Marilyn Davenport Expressed Anti-Muslim Sentiment Before Obama-is-a-Chimp Scandal

Marilyn_Davenport_RSM4.jpg
(c) photo by R. Scott Moxley
Marilyn Davenport
Marilyn Davenport may have been able to escape protesters outside of her Fullerton home last Saturday, but the embattled Orange County Republican Party official might have a more difficult time fleeing her past.

According to Republican Party sources, Davenport's controversial email depicting President Barack Obama and his parents as chimpanzees wasn't the first time the 74-year-old grandmother and political activist sent bigoted Internet communications to fellow Tea Party sympathizers.

The Weekly has obtained an email in which Davenport expressed her disapproval of a September 2009 prayer meeting of 3,000 Muslims in Washington, D.C.

Her written pre-meeting response: "Extremely troubling!"

The woman who sent Davenport the announcement of the Muslim gathering observed, "This is very frightening, indeed! Our country definitely needs our prayers!"

But there was one problem.

There was nothing frightening about the event. People with sympathies for Osama bin Laden, the Taliban or any other terrorist organization did not spark the meeting. The gathering was the brainchild of Hassen Abdellah, a patriotic American and former football star, and its theme was, "We love America!"

Indeed, as media accounts recorded at the event, Muslim-American speakers heaped praise on the United States for allowing them to practice their faith freely without government control.

Like Davenport's Obama-is-a-chimp email, her communication regarding the Muslim prayer meeting was also not greeted with joy by all of its recipients. For example, Donald Daucher--another Orange County Republican whose wife, Lynn, served in the California State Assembly for three terms until 2006--immediately demanded that Davenport stop sending him emails.

"While I have enjoyed our political debates, I must ask that you remove me from your list," Daucher wrote to Davenport. "I really don't want to receive--directly or indirectly--commentary that appears to be racial or religious hate mail."

Daucher, who teaches at Western State University College of Law in Costa Mesa Fullerton, went on to say that a gathering of pro-American Muslims didn't bother him "anymore than I was scared by Martin Luther King's million plus person 'March on Washington' [in 1963]."

He told her that he was "much more frightened" that anti-Muslim bigots "might actually develop a following somewhere."

Asked to respond, Davenport told me that she could not remember a two-year-old email.

But Michael J. Schroeder, former chairman of the California Republican Party, said it now looks like Davenport "has a problem with people getting together to pray."

"First, Marilyn sends an email out that compares blacks to chimpanzees and now we know that she also sent another email that attacks Muslim Americans," said Schroeder. "It appears that she is someone who likes to single out groups for derogatory statements and discrimination."

In response to Davenport's now infamous April 15 email about Obama, Orange County Republican Party chairman Scott Baugh and California Republican Party boss Tom Del Beccaro have called on Davenport to resign her seat as an elected party official representing Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, La Habra, Brea, Placentia and Yorba Linda.

Davenport refuses to resign, although she has apologized to varying degrees depending on her audience.

The county party's ethics committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday to discuss whether or not to censure or reprimand Davenport.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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