the post-racial world

GOP Official Who E-mailed an Obama Monkey Photo Won’t Resign

Somehow, another local Republican Party official has sent out one of the most blatantly racist e-mails you’ll ever come across without, allegedly, having any idea that it was racist at all. Marilyn Davenport, a member of the Orange County, California, GOP, sent out the adjacent monkey photo to friends last week with the caption, “Now you know why no birth certificate,” the obvious implication being that Obama is a monkey, and monkeys aren’t the most thorough record keepers. Pretty much as racist as you can get, yes? Like, if you happened to come across the e-mail accidentally, you’d probably spew out the hot coffee you’d been drinking right in the face of the person sitting next to you. Yet, as per her pseudo-apology, Davenport was shocked to learn that people were offended at all:

Tried to make this about race”? It’s a racist e-mail! You can’t try to make it about race any more than you can try to make breakfast about food. All around, a terrible response, for so many reasons. But after a couple of days of reflection, Davenport managed to come up with a more heartfelt apology:

To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen this e-mail I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior,” the 74-year-old wrote.

I say unwise because at the time I received and forwarded the e-mail, I didn’t stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive,” Davenport said.

Despite blaming her transgression on an unprecedented level of racial obliviousness, Orange County GOP chair Scott Baugh and former chairman of the California GOP Michael J. Schroeder still think Davenport should resign. So do Al Sharpton and the California NAACP. Basically everybody except Davenport and her ally Tom Whitacre, a GOP activist who announced last night that Davenport would appear on a popular California talk-radio show this afternoon to defend her good name:

Yeah, where are people getting that from? Oh right, the racist e-mail.

[UPDATED: Baugh is Powerless] Racist Orange County Republican Email: President Obama and His Parents Are Apes [OC Weekly]

GOP Official Who E-mailed an Obama Monkey Photo Won’t Resign