CA Lt. Governor Uses Racial Slur

Tuesday, February 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante used a racial slur during a Black History Month speech in what he called an embarrassing slip of the tongue.

Bustamante, a Hispanic Democrat who has focused on improving race relations, said he meant to use the word ``Negro'' but slipped and said another n-word during his speech about the black union movement.

About one-fourth of the 400 people at the event Friday left in protest, said Marshall Walker, master of ceremonies.

``I was appalled he would even say it as a slip. You don't make a slip like that unless it is something you say normally,'' said Gwendalyn Bello, who attended the event, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists' annual awards dinner and scholarship fund-raiser.

Bustamante said he has tried repeatedly to apologize.

``I know it came out of my mouth, but it is not how I was taught. It is not how I teach my children,'' he said.

Walker said he sent a letter to Bustamante asking him to return to the group to apologize.