Why Obama Chimp Email Author Should Resign, Pronto!

Kim Conte
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chimpElected Republican official Marilyn Davenport has apologized for the offensive email she sent out to Republicans with the face of President Obama on the body of a chimp. But some opponents feel the apology by the Southern California Tea Party activist and elected member of the central committee of the Orange Country Republican Party doesn't go far enough. What do they want?

Nothing less than her resignation.

We all make mistakes, sure. And, who among us hasn't been guilty of an embarrassing email transgression? But what is particularly disturbing about Davenport's blunder is how flippant she's been about it.

When her email -- which contained an image of President Obama as a chimpanzee with two chimpanzee parents and the caption, "Now you know why -- No birth certificate." -- was first leaked to the OC Weekly, Davenport told this to the publication:

You're not going to make a big deal about this are you? It's just an Internet joke.

She followed this up with another email to conservative Republicans demanding to know the identity of "the coward" who leaked the email.

When it became public that several California Republicans were upset by the email with one, Scott Baugh, chairman of the OC Republican Party, even calling it "racist," Davenport issued the following "apology" by email:

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 ... I received plenty of emails about George Bush  that I didn't particularly like yet there was no 'cry' in the media about them.

And when some opponents still didn't find this repentant enough, she felt the need to issue a final, less defiant apology through a statement read to the Orange Country Republican Central Committee:

To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen this e-mail 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 e-mail, I didn't stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive.

That's a little better, I suppose. But I'm still uncomfortable with the fact that an elected official claimed to be ignorant of the historical racist comparisons between blacks and monkeys. Calling her "racist" or a "bigot" goes too far perhaps; at the same time I don't want someone so unaware as to unknowing make such an insult representing us in government. And since when is "I didn't stop to think" a justifiable defense? Isn't "stopping to think" something we should expect and demand of our politicians?

Some politicians think these are reasons enough for her to resign, and I'd have to agree. Davenport, for her part however, is having none of it ...

Do you think Marilyn Davenport should resign?

 

Image via Afrika Expeditionary Force/Flickr

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