Thursday, 23 April 2015

Requiem For A Community Garden, Pt. 2

posted on 4/23/2015 by the Salt City Sinner

I suppose that you can look at the history of Sugar House Community Garden (or “Lettuce Bee Community Garden” – but I'll get to that in a moment) as a three-part story, structured in a manner familiar to anyone who has studied your average ancient empire; birth and rise, followed by a period of flourishing, followed by decline and/or death.

Unlike your average ancient empire, SHCG left little behind in its aftermath. Instead of a gargantuan toppled statue in the desert ironically inviting travelers to “look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair,” our garden left behind the same pathetic fenced-in patch of nothing that we briefly brought to glorious life.

Before Wasatch Community Gardens

After Wasatch Community Gardens

This was not our design or our preference, mind you, but the design and preference of Wasatch Community Gardens.

Wasatch Community Gardens is a not-for-profit organization based in Salt Lake City that has operated up and down the Wasatch front since 1989. WCG provides workshops and garden training, and operates a two-tiered system of community gardens, one tier of actual WCG community gardens, and another of community gardens that are part of the WCG “network.” Just like beloved Salt Lake City corporation Rocky Mountain Power, WCG operates a sort of quasi-state-backed municipal monopoly, only over community gardens rather than delicious electrons.

Out of all the public community gardens in Salt Lake City, the vast, vast majority are either operated as WCG gardens outright or are part of WCG's “network.” Many of us considered it exciting news, then, when it was announced that Sugar House Community Garden would finally be brought into the Wasatch fold – rather than operating in a perpetual state of uncertainty, this would give us backing that (we thought) would ensure the long-term survival of our project and protect us from the whims of Sugar House developers eager to snap up property along the brand-new S-Line trolley.

It would make for a better story to say that things started off great with Wasatch and then went downhill, but honestly things were pretty awful from the get-go. Communication between SHCG and WCG only flowed in one direction, with Wasatch telling us what rules we would have to obey while disregarding any input or advice from us. There was absolutely no attempt to draw on our experience running our own affairs for two years (and doing so quite well, thank you).

Aggravating this tendency, the handler assigned to Sugar House from Wasatch was a young woman (let's call her “J”) who, as unbelievable as this sounds, was a first-time gardener working on her first bed. Meanwhile, seated on the other side of the metaphorical table from J were a half-dozen leaders from our garden, the majority of them certified master gardeners, with a century or more of gardening experience among them. Not only that, many of us gardeners had experience in public relations, the non-profit sector, or team management, all skills that J was “bringing to the table” as though we were incapable of taking care of even the most basic issues related to our garden ourselves.

Things got even worse as people began to push back against this heavy-handed, poorly thought-out, and sanctimonious approach to what we still foolishly viewed as “our” group. A kick-off meeting almost broke out in open mutiny when it was revealed that one of Wasatch's new rules was (and, although it sounds like one, this isn't a joke) a gag order banning public criticism of Wasatch Community Gardens.

A charitable way to put it would be to say that this did not go over well. At the end of the meeting we voted for a name for what we had previously called Sugar House Community Garden, and we collectively decided on “Lettuce Bee” community garden, which is as close to a robustly scatalogical obscene gesture in the general direction of Wasatch as a group of largely older, largely docile gardeners is likely to get.

The real screw-job from WCG followed.

As I mentioned in Part One of this post ( here ), water was a thorny issue at “Lettuce Bee,” and up until Wasatch was involved we used an ad hoc irrigation system we'd developed that drew on the stream bordering our garden site. When we signed on with Wasatch, it was widely assumed that we would be upgrading our irrigation to use culinary water from the city – indeed, this was what Wasatch promised us. Instead, they barred us from using creek irrigation until they got the culinary water situation sorted out.

Days stretched into weeks, which stretched into months, as WCG hemmed and hawed and deflected responsibility. Some of us just held off on planting while others – including many gardeners who are seniors – resorted to hauling jugs of water out of the creek by hand. Some gardeners desperately tried to keep their seedlings and sprouts wet as spring teetered on the brink of early summer, while the more cynical among us quietly began calculating the odds that Wasatch was gearing up to forsake us completely. WCG did not disappoint: or rather disappointed completely: hey not only bailed on their commitments to our garden, but announced (via impersonal email) that they were shutting us down completely. We were given a period of time in which to not only remove all of our equipment and plants from the site, but to remove all raised beds and dirt as well.

Within a week or two, every trace that we had made the concrete desert of Fairmont's old tennis courts blossom was gone.

