Michigan GOP Official Refuses To Resign While Continuing To Publicly Use N-Word

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Leelanau County Road Commissioner Tom Eckerle has defended his use of the word, saying it "is not racism."

According to The Hill, a Republican official in Leelanau County, Michigan, has rejected calls for his resignation after he used the N-word at a public meeting this week and has continued publicly using the racist slur.

  • Leelanau County Road Commissioner Tom Eckerle used the racist term after being asked at a meeting why he was not wearing a mask during the pandemic.
  • He responded: “Well, this whole thing is because of them n-----s in Detroit.”
  • Upon being rebuked by Road Commission Chairman Bob Joyce, Eckerle accused the Black Lives Matter Movement of “taking the country away from us,” The Hill reported.

“I can say anything that I want. Black Lives Matter has everything to do with taking the country away from us,” Eckerle said.

  • Joyce told the Leelanau Enterprise newspaper that "there's just no room for that kind of language here,” adding that he “won't tolerate any kind of racism in our meeting room or in our organization.”
  • But Eckerle only doubled-down on his use of the slur during an interview with Interlochen Public Radio, telling the station that it “is not racism” to use the N-word.

"I don’t regret calling it an n----r,” Eckerle told Interlochen Public Radio. “A n----r is a n----r is a n----r. That’s not a person whatsoever.”

  • State Rep. Jack O’Malley (R), who represents the county where Eckerle was elected, said on Thursday that he had spoken with Eckerle and asked him to resign his post.

“He confirmed to me he did use the racist slur. After some discussion I asked Mr. Eckerle to resign. He refused,” O’Malley said in a statement on Facebook.

Because Eckerle is an elected official and not a county employee, there is not much that can be done to discipline him, Leelanau County administrator Chet Janik, told Up North Live.

Eckerle is two years into a six-year term that began in 2018.

Read the full report.


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