Here we go again. Another old, white Republican elected official forgets that he’s not among his cronies and utters another racist comment on the record. Republican Saline County Commissioner Jim Gile used the term “nigger-rigging” during a commission discussion about hiring an architect to work on a county building.
County residents immediately started calling for his resignation which forced Mr. Gile to apologize.
The Salina Journal, a local newspaper, reported the incident like this:
In a recording made by County Clerk Don Merriman of the study session, Gile, who is white, can be heard to say the county needed to hire an architect to design the improvements rather than “nigger-rigging it.”
His comment brought laughter from others in the room. Salinan Ray Hruska, who attends most commission meetings and study sessions, asked Gile what he said.
“Afro-Americanized,” Gile replied.
“He’s like that congressman from Alaska,” Commission Chairman Randy Duncan can be heard to say of Gile’s comment.
Gile told the newspaper that he knew the term he used from when he was growing up and that he meant to say “jury-rigged.” He also insisted that he is not racist, noting that he “has a black friend” that he considers close enough to be a sister.
“I am not a prejudiced person,” Gile went on to say. “I have built Habitat homes for colored people.”
Come on, Jim. You slipped up and spoke in language you ordinarily reserve for talk among your old, white friends. Just admit it and quit. Staying in the public eye is just going to remind us all that Republicans are racists.