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Kan. ed board member criticized for racial comment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Several black leaders in Topeka say a Kansas State Board of Education member's use of a racial slur during a meeting last month was unnecessary and inappropriate.

Carolyn Campbell, the only black member of the board, and other black community leaders criticized board member Steve Roberts on Tuesday for using the slur at April's board meeting.

Roberts said he used the slur "clinically" during a discussion of state history standards. At the time, he noted that Martin Luther King Jr. twice mentioned the "N-word" in his April 16, 1963 letter from a jail in Birmingham, Ala. King wrote the famous letter after his arrest during a civil rights protest.

Roberts said the slur is highly offensive but said history shouldn't be censored.