Marilyn Davenport calls offensive Obama email satire. Another GOP Hardy Har Har

United States
April 23, 2011 7:35pm CST
When something is funny, but is directed as a insult, it's best to shrug it off with sarcastic laughter saying "Hardy Har Har". That is what Southern California GOP official Marilyn Davenport wants everyone to believe after sending an email depicting President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee. Speaking publicly for the first time, Davenport reiterated that she will not resign from her elected post on the Republican Party's Orange County Central Committee. "I feel that it was inappropriate and I offended people," she told reporters outside her home. "I think it's only racist when the intent in my heart is to make it that way, and that was not the intent in my heart." Normally I'd be willing to give Mrs. Davenport the benefit of doubt. However this type of thing is not an isolated incident when it come to the GOP in general and the Tea Party Movement in particular. From signs at Tea Party rallies that portray the President of the United States as an "African witchdoctor," to Palin rallies where her supporters mocked then candidate Barack Obama for being a "monkey," to a series of emails that recycled stereotypes of black men as pimps and the White House as a watermelon patch, Republicans and the Tea Party Movement appear to have much racial resentment towards America's first African American president. I've tried hard to understand what makes people behave in such a way. I wonder what's going on inside the head of someone like Davenport when she receives such a image and decide to forward it to friends and family. At a time when Americans are looking for leaders with solutions I wonder why someone as prominent as Davenport spends valuable time behaving in such a childish, sophomoric fashion. My only conclusion is that there is deep racial resentment among some who support the GOP and there is blatant racial resentment by many within the Tea Party Movement aimed at undermining America's first Black President's legitimacy and authority. Never will they be able to accept that the Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected Barack Obama as the first black president in its 104-year history. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School. Never will they ever be able to accept that, against all odds, the President crossed the racial divide and was elected as the 44th President of the United States of America. Never will they be able to equate being a community organizer with anything other than being a Chicago thug. In conclusion, I know that there are going to be those who chalk this all up to satire and feel that the response to Davenport's email is a overreaction. However, Americans are facing some difficult times. Wouldn't it be better for the GOP to try and unite our diverse nation than divide it along racial lines? Davenport is the same woman defended the Watermelon pics on the white-house lawn. "If they plant grass on the beach in Newport Beach it will bring Mexicans." The grandmother and Tea Party activist, who represents the 72nd Assembly District in Orange County, was immediately slammed with calls for her to step down. "When we send communications to our fellow elected officials it is a public action that reflects on the sender, the recipient, and this committee," GOP chairman Scott Baugh, who called the racist e-mail "despicable," said to the 75 people at Monday night's meeting. What is your opinion? Are Blacks oversensitive? Is the GOP infested with racists? Is the Tea Party Movement all inclusive?
3 people like this
4 responses
@jb78000 (15178)
25 Apr 11
well that sounds racist. and yes context does kind of matter, who you direct a particular insult to or at determines how offensive it is. a more minor analogy - if i called a slim friend a fat cow for ordering and eating an enormous meal, obviously not an insult. if i called my decidedly overweight boss a fat cow, insult. however i would give the politician in question the benefit of the doubt and believe her when she said she didn't mean it to be racist. this of course means she must be as thick as two short planks for not realising how it could be interpreted. if you can find a few more idiotic politicians in her party i think you would have a quite valid argument for said party being infested with complete turnips.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
25 Apr 11
"this of course means she must be as thick as two short planks for not realising how it could be interpreted." And right there you are 100% correct. Any time a monkey is used in reference to ANY democrats (even Nanci Pelosi somehow) it is going to be called racist. Only an idiot would fail to realize that.
@jb78000 (15178)
25 Apr 11
really? if this is true and the people doing the calling are politicians, congratualations taskr. you have found some complete turnips in the Other Team. how does it feel for your country to be run by root vegetables?
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Apr 11
So your fat boss resembles a fat cow too much to call him/her a fat cow? So you're saying black people look like monkeys? WTF? Insensitive.
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
24 Apr 11
Not much to add different from Taskr above me. I do not buy into the dueling standings here, that you can't call one person the same name you'd call another based on nothing but skin tone. Equality means Obama can be called a chimp, monkey, gorilla, etc, in the same context as Bush was called a chimp, monkey, gorilla, etc. Oh, but the history of individuals using "monkey" as a smear toward black people? Ahh. Tough. But it can't work both ways. I don't subscribe to separate vocabulary. Why? Because it's not even the words used! It's the fact that they're said about a black person, not what's being said. Example: Call Bush a fascist and it's let go. Call Obama a socialist and it's suddenly code for n*gger. I don't think blacks are oversensitive per se, at least no more so than anyone else. People are oversensitive. But to taskr's point, there's encouragement for people to act offended. I don't think the GOP is infested with racists either. I think we're looking too hard at to whom something is said and not actually giving context to what is being said. A non-political parallel: Look at Cam Newton taking heat in the press this year. Folks are lining up to call it racism, that no one would be saying anything negative if Cam weren't "black." But then flash back only one year and look at Tim Tebow. This guy was crucified 10x harder than anything Newton is facing. Tebow had his religion insulted along with his skills. Racism because Newton's black, and totally ignored because Tebow's not. It's getting a bit ridiculous. Call racism racism when it's racism. Stop inventing it if it's not. Falling back on history and contending that races need to be handled differently is, in itself, racist. I know it's supposed to be PC and all that, but it's not the least bit logical. All that aside, I can't say that this woman's intent wasn't to be racial/ist. Perhaps she did mean it to be racist. But it's just not in me to notice that Obama's black, the woman's white and right-wing, thus it must be. I forget the guy's name at the moment, but it was a writer for the New York Times who went off on a rant comparing Bush to a monkey. All that's good and well. But if the same is said with Obama targeted instead of Bush... Come on. Can anyone else see how strange that separate standard is? We're either equal people or we're not. It's more of a cop-out - a way to get out of being criticised, it seems.
