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Obama-Chimp Emailer Will Not Resign, Says 'Some of My Own Race' Would Be Offended by Email

Orange County Central Committee member says she didn't send the photo of the president's face superimposed on a monkey's body to people she thought might be offended, including 'some of my own race.'

Orange County GOP Central Committee member Marilyn Davenport, who has come under fire for sending out an email depicting President Barack Obama's face on the body of a baby chimpanzee, announced at a news conference just moments ago that she will not resign.

"I humbly receive your rebuke," Davenport said, and again apologized for sending the email.

Republican leaders' calls for her resignation. 

"I am getting comments from my constituents saying 'please do not resign,' and out of respect for my constituents, I will remain in office," Davenport said at the news conference outside her Fullerton home.

Davenport read the written apology she issued earlier this week, and went on to say she did not intend to offend anyone by forwarding the email. She noted, however, that she didn't send the email to some people who she thought she might be offended.

"I felt they might just not like it too well and might be a little offended about it so I didn't step on that feeling of theirs,'' she said.

"Those who would be offended would be those who perhaps would be of another race or in some cases that aren't black or brown or any other, some of my own race would be offended,'' she said.

"To the president, I would say absolutely it was inappropriate. It was inappropriate, and as I say, I would not do that again. As I said before, it struck me as just political satire. It's been around, I guess it's been around many times, but it was an unwise thing, a very unwise thing.

"The email included a picture with Obama's face superimposed over a baby chimp's face with the caption, "Now you know why -- No birth certificate!'' Davenport said she felt it was just "political satire.''

"I thought that's all it was,'' she said.

Republican Party of Orange County Chairman Scott Baugh said Monday he immediately scolded Davenport for sending the email.

"I was shocked. I took offense to it and I immediately replied to her email that this is dripping with racism. Don't send email like this,'' Baugh told City News Service. "I was the first to ask her to resign and she's resisted that.''

Frank Barbaro, chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, echoed the call for Davenport to resign.

"Ms. Davenport should do the right thing and resign her leadership position with the Republican Party to spare Orange County from further embarrassment and to send a message that she truly understands the harm she has caused and that the Republican Party does not support racism in any form,'' Barbaro said.

Republican leaders have called for her resignation. Davenport was concerned about safety, so the news conference was not announced to the public.

—City News Service

met00 April 28, 2011 at 05:27 AM
If we are lucky. Ms. Austin (Patch: Seal Beach - Los Alamitos) will cover public comments at next weeks (Monday's) Los Al City Council meeting, as I will be covering just this issue in the Public Comments section of the meeting. At issue is the opening of the meetings with a benediction that has made a slow stead progression to what now has become a Christian prayer. Here is part of it (I write these things over a week). "A number of you tend to start these meetings with a very non-secular prayer. You may not call it that, but only one organized religion uses “heavenly father”, the one that has the heavenly son, Christianity. Yet, more times than not that is how you start these meetings. In much the same way, only one major religion ends their prayers “in his name” again Christianity. I was willing to keep silent and walk from this peoples chamber until recently, in the last few months, there have been multiple incidents in local Orange County and LA County schools of children calling for mandatory prayer circles where they followed the lead set here and in other secular locations where they had Christian prayer in a secular forum. These children have been moved to blur the line between the secular and religious by watching their leaders do the same. If you do not respect that line, why should they? " But since all five of the City Council members are Christians, my guess is that this will fall on deaf ears.
South OC April 28, 2011 at 05:59 AM
met00: Like Ms. Davenport is clueless regarding what might or might not be offensive to people, particularly to those of other races, too many Christians are equally clueless with regard to how their public expressions of their Christianity, particularly in public (secular) situations (government business which is supposed to be religion neutral), is perceived by non-Christians (or Christians that actually understand what a separation of church and state actually means) . What's worse though is that those that are aware, don't give a rip. They consider that expressing their Christianity in such situations to be an entitlement protected the constitution, when reality it is an exercise born not just of ignorance and misinterpretation of the constitution, but an opportunity to profess their mistaken belief to anyone listening that their religion (Christianity in this case), is somehow superior to other religions and is therefore the religion of government. You may want to throw in the question, referring to the wall plaque, to which God are you referring on that plaque? That and ask them if they are aware of the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
met00 April 28, 2011 at 07:54 AM
I lost the plaque issue here in Los Al. It was lost in Westminster, but in 2007 Fountain Valley stood up against it and it went down in flames... In Sept of last year it finally was approved there. And in Lake Forest it has passed and they plan on spending in excess of $3K to put it on the outside of a city facility. The current list of OC cities that have done this is: Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Seal Beach, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda. The person behind it is: Jacquie Sullivan "Jacquie Sullivan's efforts date back to 2001. While working in her home/office and listening to the news on a Christian radio station, Jacquie heard about a small group on the East Coast that was protesting the words “In God We Trust” that were posted on a public building. She was offended that they were offended. She instantly felt a defiant determination to push back against those who seemed driven to remove God’s name from the public life of our country. “Fine," she said to herself, "if they are going to work to take our motto down, I am going work to put it up.”
South OC April 28, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Congratulations to you for fighting the fight. I'm betting you are familiar with this web site: http://www.religioustolerance.org/nat_mott.htm If not it's a good one. You are really fighting an uphill battle because the courts have taken the rather consistent, if illogical, position that so long as no specific religion is mentioned (the plaques don't actually mention a specific religion even though we all know to which religion they are referring), then they are perceived as generic and somehow, given the Christian fueled illogic under which they think, that's been deemed to be OK. To Christians who think this way they rationalize it as government isn't really promoting the establishment of a religion if they just mention "God" in a general sense (but we all know it's with a wink and smile). Never mind that even doing what they pass off as an innocuous act still creates a situation where government and religion become intertwined and never mind that it disenfranchises those who choose not to accept any religion as well as those whose religion involves multiple deities or some other worship structure. They don't understand that religious neutral really needs to be religious mute, and that our shared government must see us all as equals irrespective of whatever religion or non-religion we choose to accept.
Dan Avery May 01, 2011 at 07:00 PM
One thing to remember is that racists like Ms. Davenport are so egregious and there are so many of them lately that it becomes far too easy to brand all Republicans as racist. Scott Baugh condemned her actions immediately without waiting to see how this would play in the press. He was truly offended and said so. There are many more republicans like Baugh than ones like Davenport. What it really boils down to is that if America is based on freedom and equality for all, then the racists are clearly anti-American because they hate equality for all. I personally think the time has come to stop being civil to these throwbacks.

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