Upland Councilman Apologizes for Inauguration Remarks

David Kelly, Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2009

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Councilman Ray Musser [of Upland], 73, said he was sorry for statements he made at Monday’s council meeting when describing his experience at the inauguration of President Obama.

“There was [sic] a lot of nonwhites in the crowd, well-behaved, and that was so gratifying,” he said at the meeting.

The remark caused an outcry, exacerbated when a local newspaper quoted Musser as referring to “colored” people. The council then scheduled the special meeting to demand his resignation.

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“I want to reiterate my sincere apology to anyone who was offended by my choice of words describing the mass of Americans and world leaders” at the inauguration, Musser said in a statement. “My heart was touched by the inauguration, and I was proud to witness history.”

Pomierski [Mayor John Pomierski, a political rival] said he decided to call off the special session before events spiraled out of control.

He said Musser, who has been on the council 10 years, was not a racist but a man from a different era.

{snip}

[Editor’s Note: Hear the statement that got Ray Musser in trouble here.]

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