Gorillas, Chimps, & Spooks: The GOP’s Favorite Things
The natives are restless again. It seems the more I try to sell what’s good about the Republican party to my liberal and black friends, fiscal responsibility, limited government and lower taxes, the harder it gets. Republicans continue to prove racism is alive, well and kicking within the established ranks of the party and it needs to be expunged from the GOP.
Once again, we have white Republicans portraying President Barack Obama, our first elected BLACK president, as a chimpanzee. Orange County Republican Committee member Marilyn Davenport thought it would be funny to create a portrait of a chimpanzee family with a Mom and Dad holding a baby chimp in overalls with the face of President Obama and the caption, “Now you know why — No birth certificate!” Davenport then emailed it to some of her closet friends and other committee members.
When her grotesque, disrespectful, racist caricature of the President of the United States was revealed to a reporter, she called the person’s action “cowardly” (ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black) and defended her actions:
“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. “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.”
Her excuse for being caught in “emailing while racist” ranks up there with “the dog ate my homework” and “some of my closest friends are black.” This reminds me of the summer of 2009 when Newscoma.com reported on its blog that Sherri Goforth, legislative aid to Tennessee State Senator Diane Black (R-Gallatin), emailed “Historical Keepsake Photo” to “the wrong list of people.”
Every white president in the image was depicted with a portrait or photo of himself until you get to our 44th and first black president Barack Obama. His picture is a caricature of the grossest, most racist sort: a black background with white eyes piercing through. This image is reminiscent of a spook, a racist term used for blacks to suggest because of their dark skin they can blend into the night and look like a ghost. The image also looks like a coon, another abhorrent caricature portraying blacks as lazy, inarticulate buffoons.
I dubbed this the long hot GOP racist summer of 2009 because South Carolinian Republican activist Rusty DePass compared Michelle Obama to a gorilla, who escaped from Columbia, South Carolina Zoo. Then I wrote: “Either image is offensive and racist and particularly repugnant when applied to the President of the United States. It reminds us this country and more importantly the Republican party has a long way to go on race relations and living in reality.”
Ms. Goforth didn’t resign and only was reprimanded by her boss. Of course Ms. Davenport is showing the same racist resilience and refusing to resign or admit she did anything wrong.
Since blacks were brought to America as slaves in the 1600s, we have been compared to monkey’s, chimpanzees, gorillas, apes, ridiculed as coons, sambos, mammies and Toms, anything short of equals to whites. The fact that Aunt Jemima syrup is still sold in the US is repugnant in itself. And that not too long ago, the image of the overweight black mammy with a bandana wrapped around her head like Mammy in Gone with the Wind still adorned the bottle of syrup is even more abhorrent and repulsive.
Apparently, Orange County GOP Committee Chairman Scott Baugh has called for Davenport’s resignation but he needs to do more than that. If she refuses to resign, Baugh should kick her off. As a conservative BLACK woman, I’m sick of talking out of both sides of my mouth, condemning the racism erstwhile calling myself a Republican and encouraging people of color to step into a GOP tent in which they don’t seem to be welcome.
Newsflash GOP: White bigots don’t own the Republican party and We Blacks have just as much right as whites to believe in the Grand Old Party as the rest of you. GOP and Tea Party Newsflash #2: You both need to get over this birther and racist talk. It should not be tolerated by party leaders like Speaker John Boehner. Obama is a US citizen and yes a Black man. If you have a problem with either, get over it. This kind of bigoted talk direct or inferred isn’t going to win you elections in the 21st century. It may have worked before 1964 but not today. Criticize Obama on his performance not the color of his skin.
While some Americans may not agree with Obama’s policies, I think it shameful he and the First Lady continue to endure this utter disrespect of the office of the President by the people of the United States. I think some Americans need to go back and read the Constitution and remember “all men are equated equal,” yes that includes the Black president of the United States.