David Kelly, Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2009
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.
“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.
[Editor’s Note: Hear the statement that got Ray Musser in trouble here.]