Even amid calls for his resignation, an official in Pine Bluff, Ark., is refusing to step down after continually misspelling a black resident’s name, apparently to play on a racial slur in a Facebook argument, Raw Story reports.
According to the report, the Pine Bluff City Council passed a 7-0 no-confidence vote asking Alderman Bill Brumett, who was absent, to resign. However, Brumett, the only white member of the council, has refused, saying that he has already apologized.
“I’ve apologized to everybody, and it doesn’t seem like anybody wants to say that’s enough and let’s move on,” he said, according to Raw Story.
During a public-access Facebook forum, Brumett acknowledged that he became argumentative with one of the locals, a black resident named J.C. Cunningham. The alderman also acknowledged that out of frustration he purposely misspelled Cunningham’s name as “Cooningham,” although he said that it was meant to be “Cuuningham.”
Brumett released a written statement saying that he did not mean to use the slur and apologized to Cunningham on the forum, as well as through a separate message.
A local councilman, however, was not forgiving.
“He stated that it was a mistyping on the computer, but those letters are nowhere near each other,” Councilman George Stepps insisted, claiming that this was not the first time Brumett had done something like this.
Jack Foster, a former alderman, organized a protest outside City Hall hours before the meeting to call for Brumett’s resignation. Dozens gathered at the protest, vowing to organize a recall if he did not resign, the site notes. Foster said that Brumett was a “bigot who wants to see white supremacy continue in Pine Bluff,” Raw Story reports.
However, the controversial alderman has his supporters. An “I Stand with Bill Brumett” Facebook group gained more than 1,000 members in a day. The group’s administrator claimed on the page that “we all stand beside and behind him. Let us all pray that this mess blows over and Mr. Bill can continue to make positive happen for his beloved city!”
As for Cunningham, he has publicly stated that he will not accept the apology. “I cannot imagine sitting at a computer and typing a form of someone’s last name and using a racial slur without realizing it,” he wrote in a statement. “The insertion of such words would be automatically clear to me. Mr. Brumett should have been keenly aware that more than a misspelling had occurred in his sentence.”
Read more at Raw Story.