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Civil Rights Leaders Take Action After Anne Arundel Councilman Uses Racial Slur

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Monique Griego 370x278 Monique Griego
Monique Griego joined the WJZ News Team in July 2011 as a General...
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ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—Backlash after an Anne Arundel County councilman uses a racial slur during an open meeting.

Monique Griego has more on who is now taking notice.

It’s a four letter word you wouldn’t expect hear coming from a public official’s mouth. But last Thursday, Anne Arundel County Councilman Dick Ladd used the word during an open council meeting.

The word the councilman used is too offensive for WJZ to say on air.  But according to Merriam Webster, the term is slang for: “a non-white or non-American person; specifically Asian.”

“When people use language that is offensive to any minority group we all should be outraged by it,” said civil rights leader Carl Snowden.

Snowden believes Ladd is encouraging an environment of racial insensitivity.

Ladd made the comment while interviewing a candidate for an empty council seat. Ladd was talking about his time serving in Vietnam and used the term to describe his enemies in combat, saying: “It’s steal pots, flap jackets and web gear because we thought the g***s were coming across the perimeter.”

Witnesses say the comment drew gasps from the crowd.

“I knew I needed, decided I need to apologize if I offended anybody, and it was not offered in any sense to be derogatory or impugn anybody,” Ladd said.

Ladd told WJZ the word was commonly used by military in Vietnam and Korea to describe enemy soldiers.  But said he wouldn’t use the term again today.

Still, for some, that’s not good enough.

“That’s the kind of conduct that no elected official should be engaged in,” Snowden said.

Snowden says the use of the slur highlights the need for diversity on the council itself.

Snowden is inviting the public to show up at Tuesday’s council meeting to encourage the council to choose diversity when picking a candidate to fill the open seat.

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