[Editor’s Note: This post has been moved up higher on TMV due to the update at the end of this post. Be sure to read the update.]
I live in San Diego and have a lot of respect for people of both parties here in California. Too often I think the California GOP is painted in broadbrush caricature — but now a Califronia GOP has sent out a truly racist, vile Internet email with a racist graphic that will most assuredly not enhance Republicans’ image in the state.
And, of course, the individual is insisting it isn’t racist and is blaming…get ready..don’t be shocked, now: the media.
Ask any school kid or even a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli sitting on the shelf at Vons supermarket on Carmel Mountain Drive in Rancho Penasquitos north of San Diego if this is racist and they will say this is racist:
The [Orange County] Weekly has obtained a copy of an email sent to fellow conservatives this week by Marilyn Davenport, a Southern California Tea Party activist and member of the central committee of the Orange County Republican Party.
Under the words, “Now you know why no birth certificate,” there’s an Obama family portrait showing them as apes.
(Donald Trump must be elated to finally have an explanation about Obama’s true birth circumstances.)
Here’s the image attached to the email:
But the Orange County Weekly’s piece even gets more damning.
In a way you have to feel for Marilyn Davenport since she seems shocked that this has come to the forefront:
Reached by telephone and asked if she thought the email was appropriate, Davenport said, “Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people–mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.”
The image did upset several local Republicans.
Go to the link and read the response of GOPers. Many California Republicans would not find that funny and even if they did they would not like someone officially affiliated with their part to be sending it out.
It gets worse:
But Davenport does not appear ready to concede she has made a mistake. After this story was published, she sent another email to fellow California conservative activists. It demanded to know the identity of “the coward” who supplied me with a copy of her offensive email.
(Update: KCAL and KCBS reported during their respective 10 and 11 p.m. broadcasts that in a telephone interview Davenport blamed the media for this controversy and slammed down the phone.)
There you have it:
When in doubt, when you’ve messed up, or gone too far, just blame the media to deflect criticism or bad publicity or, most importantly, to push that hot button that should automatically generate support from those on your sports team.
I’m betting in this case the deflection won’t work.
Should I spell out what this email is?
R-A-C-I-S-T (or as Dan Quayle would spell it: R-A-Y-C-Y-S-T).
HERE’S SOME OTHER REACTION:
Once again, a prominent Republican and Tea Party activist has been caught circulating a vicious racist email about the first African American President, this time in Orange County, California…;This latest sickening example makes the connection between Birtherism and old-school racism utterly explicit.
Go to the link. He also gives links to some other examples of racism aimed at Obama by Tea Party members.
California: Marilyn Davenport, an Orange County Republican official and prominent Tea Party activist, is taking heat after a racist email she sent out to fellow Republican officials and Tea Party activists was made public.
Davenport recently sent out an email portraying President Barack Obama and his parents as chimpanzees. Along with the offensive image was the text: “Now you know why – No birth certificate!”
Friday the racist email became public knowledge, and the response was swift. The former chairman of the Republican party Michael Schroeder, along with other Republican party officials, denounced Davenport’s email as “despicable” and are calling for her immediate resignation from the Orange County Republican Central Committee.
Marilyn Davenport, a Tea Party activist and member of the Orange County Republican Party’s central committee, is drawing fire from people in her own party after circulating a racist email depicting President Barack Obama and his parents as chimpanzees. In the email: “Now you know why — No birth certificate!”
The OC Weekly broke the story and were able to reach Davenport for comment. Her response:
“Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people–mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.”
This incident hasn’t been the first time that the OC Republicans have gotten in trouble for regarding their emails. In 2009, their party came under scrutiny when it was known that an email circulated showing a watermelon field in front of the White House.
Davenport insists, that this email is something different.
(This time, the email is blatantly racist and I’m sure Donald Trump would have approved.)
….After the story was made public, Davenport sent another email to her fellow conservative activists demanding to know the identity of the cowardly person who sent out her “Obama=ape” email.
Just two percent of Orange County’s 3 million population are African American.
CBS interviewed former chairman of the California Republican Party Michael Schroeder, who says that this email is Davenport’s third strike. He is calling for her resignation, citing two previous incidents in which Davenport defended the racist actions of two fellow Orange County conservatives.
The first was during President Obama’s inauguration, when Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose forwarded an email depicting a watermelon patch on the White House lawn to several people. According to Schroeder, Davenport defended Grose amidst calls for his resignation.
Schroeder also says that Davenport defended Newport Councilman Richard Nichols when he opposed installing grassy areas at a beach. His reason, according to the L.A. Times: “with grass we usually get Mexicans coming in there early in the morning and they claim it as theirs, and it becomes their personal, private grounds all day.”
The Huffington Post’s calls to the Republican Party of Orange County were not immediately returned.
NOTE: It’s not usually a good sign during a controversial story when a side under fire doesn’t return phone calls. “Immediataely returned” means there has been no return call so far. That usually means someone is preparing a spin, buying time, or thinks (almost always wrongly) that not replying means the story will go away.
Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh told The Associated Press on Saturday that he wants an ethics investigation into the incident.
“It’s just highly inappropriate, it’s a despicable message, it drips with racism and I think she should step down from the committee,” said Baugh.
Baugh said it could be several days before it’s known whether the ethics committee will agree to investigate Davenport.
At the very least, Baugh said, Davenport should be apologizing for what she’s done rather than attacking whoever leaked the email to media, referring to an email Davenport sent after the story broke calling on “the coward” who leaked the email to come forward.
Prediction: She’ll apologize and Rush, Shaun et. all will suggest the whole controversy was political correctness.
No. It’s R-A-C-I-S-M.
FOOTNOTE: Just a thought but isn’t this contradictory? I thought many Tea Party members didn’t believe in evolution..
UPDATE: OC Weekly has a update that could have been predicted. (1)Davenport apolgizes if anyone was offended (TRANSLATION: This is all PC baloney where is their sense of humor?) (2)Davenport insists there was nothing racist about the photo depicting Obama and his parents as monkeys even though that has been a racist bit of “humor” that has endured for more than a century. (3)Davenport blames the…get ready?..are you set for this?…ready to be surprised THE MEDIA:
“I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth,” Davenport wrote. “In no way did I even consider the fact he’s half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people [Scott Baugh, Orange County GOP boss, and this writer] tried to make this about race. . . . I received plenty of emails about George Bush that I didn’t particularly like yet there was no ‘cry’ in the media about them.”
Davenport continued: “That being said, I will NOT resign my central committee position over this matter that the average person knows and agrees is much to do about nothing.”
And of course there is the obligatory GOPer defending a member of his political sports team. And so it goes..and goes..and goes..ETC. And notice the usual battlecry which is heard probably 26.98 times per second on the internet and on left and right talk: when someone on a partisan’s side messes up they say “well, the Ds..” or “well the Rs” did it. . And yes, there were awful emails about George Bush and even some photos depicting Bush as a chimp. But the racial component — so well known for generations — was not there in depicting Bush as a chimp as disrespectful as that was. The racial component is there in the Obama photo.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.