Black leaders in Alaska want Gov. Sarah Palin to speak out against the rash of racist Barack Obama jokes circulating on the state's email system.
A spokesman for Gov. Palin, who butted heads with Obama as the Republican vice-presidential candidate in this year's election, dismissed the emails as a bad deed done by just a sliver of the thousands of state employees.
"My understanding is that the Department of Administration is following up on this with the individuals who took action to forward the offensive e-mails," the spokesman said. "This is, of course, a confidential personnel and disciplinary matter that has nothing to do with the governor's office."
The disclosure of the emails was the result of a report by The Associated Press.
One of the five e-mails obtained by AP asks about the outcome of the Democrat's victory after all the time and money that was invested and concludes: "Another Black family living in government housing!" Administration Commissioner Annette Kreitzer, who alerted the governor’s office about the emails, described the episode as “embarrassing to the state.”
"They're doing that in a state setting," said the Rev. Alonzo Patterson, state chairman of the Alaska Black Leadership Conference, who wants Palin to repudiate the emails. "She should condemn it."