African-Americans Protest at Home of Sender of Chimp Email

Marilyn Davenport is turning back history’s clock to a darker time.

Posted: 04/25/2011 07:32 AM EDT
Filed Under Barack Obama, racism

Marilyn Davenport

While she claims that it was just a funny email that she was forwarding, Orange County Republican National Committee member Marilyn Davenport is learning that actions have serious consequences.

In addition to her email being called racist by her GOP colleagues last week, Davenport had to deal with a group of about 25 people representing various African-American organizations demonstrating in front of her home Saturday morning.

You see, there’s nothing funny about forwarding an email that depicts President Obama and his parents as chimpanzees. And Davenport, who initially offered up a very tepid and defensive apology, doesn’t quite understand that.

"For Marilyn Davenport to depict our president as a chimpanzee is an insult to all of our intelligence,” community activist Morris Griffin told the Orange County Register. “She is in a position of leadership. We ask her to step down, respectfully.”

Last week, Davenport released a more contrite apology that was read aloud by a colleague at  the Orange County Republican Central Committee: "To my fellow Americans and to everyone else who has seen this email I forwarded and was offended by my action, I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior.”

Some still saw it as a pretty lukewarm response to such a hot-button issue. And what kind of message was she sending to the people who weren’t offended? As Paulette Gipson, president of the NAACP’s Compton chapter, noted, Davenport’s actions and the support she has received harkens back to a darker period in the nation’s history.

“We are not going back in time, we're not going back to the back of the bus,” she told the Orange County Register. “This is not an issue about an email. It’s about a mind-set.”

If Davenport isn’t sorry now, she may soon be. According to another report, the OC Republican Party’s executive committee voted 10-2 to send the matter to its ethics committee.

(Photo:  ASSOCIATED PRESSAP)

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If she won't go voluntarily, should Marilyn Davenport be fired from her GOP committee position?