This is hardly the first time Tea Partiers have made racially motivated attacks on our president and it won’t be the last. That makes it no less outrageous and no less unacceptable.
Orange County California’s GOP central committee member Marilyn Davenport sent an email which depicted President Obama and his parents as monkeys. The caption? “Now you know why-no birth certificate!”
Davenport of course, like all racists before her, claimed it was not at all racist:
“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.”
Civil rights activists want Davenport to resign. She says she will not. And of course, we’ve seen her sort of reasoning before, as for example with the infamous watermelon patch picture of the White House. It was in February 2009 that Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose (of course, an Orange County Republican), emailed his watermelon image. It should come as no surprise today that Davenport defended him when the fecal matter hit the fan.
This is what she wrote to fellow committee members:
“I’m sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth. 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 tried to make this about race.”
The Orange County GOP has denounced the email. Davenport refuses to admit she made a mistake. She wants to know who turned her in. According to OCWeekly, whose R. Scott Moxley broke the story, 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.”
That’s Tea Party maturity for you. Because we all know the media is responsible for sending a racist email, not Davenport. Riiiight.
Moxley writes in the OCWeekly that
Scott Baugh, chairman of the OC Republican Party, told Davenport that the email was tasteless, Davenport–a Fullerton-based political activist–admitted to me during the telephone interview.“You’re not going to make a big deal about this are you?” she asked me. “It’s just an Internet joke.”
Obviously, it’s not a joke, and Baugh isn’t treating it like one. Nor should he. Claiming that she found images of Bush by liberals offensive is no excuse. If Davenport truly believed they were offensive, she should also know that as Tea Partiers love to tell us all with regards to rape and abortion, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”
And Tea Party racism is no secret. They wave those Confederate flags around for a reason.
Even Baugh thinks Davenport should consider stepping down. And she should. Not only is the Republican Party going to take a hit at a time when it can ill-afford it, but her action is despicable, and her defense of it only compounds the nature of her offense. The readiness of any conservative to point fingers at the media when it actually bothers to report their malfeasance is pathetic. You’d think we would come to a day when we wouldn’t have to keep telling the Tea Party “Shame!” but clearly that day has not yet come.