Copeland

Best of 2014 - How We Talk About Race In N.H.

Dec 30, 2014
Sean Hurley / NHPR

This spring, after racist remarks by Los Angeles Clippers Owner Donald Sterling and Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland, outrage dominated national headlines. Now, after events in Ferguson and New York City, race relations seem more fraught than ever, but a call for a more honest conversation about race still resonates.

This program originally aired on June 5, 2014.

GUESTS:

Sean Hurley

Although Police Commissioner Robert Copeland submitted a letter of resignation earlier today, the people of Wolfeboro worry about the possible long-term impact the racial controversy could have on their town. NHPR's Sean Hurley spoke with residents over the weekend, before Copeland’s resignation and looks more closely at what led to today’s events.

On Sunday Joanne Parise sat on the shore of Wolfeboro Bay.  On nearby Main Street, families lined up for ice cream, gazed in shop windows, and consulted maps and guidebooks.  The summer tourist season has already begun. 

The iconic sign welcoming visitors to Wolfeboro, NH
Goldeneye / Flickr Creative Commons

Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland has resigned, according to the town police department. 

This move follows days of controversy after reports last week that he publicly used a racial slur to describe President Obama.  Copeland admitted to using the term when a resident sent him an email complaint, writing back, “For this I do not apologize—he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”

Tim Golden / Flickr Creative Commons

The Wolfeboro Board of Selectmen and Town Manager have posted a statement on the town's website condemning comments by local Police Commissioner Robert Copeland, and asking him to resign.   This comes after news reports earlier this week detailed racist comments by Copeland.