Before Wasatch Community Gardens

After Wasatch Community Gardens

What exactly happened to make WCG bring the hammer down? One former gardener speculated in an email to me:

When the word of the garden's demise finally came down the reasoning was false and stupid. Who  knows? Did we piss off the WCG leadership, with their upscale garden tools, their good manners and Junior League haircuts? Probably. We were a bunch of independent, some say anarchist, men and women, diverse, opinionated, and not about to be told that our proven methods were not good enough. Could it have been that [Salt Lake Mayor Ralph] Becker promised the land to a developer all along?  Possible. What is clear is that the land has been vacant ever since. Growing seasons go by -- seasons in which literally thousands of pounds of vegetables could have been grown again, for personal consumption and for donation to charity.  

Much like Batman's nemesis the Joker, our motto here at Salt City Sinner is “always leave 'em smiling,” so here is a happy postscript to this story.

A group of about a half-dozen former SHCG gardeners, including myself, hitched our little green wagon to Saint Mark's Millcreek, an apartment building that houses low-income seniors, and that SHCG had previously been donating our surplus produce to. Through the donation of our beds from SHCG (and, this year, the addition of four more)...

...we now have six beds at St. Mark's that provide a beautiful outdoor space for the seniors as well as a season-long supply of fresh produce for them to share.

I suppose it goes to show that nothing – not even a well-established, well-respected, and well-funded but essentially evil organization like Wasatch Community Gardens – can crush the spirit or generosity of a gardening community.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Evangelical Fetish For Judaism

posted on 4/19/2015 by the Salt City Sinner 

The drunk pack of sports fans at the football game do it when they don “war paint” and headdresses and cheer for the crude, stereotypical “Indian” that is their team's mascot. That insufferable white college freshman does it when he shows up for class inexplicably clad in a dashiki. It's called cultural appropriation, and it's one of the favored pastimes of dominant groups in this, the poisoned fever dream of late-stage capitalism.

Wikipedia has a pretty good working definition of the phenomenon, which it describes as “the adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different cultural group, especially if the adoption is without the consent of the originating culture, and when the appropriating group has historically oppressed members of the originating culture. ”

This brings us to the modern Evangelical yen for Judaism, and the related (in a limited sense) topic of Messianic Judaism.

Now, this post is specifically about the Evangelical relationship with some Messianic Jews and with Judaism in general, more than about Messianic Judaism itself. Messianic Judaism has a long, complicated history, beginning with the very first Christians (who, like Jesus himself, were Jewish). Attempts to convert Jews to Christianity started in earnest with the Apostle Paul in the first century, but for the most part such attempts were characterized more by the use of force and State power than by eloquent appeals to theology. The modern 'Messianic Judiasm' movement dates back to (and takes it name from) Evangelical efforts in New York City in the late 19th century.

So what, exactly, is a 'Messianic Jew?” Ever heard of the "Jews for Jesus/” Same thing, basically – a formerly Jewish individual who decides that Jesus is the Messiah.. There is a strong argument to be made that once one converts to Christianity one ceases to be a Jew, 'Messianic,' 'for Jesus' or otherwise. Of course, anyone is welcome to convert to or from any ideology they please (ideas, unlike, say, sexual orientation or skin color, are eminently mutable), and splitting JWHW's snowy white hairs on the matter is really up to the theologians to chase into the weeds.

As a subset of conservative Evangelical cultural and political views, their approach to Judaism has undergone a rapid sea change. It wasn't so long ago that many Christian denominations (including Evangelicals) literally held Jews responsible for the death of Jesus. Now, aside from some wackos rattling around the comments section of WND and your average InfoWars anti-Semite, Evangelicals are trending much more steadily toward philo-Semitism (or as it's more sexily known, Judeophilia).

This is where cultural appropriation comes in; from celebrating Passover to blowing the shofar, Evangelicals are cosplaying as Jewish as an "exotic" way to "get in touch with the roots of their faith." Thus far, as in many cases of appropriation, the love affair appears to be decidedly one-sided. From Pew Research:

Michael Schulson from Religion News Service puts those numbers in context:

According to a new survey, white evangelical Christians feel a lot of warmth toward Jews. As for Jews, they feel colder toward evangelical Christians than they do about any other religious group. … 
The real issue here is not that evangelicals don’t love Jews enough. It’s that certain evangelical communities sometimes love Jews way, way too much — or, more accurately, love an image of what they believe Jews to be. 
Seeking a return to pre-Christian roots, churches hold Passover seders and blow shofars during services. Evangelical support for Israel is legendary. Liberty University, the evangelical school in Lynchburg, Va., even has a Judaic studies program that, as its director told the Liberty student newspaper, “tries to communicate to the Liberty community that we as Christians owe a debt of gratitude to the Jewish people.” … 
More often than not, though, evangelical upwelling of philo-Semitism seems to have little to do with actual Jewish people, and more to do with Jewishness as an abstract theological concept. A lot of evangelical support for Israel, for example, grows out of certain strains of dispensationalist theology, in which the Jews’ return to Israel is seen as a prerequisite for the Second Coming. 

