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Orange County GOP official considers photo of President Obama as baby chimp 'amusing'

  President Barack Obama looking at a computer screen

Failing to see any racism in a digitally altered photograph of President Obama and his family portrayed as chimps, Marilyn Davenport, an elected member of the Orange County GOP central committee, says that she will not resign after it was discovered that she emailed the image to several cohorts along with the message: "Now you know why — No birth certificate!"

Indeed, the OC Republican "simply found it amusing" and said it reflected the president's character.

Defiantly saying that the kerfuffle was "much ado about nothing", Davenport issued a statement (via email, naturally) that what she sent out was no different than what she received when President Bush was in office.

"I'm sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth," Davenport wrote Saturday. "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. We all know a double standard applies regarding this president. I received plenty of emails about George Bush that I didn't particularly like, yet there was no 'cry' in the media about them."

OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh, however, said the email was "despicable." He told the Associated Press that Davenport's email "drips with racism and I think she should step down from the committee."

When confronted by the OC Weekly, which first reported the story, she claimed it was "just an Internet joke" and then asked the alternative newspaper, "You're not going to make a big deal about this are you?"

Baugh, however, did try to make a big deal about it because he does not want others to think that Davenport represents the views of other OC Republicans. However, upon investigation, he discovered that bylaws prevent an ouster of Davenport, an elected official, and the best he can do is organize a censure.

Davenport, of Fullerton, says she has friends who are black and thus she is not what some claim she is. "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." 

However, another former California GOP bigwig says this is the third time recently that Davenport has been involved in a highly controversial matter revolving around race. Former Chairman of the California Republican Party Michael Schroder recalls that when another racist image was emailed in 2009 of the White House sitting behind a field of watermelons, Davenport defended Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose who sent out the email with the message "No Easter egg hunt his year." Regardless, Grose stepped down.

Similarly, when Newport City Councilman Richard Nichols voted against installing grass near the ocean because it would "attract Mexicans", Davenport backed the councilman, Schroder told KCAL.


Proposition 8: Who gave in the gay marriage battle?

O.C. GOP leader slams colleague who sent Obama-chimpanzee email

Note: Andrew Malcom is on vacation.

-- Tony Pierce

Photo: President Barack Obama, accompanied by Barbara Miner, PhD, Manager, Intel Transmission Electronic Microscope Lab, right, and Intel CEO Paul Otellini, second from left, looks at a computer screen at the Intel Corporation with in Hillsboro, Ore., Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Credit: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Comments () | Archives (73)

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I'm waiting to see her "friends who are Black" speak out on behalf of Ms. Davenport harnless joke.

Shame on you Marilyn Davenport!! Even if you didn't intend for this picture to be racist, Barack Obama is PRESIDENT of the United States!! Whether you a republican or democrat, this is very disrespectful. Marilyn Davenport you need to resign.

"In no way did I even consider the fact he's half black when I sent out the email."

Would the village missing its idiot please report to Orange County immediately?

See this is why I could never be a republican. But go ahead, keep doing things like this. All you're doing is making the GOP look bad.

The GOP Tea Party racists can no longer pooh-pooh charges of their racist hatred and membership. Yes, Marilyn Davenport IS without a doubt the face of the Conservative Republican Tea Party Confederate movement in America today. Their problem with President Obama has nothing to do with his policies. They hate the fact that a Black man is the most powerful person in the world! Hey Marilyn (and all of you TP racist traitors), get ready for FOUR MORE YEARS of Obama, Obama,Obama! Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!

Because as we all know it's sticks and stones that are okay but words just kill. And images, OMG, no free speech for you there.

Why does the photo accompanying this article have no description?

Is that Marilyn Davenport standing directly behind Obama?

Get with it, people.

This woman is either crazy or lying. No one who could blink and walk at the same time could be this ignorant.

Isn't this the same thing the Nazis under Hitler did to Jewish People?
Another racist Republican/Tea Bagger....from Orange County...who would have thought?

Even Abe Lincoln was caricatured like a monkey, in newspaper editorial cartoons of the day. So what's the news? Just noise from the crazy libturds protecting their "boy" wonder.

Keep moving people.

For all of you shouting racist, I say, do unto others!
Weren't you people the ones who put forth all the Bush/chimp images?
Just google the internet and you'll find a half dozen, so just WHY does it seem racist when you do it to Mr. Obama?

And MOST of you believe in evolution, and if so, aren't ALL of us, BLACK and WHITE descended from apes, according to Almighty Darwin?

Seriously, I need white folks to come up with better insults than referring to black people as monkeys. We are not in the 1950s anymore, and the whole monkey bit (along with the use of the "N" word) is getting old -- to the point where it's not even offensive anymore, it just makes you look stupid and ignorant. Marilyn Davenport is a joke!

I was a Republican before she was born, but I left the Republican party partly because of the insensitivity of people like this within the party. There are no doubt people this insensitive in the Democratic party, but it is not as prevalent by any means. I happen to be caucasion, but I stood for equal rights when it was not popular and believe that this woman is lying when she says that she saw nothing racist about it. Hopefully, the Republican leadership will find a way of censoring and removing her from any position of leadership.

Baloney. Davenport certainly can be censured, and following censure, be removed from her office on the basis of "embarrassing." According to Sections J and K 8) a) of the OCGOP Bylaws, posted for all to see on their site. There's a run around going here. Baugh is cherry-picking his own bylaws so as to have his cake and eat it, too.

Dee Dee, how could you have missed the dozens of photoshops of Goerge Bush as chimp/ape from the previous 8 years?

Carlso, since YOUR party did those, your party ALREADY looks bad right?

Henry E Lowe: Why is it that when your party says something, it means it, but when the other party says something, they don't? Aren't BOTH parties made from politicians? As for racism, when 95% of a race votes for a single person who is a member of their race, wouldn't THAT be considered racist?

Finally BOB, does this mean that because of the previous publications (multiple) of the Bush/Chimp pictures, that all DEMOCRATS are racist nazis as well?

yes, let's have a list of those african-american friends, please. why do racists always drag out the tired, untruthful comment????

Obama should sue for hate crimes, that is racist, hateful to the colored race.

And comments not in accordance with Democratic Liberal bias will never be approved.

Colored Race?

We are ALL colored one way or another, I'm pinkish tan myself.

Again, why is it racist when Mr. Obama is pictured, but it wasn't when Mr. Bush is pictured? Is it because of Mr. Obama's RACE?

If so, those of you shouting racism, ARE racist, since your change your opinion based solely on RACE.

Just a sample of the lack of respect the Democrats accorded our previous President while he was in office.

And before you scream, but she was a high ranking Republican, keep in mind, she probably didn't create the picture, merely found it and passed it on, as I'm sure more then a few prominent Democrats did with some of these.

Keep in mind, this is only ONE site out of thousands, heck there's even one with the URL Bushorchimp.

Keep talking Hypocrites, do unto others.

I tend to liken this to the Helen Thomas fiasco, where she was caught on tape telling the Jews to go back to Germany. The both made an egregious error and I feel that both need to pay for that error in judgement with their job. Really a sad day for the GOP

Stay classy GOP

Mike, you should really stop before you hurt yourself. First, those people who understand evolution understand that we are not descended from the great apes. Apes and humans have a common ancestor and then branched off. That is real science.

Secondly, the photos depicting George W. Bush as a Chimp aren't racist and any amount of saying so doesn't make it true. There is a long history of depicting Blacks as monkeys, apes, chimpanzees, going back to Sambo which is from an African word meaning monkey. Even Howard Cosell got in trouble when he called a Black football player a "little monkey."

Finally, this "kindly grandmother" knew the post was offensive because she only sent it to people who she thought wouldn't be offended by it. She's a liar and a racist. When the head of the Orange County GOP thinks it's racist, you may want to listen.

I am really tired of racist politicians using the "I have a black friend" comment when their egregious actions are called into question. You need to poll the gallery, my dear, because if you truly believe that race did not play a part in the humor that you were trying to convey, then perhaps you really are clueless enough to believe that a simple aquantance is your friend. Will you be sending your sincere apology to each of those black friends? Also, if your constituents are not offended by your half-assed apology (sorry, but there was no other way to describe it), then I think I know the problem with California politics!

Last week, here in San Marino in the San Gabriel Valley, I saw a placard with a picture of President Obama made up to look Hitler. Honestly, I just can't imagine grown adults something this moronic. Never have I've seen the President of the United States depicted in such a digusting and horrendous manner. Politics or no, this is just incredibly stupid reflecting the mentality of the people behind it. Yes, and it is racist.

