A Republican official caught sending an email in which Barack Obama is depicted as a monkey is saying that she's not a racist, and that the email in question was "a joke." Marilyn Davenport is a member of the central committee of the Orange County Republican Party, and last week she sent some friends of hers a message with the subject heading "Now you know why no birth certificate." Attached to that email was a picture of Obama as the son of chimpanzees." Asked by a reporter if she thought the email was appropriate, Davenport said, "Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black."
A precursor to Davenport was former Los Alamitos, California, Republican Mayor Dean Grose, who after Obama took office in 2009 sent out an email with a picture of a watermelon patch on the White House lawn.
Grose eventually resigned amid the scandal his email caused, but he also maintained that he had no idea the the message was racially charged.