Sanitary district board member says he may still use n-word among friends

Laython Landis is resisting calls for his
resignation.

ORO LOMA SANITARY DISTRICT | Oro Loma Sanitary District board member Laython Landis was censured by his colleagues for describing heavy rains in the area with an obscure racial slur.

During a radio interview with KGO’s Brian Copeland, the embattled official said he won’t use the n-word in public, but might use it in conversations with old friends.

Copeland asked Landis, 88, whether the 42-year veteran of the sanitary board and former San Leandro City Council member would use the phrase again, he said no. “You got that right,” said Landis. “One-on-one, I might privately, but no mas.” Landis, chuckled several times whenever Copeland repeated the offending statement.

“But it depends on who I’m talking about,” Landis said. Long-time friends are not offended by the phrase, he said. He also admitted to previously using the phrase in private, in particular, to describing heavy rain.

During a Dec. 10 sanitary board meeting, Landis referred to the heavy rains that hit the area last month as “raining cats and dogs and n-gger babies.” He then reignited the firestorm during a Dec. 24 interview with KPIX-TV in which he repated the phrase. The board, which now contains the first female board member in the district’s 100-year history, censured Landis for the comments.

“I’ve been reprimanded enough time to know better,” saidLandis, who claims he is the nephew of Major League Baseball Commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis,

In addition, Landis says he won’t resign in the wake of the controversy. “They’ve got to fire me,” he said.

A group of elected black officials and clergy say they will call for Landis’ ouster at the board’s next meeting Jan. 20 and beyond, if needed, said Marlon McWilliams, an elected member of the Alameda County Board of Education. Landis is up for re-election in 2016.

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