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GOP official who sent Obama chimpanzee email: 'I am not a racist'

An Orange County Republican Party official who sent an email that portrays President Obama's face superimposed on a chimpanzee with the words: "Now you know why -- No birth certificate!" apologized for her action but insisted she's not a racist.

The comments of Marilyn Davenport, an elected member of the party's central committee, marks a turnaround for the official, who over the weekend described the controversy as "much to-do about nothing."

County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh has called for Davenport to resign, saying the email was "dripping with racism and is in very poor taste."

"The California Republican Party believes the actions in question are completely unacceptable," California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro added in a statement Sunday.

In an interview with the OC Weekly on Monday, Davenport said: "I wasn't wise in sending the email out. I shouldn't have done it. I really wasn't thinking when I did it. I had poor judgment." She added: I am not a racist, but I do think I need to apologize again with different words."

In a statement over the weekend, Davenport had said "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."


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Comments () | Archives (252)

After hundreds of years of bitter writing and drawings saying that blacks and primates are basically the same, she's unaware of this? Even recently there was the controversy of sportscaster Campanas talking about "that little monkey" running, and he was fired for it. Could she that unaware? Or racist? Or both? BTW, Lincoln was sometimes portrayed by Southern sympathizers as a primate because they felt he was just too sympathetic (and maybe linked) to blacks. The ongoing stupid joking about Reagan and Bonzo was that he made a dumb movie wih a chimp, not that he was less than human.

Either she is actually a racist or she is so tone deaf that she has no idea that her actions might be deeply offensive to certain Americans. Either way, she is not fit to hold public office, especially in a diverse county such as Orange County.

When other dignitaries gets depicted negatively, it's okay but when it's Obama, NoNoNo...It's racist. His party is wasting your money...wake up! Unless your the lazy person he's spoon feeding..

I guess you have to be "aware" to be racist.

Ignorantly insensitive or racist, either way she is a liability.

modern technology sure has a way of delivering a message instantly, no matter how good or bad. you best watch what you put out there

Obviously she is quite stupid. Hawaii, by State law, issues a Certificate of Live Birth which can be copied, used to get a passport and is a legal document. The State retains the actual Birth Certificate which cannot be copied and is only available for viewing by the individual addressed on it. Illinois and WIsconsin also use CLB's. It is bad enough she demonstrated racism, intended or not, but to have such limited knowledge on a State law before opening her mouth is inexcusable. The Republicans never cease to amaze me with ignorance. If she doesn't resign I hope she is voted out of office at the least.

Regardless if the intent was racist, the joke was in poor taste and is an affront to Office of the President. What is served by our officials sending nasty jabs at each other like this? As a public servant on the public clock, this official's actions are not much different than a twelve year-old sending a nasty email to the principal.

"She added: I am not a racist"
Sure you're not, Marilyn. Just keep saying it over and over and over. After awhile, you may even believe it yourself.
I might have a tiny bit of respect for this woman if she would just admit that she doesn't like black people. She probably doesn't like Mexicans or Asians either. And I suspect that you don't want to get her started about the gays!
It takes a lot of guts to admit who you are and how you really feel. I am not a racist and I may not agree with you if you are, but I would admire your honesty if you just come out with the truth.
This crap that this woman keeps spewing out is getting old. Very old.
Marilyn, you are a racist. Get over it. Move on.

I believe you owe an apology to the one you put down such as this, President Obama - shame on you - this is more than awful- at your age you didn't know this was wrong???

Its called "Freedom of Speach" folks! Why not then fire all the politcal cartoonist that publish their comics in the newspaper?

No one said a darn thing when the same things were being said about GEORGE BUSH II !!! Hypocrites!

This is all about the COMMIE that's in the White House at present stripping our FREEDOM away! This FOOL does things without approval from Congress, and that alone is AGAISNT THE LAW! CONGRESS, you are Obama's BOSS! Thats what the Constitution says! FIRE HIM before its too late!

Just another politician lie to her teeth once she is is caught.

I have read all the comments and I see alot of people trying to do the Tit for Tat.

When people talk bad about George Bush they were anti-america and against this country!

So what does that make all of these people that do it to Obama?

