Well that didn’t take very long, now did it? AGAIN! Shortly following the New York Post’s publication of a racist political cartoon linking President Obama to a violent Chimpanzee, a mayor of an Orange County city is feelin’ the heat for a racist email he sent to a few people showing the White House with a watermelon patch! Mayor Dean Grose of Los Alamitos sent the image under the header “No Easter Egg Hunt This Year,” and duly offended one of his recipients – Keyanus Price – an African American councilwoman! In another public display of white denial, Grose offered an apology as cowardly as the New York Post, when he said:
It was poor judgement on my part and was never intended to be offensive to Ms. Price or anyone in the African American Community.
Mayor Grose went on to tell the Associated Press that he was unaware of the stereotype of black people and watermelons! Even if that were true, where, then, would the “punchline” be for an email with an image of a watermelon patch in the White House under its first African-American President? When there is no logic, white denial is the culprit! The images and stereotypes of pickaninnies, fried chicken, and watermelons have been so pervasive and lasting that a man the age of Grose, who is 65 years old, can not hide behind the weak defense of “ignorance.” And indeed such stereotypes that certain people would like us to believe belong solely to yesteryear continue, in fact, to this very day.
Once again in our supposed “post-racial” society, we have yet another instance of racism couched in terms “poor judgement,” that was “never intended to be offensive!” Mayor Grose’s email has caused him to resign his post this coming Monday. He is, however, intending to stay on the council. Just like racism, Mayor Grose is hanging around.