Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pondering that email with those images accompanied by that caption…


Shall we?

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.

Pause…sip coffee…continue.

The good thing is that someone or more than one somebody on her email list responded appropriately.


Sigh.

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.

13 comments:

Ken said...

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.

While she may have to do the inner work to confront and deal with her racism, I honestly believe she doesn't have the depth of character and personality to do so. In short, she's too shallow to do the kind of work, the deep introspection needed to confront one's own internal racsim.

And by not confronting her, the press is an ass.

Cinoda said...

Shark-Fu, I am a middle aged white American female. What Davenport did was one of the most blantent forms of racism I have ever seen.

And what is with this so called apology? "I didn't stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive." Not only a racist but a liar as well. How this behavior is still tolerated is beyond my scope of understanding

Prosey said...

To try to justify her actions as "not racist" because she has "Black friends" makes me want to slap her sideways...

...as a White woman, I could give a shit HER skin color or that of her "friends"...

...she is supposed to be a professional, an elected official, of a LARGE district - and is supposed to BEHAVE AS SUCH.

*MUTTER-GRUMBLE-MUTTER*

*...wanders off to find more coffee...*

Dr. Free-Ride said...

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.

That's a perfect distillation of it. The question is why this is so very hard for people to understand.

Ron Paul said...

Remember when the GOP stood for balanced budgets, individual freedom and isolationism.
The Republican Party has run up these deficits, we want the federal government to be in our bedrooms and between our women and their doctors, we started two wars instead of ending them like the Korean War and were supposed to stop the Vietnam War the Democrats started. We have lost our way!

So why waste our time with these fools who use their racist rhetoric, like this Marilyn Davenport and Donald Trump with his birther unproven myth, why do we allow our Fox news people to keep talking down our country. Don’t they know we can win the next election with optimism and hope instead of the current rhetoric, that the sky is falling, if we are not careful we will end up like chicken little where no one will listen to us.

Lawrence said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG! In regards to what you wrote about Obama's birther issue, my guess is that it's ultimately going to be be used against the Republicans by Obama because honestly, don't you think that the CIA checks out any possible Democrat & Republican presidential nominee BEFORE they are nominated by their political party, let alone BEFORE being sworn in as president? I'm betting that Obama is waiting to release the CIA investigation shortly before voting day on 11/4/11.

Anonymous said...

What is interesting is how outraged people got when the Dixie Chix woman said what she did about Bush but this woman gets a pass. This country is insane and it grows more so with every day. The sickness is great. She should not be in office. How does she thing she can represent the people in her district who are black or Hispanic or anything other than white if this is how she really feels. She can not have their best interest in mind. And yes, it may be Orange County but people of other races are there. This is a teachable moment for her. She really should think about how she really feels and if she can really do a good job given her beliefs. Because if you can do this to the President then you will do worse to others.

M A F said...

She didn't consider the implications because in her little racist heart she thought that the email was funny, and that her (non-racist) racist friends would find it funny too!

P T said...

She didn't consider the implications because in her little racist heart she thought that the email was funny, and that her (non-racist) racist friends would find it funny too!

exactly. based on that "apology" she doesn't seem capable of confronting let alone recognizing her own racism. i know hoping the GOP could do anything right or moral is laughable, but i wish she'd have been forced out of her job as punishment. and also unsurprising is that we see once again that there are far too many whites in the media that are also unable to recognize their inner racist and are unable/unwilling to call others out.

DomainDiva said...

After president Obama was elected, I started receiving the most horrible racist and disgusting emails from the people I went to church with as well as a pastors wife (from another church group). I had to tell people off, de-friend on FaceBook and stop attending church it was that bad. Luckily for me our pastor took this seriously and put a stop to it.

ANYONE that does this to another human being (even the George Bush Curious George routine was offensive to me) is showing at its' heart a total disrespect for humanity. This woman is despicable and should be fired immediately.

thedelphiad said...

I was going to say Americans are getting scary, but I have just finished reading a history of the various Black communities that settled in Nova Scotia, Canada since about 1793 and, well, no one is exempt from racist memes. Or safe from them. I think it's like a contagion. It only takes one, or a few, people to let something go, or laugh at a racist joke, and there can be a snowball effect. Birtherism (birthism?) seems like an example of this type of thing.

Colonel de Guerlass said...

Have you ever seen a chimpanzee
a) forward an e-mail, without thinking
b) acknowledge (s)he did it

She is trying (rather successfully ) to show that chimps are intellectually superior to political creatures (for human beings, that is another story)

Anonymous said...

Shark, I love that you expose despicable and intolerable racist behavior but it isn't a one way street. Do you have anything about al sharpton or Jesse jackson? People like that seem to stoke the fire of racial tension for personal and political gain and it's just as bad. Keep up the good work, I truly have enjoyed your site.(been on here for almost 2 hours now)

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate.