It’s important to remember that not everyone who forwards seemingly racist emails to close friends is, in fact, a racist. Race-based humor, even in poor taste, does not a true racist make.
But if you’re a member of the Orange County Republican Party’s central committee and a Southern California Tea Party activist — two organizations not exactly known for championing the rights of minorities — you might want to hold off on pressing send or forward when the subject matter combines the unapologetic ignorance of birtherism with the stupidity of overt racism.
In an email to fellow conservatives, Marilyn Davenport shared this photo of President Obama and his parents portrayed as chimpanzees under the header: “Now you know why — No birth certificate!”
The OC Weekly, which broke the story Friday evening, tracked down Davenport for comment. As you might expect, she employed the famed Color of My Friends Defense: “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.”
Davenport missed a golden opportunity to echo Donald Trump’s comments from earlier in the week. Judges would have also accepted “I have a great relationship with the blacks.”
The big problem for Davenport is that she’s not exactly a first-time offender, nor is the Orange County Republican Party. Not only is it the home of Birther Queen Orly Taitz, but another O.C. GOP’er, Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose, sent around this picture shortly after President Obama’s inauguration.
According to Michael J. Schroeder former chairman of the California Republican Party, Davenport was on the “wrong side of the fence” on that controversy. Schroeder told the OC Weekly “This is a three strikes situation for Marilyn Davenport. She was a passionate defender of former Newport Beach city councilman Dick Nichols who stated that he was voting against putting in more grass at Corona del Mar’s beach because, he said, there were already ‘too many Mexicans on the beach.’ She was also on the wrong side of the fence with the Los Alamitos mayor and his White House watermelon patch picture. Now, she has managed to top both of those incidents by comparing African Americans to monkeys. She has disgraced herself and needs to resign. If she doesn’t, the Republican Party must remove her.”
It would seem to us that we don’t exactly have a card-carrying Klan member or white supremacist on our hands. But clearly she lacks any semblance of intelligence and restraint. But what do you think? Is this lady racist? Or did she just do a really, really, really stupid thing? Weigh in below.