Well, I was born in England and raised in Canada and my wife is Mexican American. If anyone wishes to joke about any of the above, feel free, as far as I'm concerned. Most people do joke about racial stereotypes: the British are so X, the French are always X, Italians X, Germans are so X, Poles don't have any X, black men have big X, white guys can't dance, Oriental people are poor X, and there may be a statistical grain of truth that triggers the assessment. As for real truth on an individual basis there is none, and pretty nearly everyone knows it. The black people I know have far better honky jokes than I have black jokes and probably with good reason, and the Chinese I know have far better asian jokes than I do, of course I was too naive to get it when my Chinese girlfriend of many years ago told me that her grandfather and his brother were so poor that they shared a single set of clothing. I'm sure the reason I didn't get the hyperbole was not racism, but ignorance.

I think there are far too many people looking for political advantage that pretend a far greater umbrage than they truly feel and that most of the people taking offence are doing so on behalf of a race that is not theirs. Not that I am any political fan of his, but I'm sure Mr. Obama has the perfect reply should he stoop to take offence at such humor, all he has to do is say, "Yes, but look who is president." Which pretty much responds to just how much sway racism has in America.

I find your monkey "joke" abhorrent, disgusting, despicable and loathsome. Your apology was totally unaccetable. you are an abscess on humanity. I am willing to bet that you even call yourself a christian.

yours truly,
simone m. carbone

Davenport's use of the altered photograph reminds me of the Smothers Brothers skit when a couple frogs refused to let another frog into their pond - 'bigot - bigot."

When will Mr. Baugh can Davenport?

Evolution makes us brothers, from the same simnian genetic material.
The variation is really minute between the races.

The image of the President of the United States as an ape/monkey/plant with intent to demean bothers me regardless of the person who occupies that position.
Respect SHOULD be accorded to the Office of the President of the Untied States. The person occupying the seat at any time deserves a chance to do his job, and aquit his election honorably.
Satire IS a method of using your first amendment rights to poke fun at some authority figure.

And frankly I do feel since it's only because of Mr. Obama's race it IS racist, but you fail to take into account the defintion of racism.

Tell you what, give me a list of racist terms, so that I can publish it for all to avoid.
Please make a notation when the word is 'exclusive' to a certain racial and/or ethinic type. And which words are 'hateful' to each type as well.

It was in as poor taste now as it was 4 years ago to President Bush.
And just as hateful.

I can't imagine the sick specist mind that would equate mass murderer
Barack Obama with chimpanzzes.Chimpanzzeees don't commit mass murder
in Iraq,Afghanistan,Libya or anywhere else even if we do share over
98% of the same genes and thus genetrically there is little difference
between us.Furthermore it is us that are committing holocaust and
biocide against our fellow apes and other life forms on this planet.
It makes much more sense to compare Obama to Hitler or say Stalin
or even Winston Churchill or Bill Clinton or George Herbert Walker Bush
than to chimpanzees.!Note that your time left to see a chimpanzee or an
orangutan is rapidly decreasing everyday as the holocaust against them
increases everyday.Unfortunately Barack Osama Obama and his ilk such
No Chimpanzee is a mass murderer !

"Momma always saaaiiidddd, Stupid is as Stupid does... yuk, yuk." Mom, Is this idiot included?

Okay, help me understand this... Evolutionists say that we are all descended from chimps - this is being taught in schools... Democrats/liberals repeated put George W Bush's face in chimp pictures, and that was just funny... A fringe Republican puts Obama's face on a chimp picture, and it is automatically racist. If the caption had not mentioned how/where he was born, how would it have been any different from what the liberals did for years? I am not condoning the way it was done, and it was a very stupid act on the lady's part, but being a libertarian, I defend anyone's right to freedom of speech, just like i defended the liberal's rights for 8 years of lampooning the last president. If there is one thing this country has ALWAYS seen, it is political figures in less-than-flattering cartoons/pictures.

"In no way did I even consider the fact he's half black..."

This is what makes you an ignorant, privileged white person...

"In no way did I even consider the fact he's half black..."

This is what makes you an ignorant, privileged white person...