• United States
25 Apr 11
This is why the racial divide will continue to widen within the United States of America. You guys have no clue how offensive this caricature is to Black people. No one I know find it funny. Just imagine a Black 5 year old boy or girl seeing this photo. Just imagine a Blackl senior citizen, who can remember the pre-Civil Rights days seeing this photo. Yes we are very sensitive and we have every right to be.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Apr 11
Yeah. Imagine a 5-year-old black boy seeing a photo like that. He won't know what's going on unless someone else tells him he's supposed to be offended by it. Black, white, Asian, Latino - it doesn't matter. We're all taught racism and that there are separate standards for people. That black boy would live his entire life thinking that there's absolutely no difference whatsoever in Bush being called a chimp and Obama being called a chimp. Through innocent eyes, bereft of cultural influence insisting he separate things based on skin tone, he sees two men being treated as equals. He'll believe that until he is taught that one is unacceptable and the other is worthy of a giggle - that one is done with joking intent and the other is a malicious smear, no matter what the context, likening a black person to a monkey because of skin tone, or assigning a political ideology in place of a racial dig. There's a difference in knowing history and preaching an ongoing saga while using picked and chosen events to keep the narrative alive. Fault of the GOP?
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@Rollo1 (16693)
• Boston, Massachusetts
25 Apr 11
"Yeah. Imagine a 5-year-old black boy seeing a photo like that. He won't know what's going on unless someone else tells him he's supposed to be offended by it." Totally agree. Kids of that age don't think about race, they don't know anything about race. They learn about it, but not from a photo of a monkey, they think monkeys are funny. They think adults portrayed as monkeys is hilarious. Innocence doesn't last long, but it's taken quite deliberately. Honestly, when they started trying to teach my son about MLK in Kindergarten, he didn't understand at all. Kids of that age are too young to understand and the concept of someone being shot for being peaceful is just beyond them and scary. I wish they would wait until these lessons are age appropriate and kids can really grasp the concept of hate and why it is wrong and where it comes from. Otherwise, it's just one more scary story told to a child whose knowledge of the world is too small for him to put it in perspective. At this age, they still think Santa can go all over the world in just one night.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
24 Apr 11
Hey Lloyd, haven't seen you in politics in a while. I hope you've been doing well. I'll start by addressing the chimpanzee a bit. First off, it was rude, inappropriate, and downright stupid. Barring any evidence though I will NOT call it racist. Why? Because portraying Obama as a chimp is no different to me than the way democrats portrayed Bush as a chimp for 8 years while he was in office. There's still a woman at my library with a "Chimpeach" bumper sticker on her car portraying Bush as a chimp. My wife was once given a birthday card by a friend that portrayed Bush's face next to chimps in various different expressions. If that's not racist than neither is this. http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/akinca/chimpeach.jpg http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_8Auoj7oD9AM/SPFLAo_GU4I/AAAAAAAAAjI/gp3Hv0CLZRQ/s400/Bush-Chimp.jpg Why do people do it? Because chimps are funny and they are our most closely related animal. "From signs at Tea Party rallies that portray the President of the United States as an "African witchdoctor," That was sent out in an email by some random moron. I have NEVER seen it appear at any tea parties. If it had then the anti-Tea Party people would have pictures of it. After all, they have a team of smear specialists working together on teapartytracker.org and they haven't been able to find anyone carrying that sign. "My only conclusion is that there is deep racial resentment among some who support the GOP and there is blatant racial resentment by many within the Tea Party Movement aimed at undermining America's first Black President's legitimacy and authority." Did you think it was racial when people did the EXACT same thing to Bush? Haven't you considered that these people don't like Obama because they disagree with his agenda? "Never will they be able to accept that the Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected Barack Obama as the first black president in its 104-year history." And Bush's opponents wouldn't accept that he earn an MBA at Harvard. They still claim he's an idiot, illiterate, etc. "Wouldn't it be better for the GOP to try and unite our diverse nation than divide it along racial lines?" The only ones making this a race issue are democrats Lloyd. Black republicans have actually been making huge strides in recent years including Herman Cain and Allen West. "Are Blacks oversensitive? Is the GOP infested with racists? Is the Tea Party Movement all inclusive?" I think black people are encouraged to be oversensitive. I think they're encouraged to use the word "racist" as a way to to marginalize their opponents. I think the ones who do that most though are democrats who do it just to make black people THINK they are fighting for them, when in reality they are simply demagoguing to hurt their political opponents. The GOP is not infested with racists. You'd have to show more than a chimp picture to make me believe that. I strongly encourage you to go to a tea party. See how you're treated by the people there. The only way to know for sure if they are inclusive is to see for yourself, first hand. Otherwise you're likely to hear a bunch of lies from the left wing media without getting the full story. If you want to see some REAL racism look at the way Democrats protesting a Tea Party people treat black people who attend Tea Parties. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgV3PZkJmk4&feature=player_embedded
