This image and accompanying story today in the Huffington Post tells you all you need to know about the great, toxic wave of Tea Party-led Republicanism that is sweeping the country.
Marilyn Davenport's Racist Email Denounced By OC GOP
First Posted: 04/16/11 01:27 PM ET Updated: 04/17/11 02:10 AM ET
UPDATED -- Marilyn Davenport has asserted in a private email to Orange County GOP leaders that she will not be stepping down, and she apologizes to anyone who may have been offended. She maintains that "in no way did I even consider the fact he's half black when I sent out the email" and decries the "double standard" that applies to President Barack Obama. See the OC Weekly for the full text of the email.
Link here, full text of article below:
The Associated Press reports that Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh wants to launch an ethics investigation about the incident, and that he thinks she should resign. Baugh said, "It's just highly inappropriate, it's a despicable message, it drips with racism and I think she should step down from the committee."
More from AP:
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.
Davenport, a tea party activist, represents the 72nd Assembly District in Orange County on the central committee.
She represents Brea, Placentia, Fullerton and portions of other Orange County cities to the county committee tasked with fundraising, campaigning and debating policy for the Republican Party.
PREVIOUSLY -- 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."
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
Another article on this subject appears today in Crooks and Liars. Link here , full text below:
Republican Tea Partiers just can't seem to get enough of those Obama/black people/chimpanzee jokes
Republicans seem to have a really, really narrow idea of what constitutes racism -- which is how they're able to claim that the Tea Parties aren't riddled with racism throughout.
But then little stories like this one from Orange County keep bubbling up to the surface of their fetid little Tea Party cesspool:
The 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.
As always, the "sweet little old lady" who sent the mail had no idea that anyone might possibly construe the mail as racist, even though comparing black people to various kinds of apes has always been a stock feature of racist denigration in America. Why, some of her best friends are black!
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.
"It's unbelievable," one high-ranking OC GOP official told me. "It's much more racist than the watermelon email. I can't believe it was sent out. I'm not an Obama fan but how stupid do you have to be to do this?"
Another GOP official, who also asked not to be identified, said that Davenport is "a really, really sweet old lady so I am surprised to hear about this."
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."
But Baugh believes the email is a big deal.
"When I saw that email today I thought it was despicable," Baugh said. "It is dripping with racism and it does not promote the type of message Orange County Republicans want to deliver to the public. I think she should consider stepping down as an elected official."
And just remember: There's nothing, NOTHING racist about those Tea Partiers, either. Just another isolated incident. Move along, please.
[H/t Tom Sullivan]