I like republicans - tea baggers - jokes!!! They reveal what they are truly about! Lets forget about Chimpanzee image! This lady is a very christian lady!!! Are you kidding me? Well, if she is christian, her statement is also offensive to other religions! Are only christians good people? what about muslims, other religions, atheists? Are all bad people? Was slavery and other ill-practices in our society not supported by christians? What excuse? Lets give this lady the benefit of doubt that she is too ignorant! How does she believe that Obama was not born in the US while facts prove it? I actually don't believe this lady is Christian. How could she believe in Jesus Christ who died long time ago and whom no document is available to justify his existence and not believe in Obama? Obama who is alive today and whom we can verify his documents including his birth certificate! Does christianity preach trust in others? This is why I can never become a republican! How can you claim to be a christian and at the same time discriminate others? Gay people, illegal immigrants, others, others, others!!!!!!!!

I've seen an amusing photo of Miss Davenport's face superimposed on a pig.... Or was it the back end of a horse

Either way, they're both pretty accurate.

The REAL story is WHO CARES! Is this REALLY what people care about now? She thought it was funny and sent it out to a few friends. SO WHAT. You people slamming her really need to get over this whole racist thing. Just because she thought it was funny does not make her a racist. If she sucks at her job, then you can ask her to step down. I assume many of you are you same people who also wanted to impeach Clinton for lying about getting a blow job. Maybe if you people concentrated more on real issues rather than stupid stuff like this, the country wouldn't be so screwed up.

I am beyond shock with this woman. She needs to be gone from her post based simply on stupidity. She must go.

The photo to the article suits so much!)

I dont see anything rascist about this, its pretty funny. All the blacks can do is whine about stuff.

I am a black republican and I don't find this offensive at all. So many brother's don't realize that Martin Luthor King was a republican and nobody has harmed the black man more than liberals.

This is nothing compared to the racist actions Obama has taken to destroy the white race.

Where have you been the past 10 years.
Google Bush Hitler and see what was pushed by folks over the previous administration.

Have you been blind during Republican Administrations?
And guess which group of sterling individuals created and posted that image, I'll give you a hint, the initials DNC.

And you use the word "honestly' in your post too.

Where you upset for the President then?

Disgusting. Racist. Immoral. But worst of all, the Republican Party and the Tea Party wing remain popular with such huge numbers of Americans. These are Americans who accept -- and support -- disgusting behavior, racism and immorality. I keep hoping American politics cannot sink any lower, but each passing day members of the Republican Party prove me wrong!

So how many of the few friends that she sent this email to are African American?

Those of you who claim this is no different than the pictures of Bush indicate that you are extrodinarly racist.
Comparing a black man to a chimp is further acknowledgement that you do not consider black man as humans.
Shame on you
Keep trying to justify becaause it only indicates how truly racist you are.

If good ole Davenport was the Christian she claims to be- she would have thought about the children of our president and how they would feel seeing this picture.
This picture to black people represents years of people saying that blacks are not people but chimps who have not evolved.
This picture further shows how racists believe that blacks are not equal.
Good Old Christian marilyn has a history of racist behavior from the watermelon picture to the not planting grass comments.
How about when Kennedy was president- would we have thought having him surrounded by beer bottles acceptable since ya know he was Irish and all Irish are drunks.
Or an pres.of Italian decent with a picture of he and she with a gold chain and polyester track suit. Would that be racist.?
Because we all know that italians wear gold chains and dress like the sopranos.

The e-mail issue is just another example (in a LONG list) of the Bigotry (including RACISM) that seems to be RAMPANT AND SYMBOLIC throughout the GOP Republican Party/Tea Party. Many of them probably would NOT have a good day if they did not get there daily DOSE/FEEDING of Bigotry, Hate, Idiocy, Racism, Misogyny (Anti-women), Anti-Gay, Hypocritical Religious Fanaticism, Greed, and of course IGNORANCE . . . People should be outraged by her actions and she should resign.

The Republicans problem with President Obama seem to have less to do with his policies, and MORE to do with them hating the fact that a Black man is President of the U.S. and one of the most powerful people in the world. The U.S. will never get beyond the ongoing hate and bigotry constantly displayed by the Republicans, if you continue to vote Republicans into office, and you should STOP voting for Republicans, whose name often conjures up the symbol of Bigotry and Hatred . . .

Isn't What They All Say!!! After They Say Something They Really Mean. Oh!!! I Really Didn't Mean it.What A Bunch Of Crap.
Get This. Hey Marilyn I Think You Are a Piece Of White Trash !!!! Oops I'm Sorry I Didn't Really Mean To Say That.

Using the cover of New Yorker magazine, depicting a caricature satire of President and Mrs. Obama dressed as armed Muslims in the Oval Office of the White House, as my template...yawn.

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A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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