Gretna restaurant owner Fred Ingram, a former member of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, apologized publicly to the community and NAACP Tuesday for using the “N-word” in reference to the recent presidential election.
“I was wrong. I’m sorry,” Ingram, 69, said.
The incident happened the Thursday morning after the Nov. 6 election at Ingram’s Cross Roads Restaurant on Main Street in Gretna.
Ingram, a long-time Republican, said he was disappointed by Mitt Romney’s loss to President Barack Obama and had just seen some of his retirement savings disappear when stocks plunged after the election.
“Everybody was upset over the election. I was upset,” he said. “I worked hard for Romney. I thought he was a good man.”
Ingram was walking through the restaurant’s dining area when he used the racial slur.
“I just blurted out the ‘N-word,’” he said. “It just came right out of nowhere. It’s not part of my vocabulary. I just said it. I really don’t know where it came from.”
Ingram said he did not direct the comment to anyone, but three female customers were in the restaurant, which he has owned for 25 years.
“Something just hit me. I was not speaking to them,” he said. “I instantly knew I had said the wrong thing.”
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