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.

Obama's real dad?

(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.”


  1. Disgusting.

    Honestly, I think this world is just MEANER since Obama came to office. Is the divide between Democrat and Republican just getting wider or is every one just MEAN?

    Makes me long for the days of the 1970s when the word ‘multicultural’ was a synonym for ‘hope’.

  2. she’s a tea partier. are we really surprised? that party is composed predominantly of crazy racists who want more respectability than the KKK can offer them.

    also, i think with any big move forward (end of slavery, civil rights era, first black president), there will be an equally intense backwards reaction (creation of jim crow and the kkk, assassination of both JFK and martin luther king jr, and now this tea party thing and birther movements etc). i don’t think the world is getting more racist-er, i’m taking all these vile reactions as just that – a kneejerk panic reaction from those who can’t deal with the visible, continued progression forward into a better world.

  3. i also want to say something in the defense of orange county – it ain’t all racist. i am asian american and grew up in orange county and i never felt discriminated against, uncomfortable, or made to feel different in any way. in fact, it was only after i left orange county for college and parts beyond that i had my first and subsequent brushes with racism. orange county is a diverse and multicultural place where alot of latino and first gen vietnamese american politicians hold office. of course, if you go deep into the super rich enclaves of south orange county, you’d probably encounter the traditional crazy conservative orange county-ians.

  4. Do we really have to say it again? Comparing Bush to a chimp is not racist since there isn’t 200 hundred years of stereotypes justifying racism against black people. In fact there are no racist insults you can use against white people which have been used to compare them literally to monkeys.

  5. i was curious what kind of reaction that website was going to bring out.

    for the record, Dumbya was one of the worst presidents ever.

  6. Beverly: my thoughts exactly. I’ve been reading about more and more open racism towards not just African-Americans and Black-Americans, but against everyone in general. It seems like the election of the first Black President made it OK to be openly racist, like decades of behind-closed-doors racism just opened up and now we’re drowning in a flood of it. The most disturbing part of all of this to me is that it doesn’t surprise me one bit. It may be an unhealthy way to live, but I expect people I don’t know to be racist towards me, and I hope it’ll be to my face instead of behind my back.