Bob Copeland, Donald Sterling And The Criminalization Of Private Conversation (For Whites)

VDARE.com note: We redact what we’re now supposed to call the “N-word” even in reported speech, because of what’s calledcensorwarewhich blocks some users from seeing this webpage.

See also, from 2001, the Janice Barton case: The Barton Case: Waking The Sleeping Giant?

Like most Americans (I suspect), I was disappointed by the abrupt resignation of Bob Copeland, the 82 year old part-time Wolfeboro, NH police commissioner who used the “N Word” to describe President Obama to a friend while having a drink at the bar of a local restaurant, thus triggering the latest Political Correctness witch-hunt. At first, Copeland defended himself bravely and it looked like we might get another test of Paul Kersey’s thesis that this whole Ruling Class Show Trial strategy is about to collapse. But apparently the social pressure on Copeland’s family was too great. So Kersey has one winner (Duck Commander Phil Robertson) and two losers (Cliven Bundy and Don Sterling)…plus, of course, the ultimate loser: America. [N.H. police commissioner who used racial slur in reference to Obama resigns, By Wesley Lowery, May 19, 2014]

It’s important to grasp the details of this appalling story.

A woman at a table in the restaurant, Jane O’Toole, overheard Copeland’s remarks and decided to take offense. She even found out who the elderly man was and then contacted the Wolfeboro Police Department to complain about his use of the N-word…in a private conversation.

When Copeland learned of her complaint, he decided to reply by email. He did not deny making the remark and refused to apologize for it:

While I believe the problems associated with minorities in this country are momentous, I am not phobic. My use of derogatory slang in reference to those among them undeserving of respect is no secret. It is the exercise of my 1st Amendment rights… I believe I did use the “N” word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse [sic]. For this I do not apologize – he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.

[Wolfeboro police commissioner under scrutiny for racist comments about Obama, By Sarah Palermo, The Concord Monitor, May 15, 2014]

 Bob Copeland’s reply may be stubborn and surly, but he appears to be using the N-Word in a similar way to Chris Rock in his comedy routines: “I love black people but I hate n******.” [YouTube]

Everyone knows what Chris Rock means by this distinction. That’s why it gets so many laughs.

Nevertheless, Jane O’Toole didn’t grasp the distinction. So she contacted the New Hampshire Main Stream Media about Copeland’s remarks and they, needless to say, gave the story prominent coverage.

Years ago, the local and national press would have considered reporting on the contents of a private conversation between two elderly men to be both off-limits and absurd. But now, in Obama’s post-America, it is Page One news.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Spend some time with any octogenarian men or women and you can bank on the fact that they will say some inappropriate things, especially if they have had a couple of drinks. We’ll all get there some day; so will Jane O’Toole.

More importantly: President Obama regularly socializes with rap stars who use the N-Word in public all the time. So it’s OK to use the term publicly if you’re black—but it’s a sin to even speak the word privately if you’re white.

Certainly if Bob Copeland was black, Jane O’Toole would never have made an issue out of this.

Is it not a remarkable double standard that blacks are allowed to speak freely in both public and private with no fear of condemnation, but whites must police every word they say lest someone catch a casual remark on their cellphone and post it online? Apparently, in Obama’s post-America, blacks simply enjoy greater political freedom than whites.

What kind of craziness is this?

Wolfeboro, NH is a charming town on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee with a proud history dating back to colonial times. Many longtime residents can trace their roots back generations. My own parents used to live in Wolfeboro and my oldest sister was born there. A few summers ago, when I walked into a golf shop in Wolfeboro, I discovered that the owner had posted a sign on the wide open front door that read: “Sorry. Have to pick up my car at the garage. Be Back Soon. Make Yourself At Home.”

Business owners don’t have that kind of confidence in the more diverse areas of America. That’s what people love so much about Wolfeboro.