As Schulson notes, this Evangelical philo-Semitism, especially as it concerns the country of Israel, is not just staying within the confines of your local megachurch; it's spilling into politics in the United States. It's now unremarkable for Republican politicians to sport this nifty dual flag pin:

...which is part of the conservative “I Stand With Israel” movement.

I have about as high an opinion of loyalty to any nation as I do of sex with a tree stump, unless the tree stump manages to consent somehow, in which case I have a higher opinion of the stump-lovin', but I sometimes like to amuse myself by imagining what the conservative Republican reaction would be if any politician, of any stripe, wore another country's flag as part of the same standard-issue American flag pin that all politicians must now by law wear. I believe the words “treason” and “hanging” would come up fairly quickly. However, when the country in question is Israel instead of, say, France or Mexico, the conservative political love-fest gets a little less monogamous and a little more “Big Love.”

Maybe the Evangelical taste for all things Jewish (except, of course, for questioning whether “Yeshua” is the Messiah) is a passing fad, and maybe not. One thing is certain: even issues that are somewhat interesting from an academic or theological standpoint become depressing and awful when dragged into the hellish light of American politics.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Sexism, Nostalgia, and Hillary Clinton

posted on 4/15/15 by the Salt City Sinner

Due to the total lack of media coverage, you probably haven't heard that, over the weekend, former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally announced that she is running for the presidency.

To celebrate this completely shocking and unforeseen development, I'd like to take the opportunity to address two points regarding Hillary Clinton: first, the question of Clinton and sexism (in the media and elsewhere), and second, the phenomenon of “Clinton nostalgia.”

Never think for one second that sexism isn't a factor in opposition to Hillary Clinton's campaign. The Christian Right has been especially egregious in this department. The examples are so numerous they deserve their own post at this point, but as a representative sample enjoy this, via the Huffington Post:

A female CEO in Texas has come under fire this week for saying a woman “shouldn’t be president” because of “different hormones” and “biblical sound reasoning.” 
Cheryl Rios, CEO of Dallas marketing and public relations firm Go Ape Marketing, wrote on Facebook that she’d move “to Canada” if Hillary Clinton became head of state. 
“With the hormones we have, there is no way [a woman] should be able to start a war,” she wrote in her post, per KTVT. “Yes I run my own business and I love it and I am great at it BUT that is not the same as being the President, that should be left to a man, a good, strong, honorable man.” 
Rios said she supports “equal rights,” but stressed that “there’s an old biblical sound reasoning why a woman shouldn’t be president,” according to the station. Rios, however, did not cite a particular biblical verse to support her view. [I love that last sentence so much that it's difficult to convey. -Ed.
Now, keeping that caveat (and it's a big one) in mind, there's an unfortunate tendency among Clinton die-hards to chalk up any and all criticism of Clinton to simple sexism. A friend of mine went so far as to say that people (like myself) who have stated that they simply will not vote for her, full stop, are sexists because any other candidate would be met by shrugs and “lesser of two evils” justifications .

I responded to this by saying that if that was the case, it was exceptionally odd that the preferred candidate of most sexist, anti-Clinton lefties is Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Melissa Harris-Perry (from the Nation and MSNBC) made a similar ridiculous claim about liberal opposition to some components of President Obama's policies in 2011. Her thesis? That many policies that Obama was criticized for were similar or identical to policies that Bill Clinton put forth. The problem with that is, of course, that lefty progressives -- and I was one at the time, instead of a "burn the whole fucking system and salt the ashes" anarchist like I am today -- were incredibly critical of Bill Clinton's policies as well as Obama's (if you'd like a longer treatment of Harris-Perry's claim, my original post on the topic is right here).

Just like Harris-Perry's claims, the claims of some of Hillary Clinton's backers that criticism of Clinton's Wall-Street-friendly, hawkish “centrist” Democrat stances are automatically fueled by sexism are silly when you look at actual examples of sexist treatment of Clinton.