• United States
25 Apr 11
Taskr36, this is not some isolated incident. Why do they keep doing this type of thing? I don't find it funny at all. I think it's time for Republicans in general and the Tea Party Movement in particular to begin discussing and debating the issues as opposed to sending childish and racist email among themselves. Perception is reality in my eyes. There is no way I'd attend a Tea Party rally knowing that some in the crowd feel such a depiction of our President is acceptable. Why haven't any of the so-called leaders of the Tea Party Movement come out publicly and condemn this photo? It's because they see nothing wrong with it.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
25 Apr 11
"Why do they keep doing this type of thing?" Who is "they"? PEOPLE do this and it is by no means limited to one party or one race. Did you look at the links I provided? Did you see how Bush was frequently compared to a monkey? Why is it suddenly racist when the president is black? "I think it's time for Republicans in general and the Tea Party Movement in particular to begin discussing and debating the issues" They've been doing that for years Lloyd. It looks to me like you're ignoring everything said by Republicans, and Tea Party people and instead, focusing on a random photo put out by one person that is no different from the very common monkey photos of Bush. "There is no way I'd attend a Tea Party rally knowing that some in the crowd feel such a depiction of our President is acceptable." Does that mean you would never attend a Democrat rally either since you already know they feel that depicting our president that way is acceptable? Bush was compared to a monkey many times and I NEVER heard any democrats object. Even better, why didn't ANY Democrats EVER object to the blatant, and yes, they were VERY blatant, racist attacks on Condoleeza Rice calling her, in no uncertain terms, a "House N***er". Come on Lloyd, you're a smart, and generally reasonable guy. Look around, be objective, and don't buy all this race baiting crap the democrats are feeding you. Check the links I provided in my original post. If you want to see a good side by side comparison check out this page. http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/obama-as-a-monkey-is-racism-so-shut-the-fck-up-bushchimp-and-condi-housengga/ And if you just want to see some blatant racism by democrats, which none have EVER condemned, check this out. http://michellemalkin.com/2008/07/16/clueless-washington-journalist-of-the-day-john-harwood/
@anniepa (26634)
• United States
26 Apr 11
"Did you see how Bush was frequently compared to a monkey? Why is it suddenly racist when the president is black?" Taskr, I KNOW you're an educated and intelligent guy; I KNOW you know a fair amount about our history; therefore, I can't believe you'd ask a question like the above! There is absolutely no way I'd even attempt to defend anyone who would portray Condie Rice in the manner some did. I won't defend the indefensible and I won't try to say they weren't both racist AND sexist. I'm also not going to defend anyone who depicted former President Bush as a monkey because I don't like this kind of childish and cruel behavior in general. However, as I already said I know you're well aware of the history of African Americans being depicted as monkeys, apes, chimps, etc. in order to imply they were somehow "sub-human". THAT'S why it's racist when the President is black! When the President is white it's just plain stupid and childish, which is bad enough but not as bad as racist slurs. If there were a picture of Hillary Clinton or any other white woman shown with an exaggeratedly large mouth and supposedly obeying some man, that would also be stupid and childish and a bit sexist but it wouldn't be racist so it's worse when it's done to Condie Rice. Annie
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
25 Apr 11
Is it racist when Rev. Sharpton calls some college students Rich White Boys who raped a black girl. Later proven not true but Rev Sharpton still has not apologize for it and those boys will carry that false charge with them the rest of their lives. Is it racist when the President said the Republicans can join them but they will rid in the back (referring to Blacks having to ride in the Back of the Bus) Laws by the way passed by Democrats. Is it racist to throw Oreo Cookies and call David Steele a Oreo because he is conservative? I did not hear liberals decrying those actions as being racist. In recent counter TEA party demonstrations you had a Black students and a white one call a Black man a token and saying when the masser says sing you say Masser What should I sing? Where was the condemnation of that. You should read some history and you would find out that after the Civil War when Republicans were in charge of the South they elected Blacks to office, there were Black business men, and Blacks were allowed to ride and sit where they wanted on the Street Cars - until the Democrats too over. It was a Democrat Governor who stood in the door way and blocked blacks from attending White schools and it was a Republican President who sent in Federal Troops to enforce the law. Why is it racist to disagree with A Black Persons policies but it is all right shout down, insult and assault a white person who is trying to speak? To answer your question no Blacks are not oversensitive except a few leaders who make their living by keeping the race issue alive and seeing race as the cause of every thing they disagree with.