Davenport, the “Bush or Chimp” Defense, and Other Predictables from the Rulebook for Racists!


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A bushorchimp.com Classic!

Racists are so predictable. As R. Scott Moxley published his OC Weekly exclusive exposing an email sent by OC Teabagger/GOP central committee member Marilyn Davenport that depicted President Barack Obama as an ape, the offender was nice enough to give a quote for the story. It featured classics of the “I’m not a racist” response including the number #1 hit, “I have friends who are black!” But, no, as anyone savvy to these sorts of things, it doesn’t — and CAN’T — end there! After several media outlets picked up the story, the time came for…”the apology!”

As Moxley updated readers yesterday afternoon, Davenport sent out another email noontime Saturday to OC GOP leaders. It’s chalk full of “predictables!” First, the Teabagger writes, “I’m sorry if my email offended anyone.” This is much different than stating strongly from the onset something to the effect of “My sincerest apologies for sending out such an offensive email.” No, Davenport is only sorry if you happened to be offended by it.

Then, she goes on to say in reference to the President, “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. One only has to go to Youtube or Google Images to see a plethora or lampooning videos and pictures of Obama, Bush and other politicians.”

Wow! There’s a lot of classics to dissect there from the ol’ Rulebook for Racists! First, if you find yourself offending Barack Obama on the grounds of race, suddenly remind everyone and take the time to over-emphasize that he’s only half-black after all. That instantly cuts the racism involved by 50%! Second, allude to the lampooning of other politicians and disregard the historical relevance of apelike depictions of blacks in racial apartheid America. A favorite of this is the false equivalence of the ‘Bush or Chimp’ images popularized by the now defunct website. Davenport doesn’t trot it out explicitly the way her email was worded, but it’s so commonplace that an easy take down is in order.

The test is a simple one and involves a little history. Is Davenport correct in saying that a Google image search will land folks with plenty of lampooning images of presidents and other politicians? Yes, but was the one she sent out really deserving of such a benign equivalency? Ah hells no! Sure you can find other images, even ones that compare President George W. Bush’s various facial expressions to those of chimpanzees. But you can’t do that with apes and an African-American politician and claim it isn’t racist. Why not? Well, here is a Tea Party challenge! Point to a time in American history where whites lived under racial apartheid metered out by a black ruling class during which the nadir of race relations between the two sought to reinforce notions of white inferiority by utilizing stereotypes popularized in advertisements and elsewhere that depicted whites as ‘apelike’ connecting it all to an intellectual attempt to codify it in the ‘science’ of eugenics! *Whew* I’ll let the clock tick-tock on that one…

Since Davenport won’t be doing such homework anytime soon, we can hold to the rest of her second email. Once the racist has established that actions taken were not racist in nature, in accordance to the Rulebook for Racists, the offender can, in defiance, resist any and all public calls for accountability. As if on cue, the Fullerton-based activist goes on to state, “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.”

Davenport, your “I’m sorry if” isn’t good enough. Scott Baugh, the ball is in your court.


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