THE BLOG

Only a Reprimand for GOP Staffer Racist E-Mail

06/18/2009 06:17 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

June 18, 2009 - I'm not sure what is considered a hate crime anymore, but the two most recent incidents where an escaped gorilla was referred to as an "ancestor" of First Lady Michelle Obama: and President Obama was depicted alongside his 43 predecessors as a black box and white eyes showing, could only be from someone motivated by hate.

What is so alarming about both of these racist and incentive assaults is that they were created by Republicans who have prominent and influential positions within the GOP statewide.

When I first heard about Rusty DePass's comment I didn't find it funny at all, but I did wonder why someone who had once run for a statewide office, chaired a presidential candidate's campaign [Rudy Giuliani] and is the former chairman of the Richland County Republican Party in South Carolina would be so foolish.

In case you missed it -- DePass responded to the news of escaped gorilla from the Columbia city zoo on his Facebook page, saying:" "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors -- probably harmless." And as if that wasn't bad enough, DePass lacked any remorse or concern for what he said. He made a half-hearted apology and attributed his remark to what he recalls Mrs. Obama having said in the past. Who is he kidding?

It appears this behavior is somewhat common in Republican circles where Obama bashing and the development of derogatory and malicious attacks are considered "humor."

In Tennessee an e-mail created and distributed by Sherri Goforth, an executive assistant to Tennessee State Republican caucus chairwoman Diane Black is the latest attack garnering national attention. Goforth e-mailed a picture of all the U.S. presidents, except Obama, on a poster captioned "Historical Keepsake Photo."

The photo where Obama would have been pictured was entirely black except for two white eyes. After complaints following the first reports on the blog newscoma.com, Goforth's boss decided to give her a verbal reprimand and place a note in her file. Black said she isn't going to fire Goforth, unless she does something like this again.

No doubt she will do it again, I think Black means if she is "caught" doing it again.