(TriceEdneyWire.com) — The California State NAACP this week lambasted a California Republican’s emailing of a cartoon depicting President Barack Obama as being from a family of apes.
NAACP President Alice Huffman has issued a statement describing the email sent by Marilyn Davenport, an Orange County Republican Central Committee member, as racist, outrageous, and disrespectful. The email shows President Obama’s head on the body of a chimpanzee with two chimp parents alongside him.
According to reports, the caption that ran with the photo says: “Now you know why no birth certificate.” This is a direct reference to the so-called “Birthers” movement, which seeks to broaden the belief that Obama was born in Kenya rather than the U. S.; therefore not qualified to be president.
The email resurrects historic Jim-crow-like racist and White supremacist views of Black people being less than human and being akin to apes.
“There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this cartoon, it is absolutely and positively racist in nature. There is no way that depicting the president of the United States as less than human can be considered anything but a racist act,” Huffman says in her statement.
“History has shown that Blacks have been depicted in this fashion in the past to degrade African Americans as not human. Anyone who does not know this history is either ignorant, had their head buried in the sand, or as we at the NAACP believe – simply racist. We have viewed this cartoon repeatedly and believe yet again that racism is alive and blatantly in our midst. It appears to the NAACP that the election of an African-American president has brought to the forefront outright racists who believe their philosophy degrading the worth of African Americans once again will be accepted in general. Why else would this cartoon be so easily and without conscience distributed so widely.”
The California NAACP Conference joined Davenport’s Republican colleagues in calling for her resignation. Davenport, who is a Tea Party activist and an elected member of the central committee of the Republican Party of Orange County, claimed she felt the email was a joke rather than an insult. Davenport issued two statements.
Her first statement referred to the uproar as “much ado about nothing.” With the increase in outrage, her response quickly changed: “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,” Marilyn Davenport said in her second statement. “I am an imperfect Christian lady who tries her best to live a Christ-like honoring life,” the statement said. “I would never do anything to intentionally harm or berate others regardless of ethnicity. So I ask for your forgiveness, for I am truly sorry.”
In her earlier statement Davenport said, “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.”
However, Orange County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh called Davenport’s email “despicable” and told the Associated Press that it “drips with racism and I think she should step down from the committee.”
Davenport is a member of the Tea Party, which national NAACP President Ben Jealous last year decried as having racism within its ranks. At Trice Edney Wire deadline, the national NAACP had not issued a statement or posting on NAACP.org.
Davenport has declined to step down, but Huffman says she will continue to push for her resignation.
“It is hard to accept but the reality is clear that people believe this to this day and is why Davenport felt comfortable disseminating this to her friends,” Huffman states. “The California NAACP calls on Marilyn Davenport to resign from the Orange County Republican Central Committee and if she continues to refuse to we call for the Orange County Republican Ethics Committee to look into her actions.”