A couple of days ago, while watching Fox News during some treadmill work, I was taken aback by Sean Hannity’s take that the Republican Party—not Lyndon Johnson or the Democrats—was primarily responsible for the Civil Rights Act. According to Hannity, most Republicans were in favor of equality. But those damned Democrats stood in the way, relentlessly championing whites-only … blah, blah, blah.
The above photograph was distributed last week in an e-mail sent out by a Southern California Republican official named Marilyn Davenport. She is a party central committee member who sent out the photo, alongside the words, “Now you know why no birth certificate.”
The OC Weekly contacted Davenport, who seemed genuinely shocked that the image was problematic. “You’re not going to make a big deal about this are you?” she asked.
This is obviously old stuff for the Republicans, who have been loading up all their racist, venomous bullshit into the whole “How do we know he’s a citizen?” movement. It’s funny, actually, watching these tools shrug and say, “Racist? Who’s racist?” upon being confronted on such actions. Literally, this was Davenport’s statement:
“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. . . . I received plenty of emails about George Bush that I didn’t particularly like yet there was no ‘cry’ in the media about them.”
The best part: I’m 90 percent sure Davenport didn’t think about race when she posted the photo. Which is even more pathetic than had she thought about race. Because it shows the galling tone-deafness of a woman; of a movement; of a party.
PS: This, from the OC Weekly, is fantastic:
Tim Whitacre, a longtime conservative Orange County Republican activist in Santa Ana, defended Davenport: “Marilyn Davenport is a staunch, ethical Republican lady. There is nothing unethical about this from a party standpoint because it wasn’t sent out to the party at large with any racist statements and it wasn’t signed as a central committee member. As a private individual, she is just real big on Birther stuff. One of her passions that drives her is the president’s lack of forthrightness about where he was born. Marilyn believes that nobody knows where he was born and so this picture says a thousand words.”
Whitacre continued: “She is not a perfect lady, but she is no racist. She is a gentle person who would feed you, help you, be there for you if you were in trouble. She is known as a pleasant, loving person, and it kills me that she is being attacked by this non-story knowing her mindset.”