White America has to face a few facts here, the only time Whites have been compared to a monkey was when Darwin talk about Evolution. Where as Blacks have always had this RACIST STEROTYPE put on us!

So get your facts right, White America has alot to prove when it comes to race and the fact that the NON Black Man is Prez and this is still going down proves how far we have really come. And to think a woman did this and how does the GOP view woman?

Please keep her;She reminds us of why we're not republicans.

To those of you who think a picture of Bush as a monkey held up by someone in the general public at a rally is comparable to this: This is not some unknown person. This is a republican party official.

Shame on you, Ms. Davenport, for your ignorance, lack of tolerance and lies! If you have a shred of honor in your dispicable body, you will resign.

It's 2011. We live in the 21st century. So why, in this day and age, are we disrespecting our highest political figure by calling him an animal that is completely derogatory with his both his racial group and his ethnicity?

It does not matter if you agree or disagree with President Obama's agenda. The email had a racist message behind it. I do not want to read about excuses. Ms. Davenport has used computers within the last 15 years. She is probably old enough to remember either the Civil Rights Movement or the Black Power Movement.

She is a government official who should have known better. What she does on her own time is her own business, as long as it does NOT have her name on it AND it does NOT go out to other government officials. In this case, both occurred. Since she cannot, technically, get fired, she should really consider immediate retirement because there will be a lot of people after her.

Not surprising... the OC is seething with bigots... take the Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly incident for example a few weeks back.

There is certainly no shortage of racists in the O.C. thats for sure. I suppose the same can be said about the far-right as well, even though they claim to be devout Christians, but seemingly hate immigrants, muslims and other people of color. Makes you really wonder if people really would want to know (or follow) what Jesus really taught or would do?

Its a real shame that people can be so mean, i understand not liking someones political philosophy and policy's. But seriously making fun of someone and comparing them to a monkey is totally wrong.

Now i cant stand obama's policy's ( there really is no "change") and I certainly didn't vote for him, but to think for a minute that im going to support the other party (GOP) in the next election to kick out obama when all the GOP has done is spread fear and hate (since they dont have any real solutions of thier own) - is just preposterous.

Dear Ms. Davenport

Your actions are indefensible!
It doesn’t matter whether you like or agree with President Obama’s policy, he is still OUR President and deserves the respect of the office.
You are, however, a different story – you do not deserve the respect of the electorate or your party, resign!

too late ,your true heart has already been expressed, keep the heat on for her to step down.

I didn't agree with the Dubya Bush-ape theme either. I usually chose Bozo the Clown for him. For Republicans who might want to look for something non-racist to use as propaganda, consider a picture of a trickster or a joker. Check out some commedia dell'arte stock photos.

Come on guys, its hilarious.
Right away she's a racist, she made a joke, thats all.
Just wait, the White House will be using the race card in an attempt to
get obama re elected.
Hey the guy does look like a monkey tho !

The media attention about this story isn't about someone being racist. It's about a political organization trying to exploit a situation for political gain.

"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." -- Marilyn Davenport

Soooo, I guess she thought he was another white President????

I heard Bill Maher say once that “I don’t think Republicans are racist; but I do think that if you are racist your probably vote Republican.”

She has done this before. Her apology is disingenuous. But then again this is what the republican party is all about.

As a republican I’m hurt as a black woman I am outrage! For Davenport to think that everyone was just going to laugh this off shows just how backwards my party is becoming. Democrats and Republicans need a shakeup and both parties are going to see a raise in independent voters in this coming election. I've been involved in politics as a young republican for as long as I can remember growing up in Nebraska. I never thought that a party I have loved and cherish my whole adulthood would just be so slow to act on this. Mrs. Davenport MUST step down! This is the second time in just a few years that the republican party has been embarrassed by it's chosen leaders with an email poking fun at blacks or its leaders in the State of California.

I'm so angry I normally don't let racist ignorance get to me but this must stop. Over the last few years I've defended my choice of being a republican to my husband, family, friends, and co-workers but maybe I should rethink my party and their lack of respect for those other than whites? Historically this has been a party for blacks but maybe now it's time to look elsewhere for a party that respects all that vote?

Sincerely a black wife and mother of two potential republicans?,

TaNisha Harris

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