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A photomontage of Obama as a monkey creates controversy

by Nicole
April 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Many voices were raised on Monday in California to demand the resignation of an official Republican who forwarded an email with a photo montage showing President Obama’s face superimposed on the photo of a baby chimpanzee.

Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP, the largest organization of civil rights for African Americans, condemned the photo and called for the resignation of its author, Marilyn Davenport, a member of the Republican Party of Orange County and member of the current ultra-conservative Tea Party.

The photo circulated by email and had the following caption: “Now you know why no birth certificate,” echoing a fringe of the republican movement questioning Obama’s birth in the United States.

Chairman of the Republican Committee of Orange County, Scott Baugh, has strongly condemned the message of his colleague and called the committee to decide what action to take in the matter.

Davenport apologized for the incident, fending off accusations that she was a racist.

“I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth,” she wrote in an email. “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,” she added. “I received plenty of emails about [former president] George Bush that I didn’t particularly like yet there was no ‘cry’ in the media about them.”

As of Monday, Davenport said she had no intention to resign.

“I’m not going to resign,” Davenport told the Orange County Weekly in an interview. “I really have no plans to do so. My constituents have told me not to resign, and I’m very happy with their support. Everybody who knows me says they can’t believe people are calling me a racist. I am not a racist, but I do think I need to apologize again with different words.”

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