Ladd Uses Racial Slur, Apologizes During Meeting

The councilman said the term was used by soldiers for North Koreans during the Vietnam War.

A county councilman apologized for using a racial slur during a public meeting Thursday, while relating old war stories, first reported by The Baltimore Sun.

The council met Thursday to choose a new councilman for District 1. The six members interviewed 10 candidates, many of whom had extensive military careers.

During one of these interviews, county councilman Dick Ladd (R-5th District), of Broadneck, was joking with councilman Jamie Benoit (D-4th District), about his long military history when he used a racial slur.

"I was in the Vietnam War. It wasn't the Revolutionary War," Ladd said. "I was there when they had … flak jackets and web gear, because we thought the gooks were coming across the (inaudible). Which is the technical term for North Koreans, let the record show."

The word, a derogatory term for East Asians used during the Vietnam War, created a stir in the audience as some gasped and others chuckled.

Later in the meeting, Ladd issued an apology after saying that it came to his attention through modern technology, referring to his cell phone. 

"I need to apologize for that. That was a term out of my past that we frequently used to describe an opponent," Ladd said. "If I have offended anybody, I'll take the hit on that."

The apology elicited applause from many in the crowd. 

Much of the talk during Thursday's meeting was over race and diversity. Former councilman for District 1, Daryl Jones, is black. Many of the questions the council asked candidates involved their perception of diversity and its relevance on the council.

Maryellen Brady February 20, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I think the ENGLISH ONLY bill is an abomination and insult to everyone who is a descendent of an immigrant. We all know that 2nd generation immigrants speak ENGLISH fluently, so the bill is an attack on the new comers. It is also a great disservice to the ppl of the country, considering that the impact would do HARM to others.
Amy Leahy February 20, 2012 at 06:06 PM
You realize, of course, Rusty that people are flawed. That makes someone like Dick Ladd, who has never served the public not very savvy when it comes to making remarks in public. His temper-o-meter is not well honed yet. By the same token, someone like Eugene Peterson of the county school board can say whatever he likes because of the color of his skin and no one reins him in. There may be comments here and there but he is NOT elected…he's appointed and therefore answerable to no one. Additionally, someone like Eugene tends to make people more divisive because of his public chastising. I feel like that quote from Pirates "The beatings will continue until morale improves!"
Maryellen Brady February 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Does that mean when NASH chastises the parents from Edgewater Elementary that she is just as dismissive and bigoted? For her to say, that she would send her kid to EDGEWATER after hearing about the illnesses that have been occurring is just as prejudicial. These people in non-elected positions, are still SERVANTS OF THE PUBLIC and protectors of the common good. And when they fail to serve and protect, they do a great disservice to the entire community. Children at Edgewater Elementary are more sick, more often because of the bad air and mold. The idea that parents know more than the experts has been time proven to be more often true and dependable than "the expert opinions." When I served on the BD of Appeals, it was a common thought, you could 10 experts in a room and not one of them would agree on the RIGHT solution, solitary solution to a problem or the magnitude of the problem. Nash needs to go.
Jim Davis February 20, 2012 at 07:37 PM
The School board may be "SERVANTS OF THE PUBLIC", but they are like politicians accountable only to their source of appointment. For politicians it is the electorate, who can get rid of them the next time around. Beats me how the public can get rid of someone appointed by a politician or bureaucrat. Perhaps the School Board need to become elected to their positionns.
Robert Murphy February 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I am extremely impressed with the level of intelligence and the thought given by the readers regardless of their particular stance. This is a good read and I look forward to future reading here for a grassroots understanding of the pulse of our communities.


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