News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

Anti-Racism group calls for removel of Northern Michigan offical


Members of a northern Michigan anti-racism group are calling for the removal of an elected official in Leelanau County after he used a racial epithet just before a county meeting.

Road commissioner Tom Eckerle was having a conversation with his colleagues a few minutes before a public meeting was scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

It was then that Eckerle reportedly used the n-word to describe Black residents of Detroit.

Now an anti-racism group in northern Michigan wants Eckerle removed from his position.

Marshall Collins a member of the group Northern Michigan E3 says he wants more than an apology.

“If nothing is done, he has made it okay," said Collins. "So what do I tell my kid who goes to school and someone decides to call him the n-word again.”

The group says they also want anti-racism training for all northern Michigan elected officials so that comments like this don’t happen again.

Reached for comment Eckerle repeatedly used the n-word again and said he will not apologize or step down from the road commission.