 (For the record, the most frequent and flagrant sexism I've noticed in the media's treatment of Clinton is the frequent use of “Mrs. Clinton” in referring to her, rather than “Senator Clinton” or “Secretary Clinton,” which are both more appropriate prefixes, both stylistically and out of respect.)

Another strange trope I've observed regarding Hillary Clinton is “Clinton nostalgia,” or a yearning for the good old days of the first Clinton Administration, a phenomenon that is especially pronounced among Baby Boomers. I'm well aware that Americans have horrifyingly short memories when it comes to politics, but allow me to point out a few things about those golden, sun-drenched years.

It was Bill Clinton who helped to ruin politics in the US in the 1990s at least as badly as the Republicans did: the GOP by drifting further and further right, and Clinton by moving so far right of the liberal Democrat model (call his approach the Democratic Leadership Counsel / "centrist Democrat" thing if you like) that there is little to no meaningful opposition to said rightward drift.

Obama has governed a lot like Bill Clinton in many ways. Most of his stances (a hawkish foreign policy, health care reform that was invented by the conservative Heritage Foundation and first tried out at a state level by Mitt Romney, etc. etc.), when looked at objectively rather than through the murky lens of Tea Party gibberish, sound much, much more like Ronald Reagan's than FDR's or Carter's, not that either of those fellows were saints. Clinton was the creator of "Don'at Ask, Don't Tell;" Obama was anti-gay marriage until he was forced to support it by his Democratic base and changing poll numbers.

Is Hillary a better choice than any of the GOP candidates currently running or likely to run?

That's a stupid question – of course she is -- and none of her critics, including me, are saying otherwise. The problem is that conservative Democrats like Clinton, by using that argument to get votes, box out any meaningful opposition to the rightward tumble of American politics. This tired, familiar “lesser of two evils” shtick is the attitude that allowed Bill Clinton to oversee the repeal of Glass-Steagall ("The Glass-Steagall law is no longer appropriate" were his exact words in 1999) which caused in no small part the 2008 financial crisis.

These games of political triangulation have real consequences for real people. Playing to the right of the middle and being slightly less awful than Republicans allowed Bill Clinton to throw tens to hundreds of thousands of single mothers off of public assistance through welfare "reform." It's the same phenomenon that allowed President Obama to continue the TARP and bailout programs that George W. Bush started, and it's worth remembering that Obama's Justice Department made sure that not a single upper management Wall Street asshole saw the inside of a jail cell after the dust of the financial crisis had settled.

Clinton nostalgia is the basis of a conservative Democratic tendency that pretty much ensures that the US will continue to drift further and further into batshit crazy conservative country. Speaking strictly as a political junkie and observer who plans on writing in a vote for a Bruce Wayne / Dick Grayson ticket in 2016, I think the question liberal Democrats should be asking themselves is this: was the Clinton administration actually good for liberals?

And if not, why are they lining up for round two?

Thursday, 9 April 2015

In Which I Take The “Christian Terrorism” Challenge

posted on 4/9/2015 by the Salt City Sinner

Joseph Farah, the Grand Wizard of Christian white nationalist web tabloid WND, is many things.

A braggart, a hypocritical and paranoid conspiracy theorist, a self-proclaimed prophet, a “former left-wing radical,” take your pick. Like many on the left and the right, he also fails what a friend of mine calls “the ideological Turing test,” which said friend describes as a measure of the ability of a person to accurately describe the arguments and stances of someone they strongly disagree with on their opponent's terms.

There's something about Farah I haven't figured out. He turns a tidy profit at WND through a publishing imprint, a magazine, DVDs (mostly Christian end-times gobbledegook), advertising at (mostly survivalist supplies and assorted weirdness), a truly impressive email list, which he regularly rents to the Republican Party for outreach purposes, and now even an end-times oriented 'Holy Land Cruise.'

All of this entrepreneurial cunning makes it hard for me to conclude that he's just nuts, which begs the question: is Big Joe Farah a fucking lunatic, a completely shameless liar, stupid, or some combination thereof?

For example, in a February 20th column entited “About Those Dreaded Bible Terrorists...” Farah writes:

Can I ask a simple question? Can Biden or Obama or anyone who pushed this moral equivalency pabulum name one instance of Bible-inspired terrorism? Just one, please...It’s one thing to point out instances of terrorist violence that are actually occurring in association with a specific religious belief. It is another to make them up in association with another religious belief.

