This next bit of “Really? Here? Now? In the 21st century?” reminds me of a great line from the good, albeit overrated, film, Casablanca:
Inspector Renault (just before taking his cut of the gambling proceeds): I’m shocked! shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
So it is with racism and Orange County.
(btw, does anyone still say “Behind the Orange Curtain” anymore? I was a kid during the Cold War and actually paid money to see “Red Dawn” in the theaters, but maybe you Millenials out there have come up with something new?).
In 2009 Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose got in hot water after a silly little joke picture he e-mailed about some White House landscaping undertaken by the Obamas was misinterpreted by bleeding heart liberals.
Yes, Grose apologized – no doubt heartfelt and sincere – and no doubt under no pressure from anyone to do so.
But now – and here I can say I’m proud to be a feminist-in-training – Marilyn Davenport, a SoCal Tea Party activist and member of the central committee of the Orange County Republican Tea Party, has made Mr. Grose look like Mr. Rogers.
Davenport sent out this picture with the caption,
“Now you know why no birth certificate.”
First, though, I have to take a hard look in the mirror and admit I just assume that ultra-creepy-retrograde-racist crap like this comes exclusively from the minds of men. This is shit that boys do, not girls. You’d think I’d know better. And for making that chauvinist assumption, I’m sorry.
Unhappy with the “liberal media” for outing her rapier wit and going on to demand the identity of the “coward” who leaked her harmless joke, Davenport did, however, upon calmer reflection, also strike a note of contrition – again under no pressure from Scott Baugh, chairman of the OC Republican party, who may or may not have described the e-mail as “despicable” and “dripping with racism” and calling for her to “step down” – by offering this apology:
“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 that he’s half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind…”
While I might buy that thoughts generally don’t enter this woman’s mind, I’m having a little trouble swallowing her open hearted color blindness. A monkey, hmm? Of all the animals in the animal kingdom, why a monkey? Why not liken Obama to a flamingo? Or a horse? Or a meerkat?
Meerkats are cute, and I don’t know where they come from.
Davenport, though, had to draw the line somewhere, and so she has refused to step down. The most drastic action the party can take is to censure her.
“Now, Marilyn, I know you didn’t mean to offend anyone, but comparing African Americans to apes might be perceived as insensitive. I know you didn’t mean to suggest their brains are small and that they can not speak and that they are unaware that doing things like throwing their feces at each other is considered tacky in some circles, so please don’t do this again, or at the very least, don’t circulate it by e-mail? Can you promise to do that? You can? Okay, Marilyn, I think you’ve learned your lesson. You can go out to recess now.”