, to speak our opinions, to disagree with the opinions of others, and be free from retribution in the process. This very forum and every other like it is an exercise of that constitutional right.

Feel free to express your opinions!!!

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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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Well I be damned...Not only am I glad to see you HL65 (Holy Shit!), we may actually be about to have a discussion. One more person (I'm talking especially to Buffmaster :p) and we'll have a party...Seriously, glad to see you HL65, long absences worry me...Hope all has been well..! I missed you man...

Now...I've wanted to talk about this, seeing a different perspective on this was my goal, which is why I posted it without commentary...

For the sake of argument, HL65, and I mean this in a purely hypothetical situation...Would you feel the same way if I said, "I like going to the public pool and watching little white girls asses in their swimsuits?" If I were anyone, let alone an elected official...

Why do you feel it's wrong to punish people in a public way for an opinion? Shouldn't we as a society have some sort of social boundaries? Do we want kids growing up thinking they can say what they want, just because it's their opinion and it's not breaking any laws? Should I just be allowed to say, "My goodness, you have amazingly huge buck teeth," point and laugh and not have someone say, "Hey man, that's not cool," etc?

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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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Definitely a slippery slope we're moving down as we start punishing people for saying words as opposed to actions but in this Sheriff's situation you can't have somebody like that in a place of authority where it's his job to arrest people. If he's already prejudiced against a certain race or religion then he's not gonna be able to perform his job in a non biased way effectively.

SOoo in other words this guy has to go....

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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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I agree with FL that my primary reason for wanting this guy to go was that he was in a position in which his opinion could have a direct impact on his ability to do his job, namely, enforce the law in a fair and equitable way. He is entitled to his opinion, and I dare say he probably holds it even tighter today, but he is not entitled to use that opinion to shape how he enforces the law.

He is not being told that he can go to jail for his thoughts, nor that he can't even express them, just that having and voicing those thoughts and opinions can and will have ramifications. I have very strong thoughts about where I work but I only express them to a very select few friends because for the time being, I need my job.

It's really great to be back on here. Thanks A for the re-invite. Will try to become regular again. A lot has happened.

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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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Well, I am glad to see everyone, hopefully, I can get at least our core back talking about some of these things...I appreciate the way you guys help me to understand and see the world, as long as I can pay the bills here I hope that never changes, even if we all are back and forth...

Glad to see both of you, look forwards to expanding and talking about this and other topics..!

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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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Über wrote:Well I be damned...Not only am I glad to see you HL65 (Holy Shit!), we may actually be about to have a discussion. One more person (I'm talking especially to Buffmaster :p) and we'll have a party...Seriously, glad to see you HL65, long absences worry me...Hope all has been well..! I missed you man...
Good to be here! Real life has been busy. My last job had us jumping through hoops to move to Utah and then laid me off just before the move. It's all good though. I got a better job that pays more than the bonus I would have gotten to move, and I get to work from home. .......Enough about me though.
Über wrote:For the sake of argument, HL65, and I mean this in a purely hypothetical situation...Would you feel the same way if I said, "I like going to the public pool and watching little white girls asses in their swimsuits?" If I were anyone, let alone an elected official...
I would not feel any different. I don't have to like what you say or your opinions. I also have the right to not be your friend, not support you by buying your products (or sponsored products), not elect you to an office, and I can voice my opinions against you. WITHOUT fear of going to jail or being put into financial ruin.
Über wrote:Why do you feel it's wrong to punish people in a public way for an opinion? Shouldn't we as a society have some sort of social boundaries? Do we want kids growing up thinking they can say what they want, just because it's their opinion and it's not breaking any laws? Should I just be allowed to say, "My goodness, you have amazingly huge buck teeth," point and laugh and not have someone say, "Hey man, that's not cool," etc?
Our constitution gives us the right to have unpopular opinions. It also gives us the right to say, "Hey man, that's not cool." The problem here is that the media isn't just reporting what is happening, they are leading the public to take actions that provide more media to report for their own benefit. If you said, "That African American gentleman was quite unpleasant." but the media reported that they had a source who overheard, from a distance, you saying, "That N....... is an asshole like the rest of them." Their version will get more air time than your rebuttal of what was really said. And, if that incorrect negative publicity lost you your income and future prospects of income, where would you stand on this issue then?

I know! That is not what happened here this guy admitted to saying what he did, however, that distinction does not change the fact we are a nation of laws. If we allow mob rule instead of rule by laws, we are all doomed. If this guy did not break any laws, and he did not break any conditions of his employment contract (which he may have done) then he can't be punished by being forced to resign.

