Press: Human Rights Officials Say Idaho School Trustee's Apology for 'Racist' Remark Falls Short


The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations says an apology from a north Idaho school official fell short in his attempt to explain a "racist" remark.

Brent Regan, a trustee of the Coeur d'Alene School District, was participating in a discussion about firearms that included eight state legislators and more than 100 citizens on Jan. 26. That's when Regan shared part of a conversation with his wife:

"I said, 'They can't figure out what an assault weapon is—it's just black and it looks scary.' And she looks at me and says, 'Well, so is Obama.'"

After speaking with a constituent, Regan said he regretted his comments:

"Out of my ignorance, it ends up it hurt her and potentially hurt her kids. That's just not acceptable to me, and it's not acceptable to anybody."

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Kootenai County human rights leaders want Regan to offer a broader apology.

"We cannot remain silent when a public official uses language to degrade and ridicule, whether it be made from ignorance or insensitivity, the ancestry of any person, including the president," said Tony Stewart, founding member of the task force. "We really urge him to apologize to the most important group of all, the students and their parents, because it's the students that hear those kinds of comments, and it affects them in the future."