Saline County, Kansas Republican Commissioner Jim Gile (pictured) reportedly used the term “ni**er-rigging” in a heated meeting on April 2 with colleagues about whether to hire an architect for a building repair.
Now he is resisting calls for his resignation after the racial slur, according to the Gawker.
Gile, who is in his first term of office, was recorded as he sat in a study session when he used the offensive term. He was stressing the rural county’s need for the architect to design improvements to the county’s Road and Bridge Department building rather than “ni**er rigging it.”
His comment made others in attendance burst out in laughter. When one of the attendees asked Gile to repeat what he had said, the 68-year-old changed his wording and responded, “Afro-Americanized.”
When the media to him to task over the comment, he publicly apologized last Friday stating that he actually meant to use the term “jury-rigged.”
“I had it (jury-rigged) on my brain and this came out,” Gile said. “It was a bad choice of words. I’m sorry,” he told the Salina Journal. He went on to state that the incendiary term was one that was popularly used when he was growing up.
In his apology, Gile went on to state, “I am not a prejudiced person. “I have built Habitat homes for colored people.”
But wait, the bumbling apology gets better!
The recipient of the 2009 Salina award for “Outstanding Citizen” went on to reveal how he has a Black friend “whom he regards as a sister.”
County and state Democrats are questioning whether Gile should continue in office.
Reached for comment by the Huffington Post, State Rep. J.R. Claeys, a Republican who represents Salina (Saline County’s county seat), referred to the county government as “dysfunctional,” reprimanding its Commissioners for backing up the use of such an obviously discriminatory term:
“I think every citizen in our county should take a long, hard look at every individual in that room who allowed those comments to slide without immediately correcting and repudiating, not one, but multiple comments that are absolutely unacceptable in private, let alone a public meeting,” Claeys told Huffington Post. “This speaks to a systemic problem with the makeup and operation of county government that is already viewed as a good ol’ boys club and needs to be dismantled by the people in such a way that it can no longer operate in this manner.”