OK, maybe you want to equivocate on the New York Post's racist editorial cartoon conflating a runaway chimp with President Obama's stimulus bill. But there's no equivocating on this one: Dean Grose, mayor of Los Alamitos, Calif., sent out an e-mail with an image featuring a watermelon patch replacing the White House garden — clearly a snipe directed at the first family. "I was horrified when I read that e-mail," Keyanus Price, a black businesswoman and one of several recipients of Grose's e-mail, told The Orange County Register. "What I'm concerned about is how can this person send an e-mail out like this and think it is OK?"
Grose explained the OK factor in a subsequent e-mail: "The way things are today, you gotta laugh every now and then. I wanna see the coloring contests."
To Price, the response was adding insult to injury, according to the Register. "As soon as I saw his response; that put me over the top because it was no big deal to him," she said.
Though at first he claimed not to know that the watermelon imagery was offensive to blacks (but then, why send the e-mail in the first place?), Grose has since apologized. "It was just poor judgment on my part, and I am deeply sorry," he said. "It wasn't meant to hurt [Price]." A strong start, but the apology kinda went downhill from there. "It was not sent to a whole bunch of people, and it went through my personal e-mail. People e-mail things all the time, but that's not an excuse."
No, it's not an excuse, particularly if you are an elected official. Seriously, if you're racially insensitive, could you please just stay away from cartoons for a bit?