I'll admit, Joe, you've got me there.

I can't name “a single” instance of Christian terrorism. I can name between dozens and hundreds related to women's reproductive health alone:

In the U.S., violence directed towards abortion providers has killed at least eight people, including four doctors, two clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort. .. According to statistics gathered by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an organization of abortion providers, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers. 
A bombing in Birmingham, AL on 1/20/98 that killed one police officer and one nurse

But surely Big Joe would protest that the perpetrators of these acts are Not Real Christians ™, right? After all, every third article in the 'Faith' section of WND is a diatribe about how some sect or another within Christianity has committed apostasy (Farah himself condemned the Presbyterian Church USA in a 2014 column, amusingly calling them “an apostate church from Hell,” which may be the sickest burn the 17th century has ever seen).

the results of an arson fire at a clinic in Pensacola, FL, set on 1/1/2012

Well, the problem with that is that Farah's WND Books imprint announced triumphantly last year that it would publish Abortion Freewhich is described thusly:

In Abortion Free, [Troy] Newman and [Cheryl] Sullenger, founders of the prolife group Operation Rescue, share their more than fifty years combined experience in shuttering dirty, life-threatening clinics, including the story of how they peacefully shut down the clinic of Kansas’s notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller. 
What's notable about this?

Well, first of all, mentioning Dr. George Tiller in the bona fides of a pair of pro-life authors is a little messed up, given that Dr. Tiller was murdered while attending church in 2009 by Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion zealot associated with the 'Army of God,' which is...wait for anti-abortion Christian terrorist organization!

Second of all, Cheryl Sullenger, in addition to being a much-hyped WND author, is a convicted felon who pled guilty in 1988 to conspiring with her husband to bomb an abortion clinic and served two years in federal prison.

Perhaps more disturbing, regarding the aforementioned murderer Scott Roeder?
In 2009, [Sullenger] drew attention following the trial of Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist indicted for the murder of Dr. George Tiller of Wichita. Sullenger initially denied any contact with Roeder, but when her phone number was discovered on the dashboard of his car, she subsequently stated that she had kept him informed regarding Tiller's scheduled court dates. 
 So, in summary, Farah, not only can I name one instance of Christian (or, in your dipshit phrasing, “Bible-based”) terrorism – I can name a Christian terrorist whose book your awful fucking website is pimping!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Requiem For A Community Garden, Pt. 1

posted on 4/7/2015 by the Salt City Sinner

The first time that I saw the future site of Sugar House Community Garden, I'll freely admit that I failed to see the potential. I had headed to Fairmont Park in Sugar House with my mom's little dog Charley to pay a visit to the ducks (Charley loves waterfowl). There, rotting in the spring sunlight right next to the park, was a large, fenced-in sheet of concrete, formerly tennis courts but now little more than a blighted, crumbing weed preserve.

For a while in 2011, I took Charley to Fairmont a few times a week, and so it came to pass that I was ambling past the abandoned courts on the morning that something extraordinary took root.  I recognized at once the skeletal outlines of raised garden beds in the making.

I walked Charley over to the festivities and offered to pitch in, which officially began my involvement with Sugar House Community Garden. has a little background on the genesis of the project:
Until recently, the only thing growing in the abandoned tennis courts in Sugar House were weeds of neglect. But thanks to the nurturing care of Aimee Horman, Heidi Spence, Tamerin Smith and Mark Morris, The Sugar House Community Gardens have grown into a positive force for the neighborhoods around 2225 South and 900 East... The city has already started looking at other abandoned lots to do similar projects if this one is a success. The end-of-the-year produce exchange will give the community a chance to share in the fruits and vegetables of their labor.

For the next two years, I had a plot at SHCG, which I tended to with a fierce love, as it was the first garden I've ever worked on that was completely mine and mine alone, to do with as I pleased. It was an indescribably proud and happy feeling.

I watched as my little plot exploded into vibrant life, as did the beds of my fellow gardeners. What had been a nasty, cracked piece of derelict property was transformed into a lush mini-Eden (minus the angry deity and naked sinners).

Of course, there were minor issues with the garden from the start, primarily a debate over whether or not to lock the entrances when gardeners weren't present, and, more importantly, water.

You see, the sole source of water for SHCG, since we were attempting to avoid a city water hook-up and thus operate relatively under the radar (more on that next post), was the small creek that runs through Fairmont Park to the west, right alongside the re-purposed tennis courts where we built the beds. The first year at SHCG, we ran a pump-and-filter device into the creek to supply the hose system that fed our plots. The second year, a more elaborate mechanism was set up that included a water storage tower.