I want my children to be able to voice their opinions, but I try to make them understand that there are boundaries to HOW they express them. Social media is a great outlet for the individual to have unpopular opinions. You'll get comments and dislikes and other things, and some people thrive on that kind of attention. What I have tried to teach my children is that they should write, post, and speak in a way that expresses their personality in a way they want the world to see them.

At one point I posted on my own FB, "Why do all my children's posts make me want to beat them with the keyboard?" So, you see my lessons don't always sink in.

Note: He is not a police officer that can arrest people, he is a police commissioner elected to a desk job to push paper. He is a decision maker in the county, but only for 'do we buy more copy paper or save for a new patrol car'.

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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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darklighter1 wrote:Definitely a slippery slope we're moving down as we start punishing people for saying words as opposed to actions but in this Sheriff's situation you can't have somebody like that in a place of authority where it's his job to arrest people. If he's already prejudiced against a certain race or religion then he's not gonna be able to perform his job in a non biased way effectively.

SOoo in other words this guy has to go....
I'm not sad this guy is gone, but we as a country don't have guidelines in place to control when it's ok and when it isn't. I would think that he broke the conditions of his elected position and as such, can legally be removed from office. But, that is not what was reported. What got reported was in essence, "He said something unpopular so everyone got mad and made him quit his job." What may have actually happened was, "He said something that broke the conditions of his employment to the elected office and was let go by the county."

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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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I think that what we have here, is a popular story piggy backing off of another, which is Clippers owner Donald Sterling having a privately taped conversation haul off and get him fined and banned in the NBA...

There have been a ton of comments and rhetoric spawned from it...Most notable is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban using what is best described as an offbeat analogy to address rational fears he believes most people have...

What I, as a black man, feel is the issue are the underlying factors...If you stand up and say things that are just short of racist, you shouldn't be given a pass. When a black person does something in the public eye, more often than not, he is excoriated.

What Mark Cuban said in his analogy is pretty much what we're talking about...I'm more afraid of Bernie Madoff than I am of a guy in a hoodie or a white guy with tats...But...If all it takes for you to cross the street is a guy wearing a hoodie, doesn't that need to be examined..?

When you say something unpopular, there's probably a good reason for it...If you make inappropriate jokes or comments, you should be held accountable...

As with Sterling, nobody is trying to get this guy to go to jail, just GTFO of here with that mentality, outright or subversively...

There is a quote near the end of the article that highlights this perfectly:

"When you're held in office, and you decide to become an elected official, you represent something higher than your own standards and your own things, and you need to stand up for the community in which you serve."

So, whether he made everyone mad or whatever, that remains true. This guy just looking at him, is at least 100 years old...When he reaches back and drops an N bomb, and then has the audacity to justify it, society is supposed to tear a new one...

We have no strict standards in place, but we have to police words now more than ever...

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Re: Police Resigns Over Obama Racial Slur

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Über wrote:We have no strict standards in place, but we have to police words now more than ever...
Why? Why now More than ever?

Words should have been policed better in the 60's and 70's when racism ran rampant. Racism still runs rampant and it angers me no less when it comes from an ethnic group other than white. This guy is an ass, no argument! I would tell him that to his face. But, his comments are no less offensive than the term "Black Pride" or "Puerto Rican Pride". Would the term "White Pride" be acceptable? No!! I am offended by all of those terms. Racism is racism regardless of the race using it. However, this discussion isn't actually about racism it's about our freedoms being slowly chipped away.

Words are not policed unless they can be used to make someone money! Sterling is a big figure that people know and want to know about. (I was trying to keep his name out of the conversation so we didn't take left turn) This guy is a bureaucrat sitting at a desk and is pushing 100 years old, but the local headline stated "Police." That was intentional on the part of the media to sway the public back to the images of the LA beating and other similar incidents. (and it worked. Proved by those here that thought this guy would be arresting people.) Could you see this guy giving a beating to anyone? No. But it got air play, it got ratings, it got your attention, it sold advertising.

My original point was not if this guy should or should not be ousted. It was about us as individuals not standing by and letting our freedoms by taken away in little pieces. Here is how this works:
  • 1. An incident happens.
    2. The media hypes it up and only gives the information that will spark the most interest.
    3. People get into an uproar over misinformation.
    4. Politicians use the public opinion to gain support and say, "We cant let that happen. I'll do something about it."
    5. Then they make a bill.
    6. The bill becomes a law that now limits our freedom of speech.
    7. It takes a LOT of money to take a law suit to the supreme court and get the law over turned.
That is the danger I am talking about.

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