N-Word Just 'Slipped Out,' Says Former University Chair

He heard it in 'rap music or something'
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2007 6:49 AM CDT
Roger Williams University chairman Ralph Papitto looks on during graduation ceremonies at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., Saturday, May 20, 2006. Papitto, for whom the only law school in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The chairman of a Rhode Island university who recently resigned after 40 years acknowledged that he used the N-word at a meeting in May, saying it just "slipped out."  Ralph Papitto insisted in a radio interview that his resignation was unrelated to the resulting scandal, and that he's never used the slur before, the Providence Journal reports.

"The first time I heard it was on television, in rap music or something," he said.
Papitto used the slur when the board of Roger Williams University was discussing ways to diversify its membership—14 of 16 members are white males—according to a trustee. Three trustees who immediately demanded his resignation were fired. "Anybody that knows me in Rhode Island, ask them if I’m a racist in any way," said Papitto. (Read more scandal stories.)