She’s a sweet, little old lady who barely even knows how to use a computer … for goodness sakes, she can barely cross the room without a walker, and some of her best friends are black! Add Marilyn Davenport’s “rinse and repeat” rolling apology to the anals of “caught in the act of racism” backtracks.
Donald Trump, who’s been a racist for a really long time and who remarkably, based on just his present statements, is not seeing his television projects boycotted like Glenn Beck’s, has “I’ve got a great relationship with the blacks.”
Obsessively anti-gay presidential contender Rick Santorum doesn’t read poetry, and so couldn’t have known that his new campaign slogan is a riff from a liberal, gay, black poet.
And when the tea party hauls out signs like this? It’s all just in good fun! Stop being so sensitive, you damned union thugs!
Whenever someone gets caught being a bigot, they always find a convenient excuse to squirm out of it. And if at first you don’t succeed…
Case in point, Orange County Republican and tea party supporter Marlilyn Davenport, who got busted forwarding a racist email supporting Trump’s birther crusade by surmising that President Obama’s parents must have been chimps … pause for laughter … okay, no laughter…? … exactly … initially responded in Trumpian fashion:
Reached by telephone and asked if she thought the email was appropriate, Davenport said, “Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people–mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.”
When that didn’t get the heat off, and fellow Republicans began calling for her to step down, sweet little old Marilyn tried a different approach: blaming the “liberal media” and going to the old tea party salt: “they did it to Dubya!”:
“I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth,” Davenport wrote. “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 [Scott Baugh, Orange County GOP boss, and this writer] tried to make this about race. . . . I received plenty of emails about George Bush that I didn’t particularly like yet there was no ‘cry’ in the media about them.”
Davenport continued: “That being said, I will NOT resign my central committee position over this matter that the average person knows and agrees is much to do about nothing.”
And when that still didn’t kill it, Marilyn tried a softer approach, calling in the reporter from the hated “liberal media” outlet that busted her, and pouring on the old lady charm:
She grabs a single sheet of paper and begins to read an unfinished statement she may publicly release as early as tonight.
“Basically, I want people to know that I humbly apologize and ask for forgiveness for my unwise behavior,” she reads, glancing up in between sentences. “Before I sent that email, I should have stopped to think about the historical implications [of depicting a black man as an ape]. That can be offensive. Obviously, I have unintentionally offended others, and I am so sorry.”
She pauses, scans her draft statement and then looks back at me.
“Basically, what I’m saying is that as a Christian I won’t ever repeat this,” she says. “I will be much wiser from now on.”
Several hours after this interview, Davenport–who cites Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater as her political heroes–released her formal statement, called herself “an imperfect Christian lady” and quoted the Bible in asking for forgiveness.
“I want you to know that I humbly receive your rebuke,” she wrote.
She added that she tries to lead a Christ-centered life, like that time Jesus turned water into wine, kicked a poor person in the face and tolld him to get a job and stop begging for welfare, and then high fived the Jews for escaping from those ape people in Africa. You know … Jesus!
Of course, sweet little old Marilyn, who some defenders claim really didn’t understand the context of the email — even though she’s old enough that she should be able to personally remember the civil rights era — couldn’t really be a racist, could she? Well, let’s ask a former chairman of the California Republican Party:
Michael J. Schroeder, an Orange County resident and former chairman of the California Republican Party, also said he was disgusted.
“This is a three strikes situation for Marilyn Davenport,” Schroeder said. “She was a passionate defender of former Newport Beach City Councilman Dick Nichols, who stated that he was voting against putting in more grass at Corona del Mar’s beach because, he said, there were already ‘too many Mexicans on the beach.’ She was also on the wrong side of the fence with the Los Alamitos mayor and his White House watermelon patch picture. Now, she has managed to top both of those incidents by comparing African Americans to monkeys. She has disgraced herself and needs to resign. If she doesn’t, the Republican Party must remove her.”
In February 2009, Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose, another Orange County Republican, emailed the White House watermelon image and then apologized.
I’m sure Marilyn has a perfectly innocent, sweet little old Christian lady explanation for those prior instances of un-Christlike behavior, too.