The council in a unanimous vote on Tuesday decided to remove Tony Collins, a construction contractor, from the zoning commission after he during a virtual meeting refused to address Carrie Rosario, a UNC-Greensboro professor with a doctorate in public health, as “Dr. Rosario,” The Greensboro News & Record reported.
According to the report, during an April 19 meeting, Collins, who is white, entered a tense exchange with Rosario over the way he addressed her during the virtual meeting.
According to the report, the interaction occurred toward the end of the meeting when Rosario raised concerns about a proposed development project near her home. Collins told her that the discussion was off-topic and referred to her as “Mrs. Rosario.”
“It’s Dr. Rosario, thank you, sir,” Rosario said.
“If Mrs. Rosario has something,” Collins responded.
“Dr. Rosario,” she repeated.
“Well, you know, I’m sorry,” Collins said. “Your name says on here ‘Carrie Rosario.’ Hey Carrie.”
“It’s Dr. Rosario,” Rosario repeated. “I wouldn’t call you Tony, so please, sir, call me as I would like to be called.”
Collins dismissed Rosario, and said it “didn’t matter.”
“It matters to me,” she said. “And out of respect, I would like you to call me by the name that I’m asking you to call me by.”
But Collins continued to push back.
Rosario told McClatchy News that she had previously corrected another council member during the call, who apologized and corrected himself. She said she viewed Collins’ repeated refusal to call by her title “a personal attack of disrespect.”