I wasn’t surprised when news broke that a certain Marilyn Davenport of Orange County California, a local Republican Party official who sent an email depicting President Obama and his parents as chimpanzees, responded to calls for her removal with public declarations of unracism and that she will not be leaving her post.
And I’m not surprised that the so-called liberal media has once again declined to call a racist email racist.
What is surprising is how many folks seem to think that sending out an email depicting the President and his parents as chimps with the caption "Now you know -- why no birth certificate." isn’t a racist action…and how some folks also seem to struggle with connecting racist actions with the person doing that shit and calling that person racist.
True, it used to be easier to identify racists. Eyes on the Prize features example after example of folks, some famous but most not, publicly declaring their adoration of racism and questioning why others don’t feel the same way.
That was then.
This is now.
And we still can’t treat a disease we still refuse to diagnose.
Sending out that email with those images accompanied by that caption is racist…unless one sent it out with a note of disgust to show folks an example of racism.
If Marilyn Davenport of Orange County California doesn’t want to be called a racist then she should have avoided a public display of racism.
If she doesn’t want to be racist then she needs to do more than avoid sending such emails in the future – she needs to do a hell of a lot of inner work to arrive at the point where some of the folks on her email list already are.
That point where such emails containing those kinds of images with that caption are offensive…the point where the thought of sending such an email is abhorrent and the fact that someone sent them to you is offensive…the point where you respond as a normal human being responds and not as a damaged old school bigot does by assuming that others are also damaged old school bigots and would get a laugh out of seeing an email containing those images with that caption.
Davenport ain’t there yet.
Marilyn Davenport responded with anger toward whoever made her email public…callous disregard toward those who found her email offensive…and defiance toward those who think she ought to step down lest the GOP be branded as racist as she is.
And then, after several days, Davenport offered this up by way of apology.
"To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen this email I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior. I say unwise because at the time I received and forwarded the email, I didn't stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive."
Davenport thought nothing of forwarding that email with those images accompanied by that caption. Well, that’s not entirely true – she thought it would be welcome in the inboxes of her friends and colleagues…so, she must have liked that email with those images accompanied by that caption.
I honestly wouldn’t give a shit if Davenport was just a woman in Orange County sending an email.
But Davenport isn’t just a woman in Orange County who sent an email. She represents the 72nd Assembly District in Orange County on a GOP committee made up of volunteer officials elected to two-year terms – a group that is responsible for fundraising, campaigning and debating policy for the Republican Party.
Makes one wonder what kind of fundraising campaign she’d propose…how she’d like to see GOP candidates campaign…and what policy initiatives she supports.
The good thing is that someone or more than one somebody on her email list responded appropriately.
But, for now, Marilyn Davenport ain’t going anywhere.
The 2012 election cycle has just begun and something tells me this isn’t going to be the last email containing those kinds of images with that kind of caption we’re gonna see between now and November 2012.