Orange County Republican official Marilyn Davenport, a Tea Party activist, publicly apologized Monday night for emailing friends a photo depicting President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee with the caption: "Now you know why No birth certificate!" After an immediate uproar, Davenport first said the email was meant as a joke and blamed the media for blowing the whole thing out of proportion.
Davenport did not show up to the Orange County Republican Central Committee meeting to make her apology in person, nor did she address whether she would resign. She has told the OC Weekly that she will not.
"I humbly apologize and ask for your forgiveness of my unwise behavior," the statement said. "I say unwise because at the time I received and forwarded the email, I didn't stop to think about the historic implications and other examples of how this could be offensive."
KABC News reports that "Davenport also quoted the Bible and said she was 'an imperfect Christian' who tried to 'live a Christ-like honoring life....I would never do anything to intentionally harm or berate others regardless of ethnicity," she said. "I will not repeat this error."
We'll see. KCBS Channel 2 reported that:
Former Chairman of the California Republican Party Michael Schroder has demanded Davenport's resignation saying it's not her first brush with racist rhetoric.
In February 2009, Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose, another Orange County Republican, emailed the White House watermelon image and then apologized. While others demanded he step down, Davenport defended him. When a Newport City Councillman voted against installing grass turf near the beach because it would "attract Mexicans", Schroder claims that she supported him as well.
"That's three strikes," he says.
In an Eyewitness News/SurveyUSA poll, 70% of Southern Californians familiar with the email said they found it offensive, 27% did not.
(Crossposted at LGBT POV)