SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — A former Griffin elected official is trying to explain why he used a racial slur at a city commission meeting.
Video of the incident posted to YouTube is sparking outrage from a current commissioner and on social media.
Former Griffin city commissioner Larry Johnson was speaking during public comment at last week’s commission meeting. That’s when Johnson is seen and heard using the “N word” to describe his hometown.
"I told you at that time that there were white folks and black folks when I was growing up," Johnson said. "There was white trash, my family, and there was 'N-town.' I lived next to 'N-town.'"
Johnson said he was upset over commissioner Robert McCord’s vocal objection to a Confederate History Month proclamation.
McCord talked to Channel 2's Richard Elliot about it and wished the city commission had moved quicker to silence Johnson.
The mayor said that he was so stunned by Johnson’s comments that he wasn’t sure what to do, but did warn him against using that word again.
Johnson Tuesday released a statement insisting he is not a racist.
“I was trying to make a point about a time in my life when I was five years old playing with other kids about that age; black and white kids not yet touched by cruelties in the world. In doing so, I used words familiar back then, but I did not get a chance to say we no longer use those words today, and the world is a better place."
McCord believes there’s simply no place for that word in city commission meetings.
“I don’t think our community would stand for anything like that. We have come so far as a community; we’ve got so many positive things going on,” McCord said.
Johnson continued to express his support for the Confederate History month proclamation but did apologize to anyone offended by his words.
Cox Media Group