Negotiations with our downstream neighbors resulted in a compromise that restricted watering hours while allowing us to divert enough water to feed the garden. During the two years that Sugar House Community Garden thrived at Fairmont, gardeners got to know each other, traded gardening tips and tricks, and set up a process by which surplus produce was donated to St. Mark's Millcreek, (a federally subsidized apartment building for low-income seniors).

People grew tomatoes, sunflowers, squash, herbs, you name it – our little slice of paradise, born of the revitalization of what had previously been a nasty bit of urban blight, flourished. That is, until our self-governing autonomous collective caught the eye of the city. After years of success, SHCG finally met the one obstacle we could not overcome – namely, the “intervention” of Wasatch Community Gardens.

(Continued in Part 2)

Friday, 3 April 2015

Salt City Sinner Is Risen!

posted on 4/3/2015 by the Salt City Sinner

On this Good Friday, as some celebrate through self-flagellation and others prepare for a Holy Saturday vigil or navigate the stations of the cross, lo, we have rolled away the stone that sealed the tomb where good, moral people everywhere hoped this bloggue would remain trapped forever.

Wouldn't you know it, a miracle!

The tomb is empty, and the glorious resurrection of Salt City Sinner has occurred! (Ignore the carefully dug and concealed trap door, spider hole, and escape tunnel – they have nothing to do with this Easter Miracle)

As Salt Lake slouches inexorably toward the magical Saturday evening when the Easter Jesus creeps through the homes and yards of good Christian boys and girls to lay chocolate eggs that bring them delight and laughter, we bring you a sneak preview of what you can expect in the coming weeks from your favorite half-funny hellbound heathens.

Coming Soon

  • They Paved Paradise OR How I Learned To Start Worrying And Hate Wasatch Community Gardens 
  • Religious Liberty Slapfight Part “Will This Ever End?
  • In Which I Take The Joseph Farah Christian Terrorist Challenge
  • And so much more, with saucy Snapchat screenshots to titillate and amaze! (There will be no Snapchat screenshots) 

As surely as Zombie Jesus crept forth from his grave and the Holy Ghost breathed pentecostal fireand fried the Apostles to a holy crisp, there will be a tasteful Salt City Sinner post coming that will slap and/or tickle your fancy, or double your money back.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

WND Hires Robert Copeland To Write Weekly Column On Race Relations

former Police Commissioner and now WND columnist Robert Copeland

posted on 5/21/2014 by the Salt City Sinner

Resident Jane O’Toole said she overheard Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland use a racial slur in describing President Obama. And in an email to her, Copeland, who is white, acknowledged using the N-word in referring to the president and said he will not apologize.  
“I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse,” Copeland said in an excerpt from an email he sent to his fellow police commissioners acknowledging his remark and then forwarded to O’Toole. “For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”

-- Associated Press

Robert Copeland, the disgraced former Police Commissioner of Wolfesboro, New Hampshire, has been hired by WND (formerly WorldNetDaily) to pen a weekly column on race relations in the US. Salt City Sinner reached WND founder, editor, and CEO Joseph Farah via scrying mirror to learn more.

“By calling President Barack Hussein Obama a ni--...ah, I mean 'the n word,' Commissioner Copeland has proven himself a free speech hero and a man who understands the original intent of our Constitution and the mindset of the Founders (peace be upon them).” Farah paused to apply mascara to his mustache, and then continued:

“Copeland will join commentators like Mychal Massie*, Larry Klayman**, Jack Cashill***, and Colin Flaherty****. We are excited to present the former commissioner's thoughtful, nuanced views on race in this country. This continues WND's tradition of having the most diverse line-up of opinion writers on the entire Internet, anywhere, full stop. We present every point of view from far-right conservatism to white nationalism to Christian Dominionism.” WND originally offered the position to embattled LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, but Sterling declined, citing concerns that any association with Farah's website might damage his public image.

*: "Many blacks live for the opportunity to be portrayed as victims of rich white men who are racist and say or do something that validates what blacks desire to believe. But Donald Sterling has done more for blacks than Barack Obama."

**: "Under the Obama presidency there has been a role reversal; whites, and particularly rich ones, are now at the back of the bus."

***: "George Zimmerman may have been the least racist person in the state of Florida. It’s like going after Nelson Mandela on civil rights, or Mother Teresa."

****: For a representative quote, consult literally anything he has ever written.