In fact, the central antagonist in this most unnecessary drama, Jane O’Toole, only moved to Wolfeboro four months ago—most likely because of the lack of diversity she unconsciously appreciates, but consciously resents. But this is precisely the kind of doublethink that characterizes most racial agitators.

There was actually a town meeting held at the Wolfeboro Public Library to discuss Bob Copeland’s private remark, or rather, the national controversy that Ms. O’Toole instigated over it. From what I can tell, despite MSM claims to the contrary, the turnout for this meeting was not very high. And some of the people there actually had the courage to defend Bob Copeland. Good for them.

True, a handful of blacks live in Wolfeboro, and some of them showed up at the meeting to protest as well. But I suspect that most of them are associated with Brewster Academy, a boarding school located across the street from the town library, and that few of them actually live there full-time. [VDARE.com note: Wikipedia says that Wolfeboro’s population(2000 census) was 6,083, of whom 0.16% were African American, which is <10 people.]

Certainly, Bob Copeland did a poor job of defending himself. You can watch video of him hobbling on his cane as he is confronted by people more than half his age in the parking lot of the public library. . [Video: Police Commissioner Who Called Obama the N-Word Snaps at ‘Skunk’ Reporter as Angry Residents Demand His Resignation, By Dave Urbanksi, The Blaze, May 16, 2014]

My guess is that Copeland suffers from some age-related infirmities of both the body and the mind, making him an easy target for racial grievance mongers

But the point is this: Informing on white people for sins committed in private conversations appears to be a growing trend.

Just recently, 80 year old Donald Sterling’s girlfriend coaxed him into making crude remarks about minorities during a private conversation and illegally recorded them before someone sent them off to TMZ. Now Donald Sterling has been fined $2.5 million and is being forced to sell his franchise for having an inappropriate private conversation.

And nearly everyone in the MSM and beyond seems to accept that the virtual criminalization of private conversations is entirely appropriate.

It is now perfectly respectable to make an example of a white person if they make an impolite remark about another race in private—and it doesn’t matter if they are friends, relatives, strangers, or even the elderly.

Incidentally, Mitt Romney owns a palatial lakefront estate in Wolfeboro where he remains a familiar presence. You can often see him with his large extended family getting ice cream on a summer evening downtown. But in case you need a further reminder of why Mitt Romney was not elected to the White House, he recently joined the chorus calling for Bob Copeland’s resignation: “The vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community,” said Romney loftily. [Romney Rips NH Officials ‘Vile Epithet, By Matt Stout, The Boston Herald, May 17, 2014]

Bob Copeland, a Navy veteran and longtime resident of Wolfeboro where his wife was born, will probably spend his few remaining years behind closed doors out of fear of running into people like Jane O’Toole.

What we are seeing today is a phenomenon more pernicious than anything that took place during the much-denounced McCarthy Era.

Hannah Arendt defined totalitarianism as the drive to control the inner life of private individuals. And Arendt argued that totalitarianism does not actually depend on government control, but on a “volunteer espionage network” of private individuals who strive to intimidate their fellow citizens into conformity with the party line. In a recent speech, Michelle Obama actually encouraged this: “Maybe that starts simply in your own family, when grandpa tells that off-colored joke at Thanksgiving, or you’ve got an aunt [that] talks about ‘those people…’” [Michelle Obama Would Like Students to Monitor Family Members for Racial Insensitivity, by Pete Kasperowicz, The Blaze, May. 19, 2014]

Thus in Bertolt Brecht’s short play, The Spy, [PDF] a mother and father are enjoying a Sunday lunch with their son during which the parents make some critical remarks about the Nazi regime. After lunch, the son leaves and the parents inadvertently learn that he has gone to attend a mandatory Hitler Youth meeting. For the rest of the afternoon, they both anguish over the prospect that their own son will report them to the authorities for expressing a thought-crime against the regime.

Incredibly, Brecht’s nightmare is becoming a reality in Obama’s post-America.

Matthew Richer (email him) is a writer living in Massachusetts. He is the former American Editor of Right NOW magazine.