Obama Depicted as an Ape Again

GOP official says the image is funny and has nothing to do with race. Really?

Posted: 04/18/2011 12:20 PM EDT
Filed Under racism, Barack Obama

(Photo: Orange County Republicans and Tea Baggers/blogs.ocweekly.com)

Some Republicans simply can’t get over the fact that an African-American man holds the nation’s highest office. In the latest “Oh, no they didn’t” news, the OC Weekly has reported that Marilyn Davenport, an elected Orange County Republican Party official, distributed an email last week depicting the president’s face superimposed on a chimpanzee that is captioned, “Now you know why — No birth certificate.”

After a much more defiant stand, Davenport finally issued a less defensive apology Monday.  "To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen the email I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior," she said in a statement obtained by CNN.

Earlier, Davenport was pretty unapologetic and said the media is making it a much bigger deal about the email.

“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,” she wrote in her first email defending her actions. “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.”

Clearly Davenport ascribes to the “why let a few facts ruin a good story” school of thought. Otherwise she would acknowledge that the double standard applied to Obama is that he is the only president in the nation’s history who has been constantly asked to prove his citizenship. And to say that she didn’t think about the fact that he’s “half black” is an outright lie and just plain bad manners.

So it’s not surprising that Davenport refused to resign her position despite calls from OC GOP chairman Scott Baugh for her to issue a real apology and step down. Unfortunately, the party’s by-laws prevent the committee from taking a vote that would force her to resign.

"There's no question the email is racist," Baugh told CNN Monday night. "The only question is what was in Marilyn's heart, what was her intent. But I don't think there's anybody on her committee or anybody in the world really that doesn't see it as a racist."

However, Tim Whitaker, a local conservative activist, defended Davenport, saying she acted as a private citizen who is “big” on the birther issue.

“One of her passions that drives her is the president's lack of forthrightness about where he was born. Marilyn believes that nobody knows where he was born and so this picture says a thousand words,” he told OC Weekly.

Maybe there’s something in the air. In 2009, the mayor of Los Alamitos, which is located in Orange County, resigned after sending out an email that depicted the White House front lawn as a watermelon patch with the the caption “No Easter egg roll this year.”

Do you think the comic is offensive or funny?