Marilyn Davenport Speaks: Author of Obama-Ape Email is Sorry

Marilyn_Davenport_RSM_2.jpg
(c) Photograph by R. Scott Moxley
Marilyn Davenport: Startled by her newfound political fame
It wasn't too many hours ago when there was zero chance that teams of Los Angeles television news crews would have staked out Marilyn Davenport's ranch-style home in a gorgeous hillside Fullerton neighborhood and demanded on-camera interviews.

But that was before Friday, when Davenport, an elected Orange County Republican Party official with Tea Party sympathies, circulated to fellow California conservatives an email that depicted President Barack Obama and his parents as chimpanzees.
 
The email, exposed first by OC Weekly on April 15, prompted nationwide outrage by people who believe the image is racist, and now Davenport--a petite grandmother originally from Kansas--has lost not just her anonymity but also, she believes, her good reputation.

Davenport has stopped answering her front door, but anxious reporters keep coming. Members of the media point cameras at her house from the street, so she's had to lower her shades. A local political blog published her home address and private telephone number, causing her to worry about her safety. She's had to take the phone off the hook because, she says, anonymous people have been leaving voice mail messages calling her "vulgar things like 'whore.'" Her husband Dick--a tall, elderly man with an easy smile and polite manners--is "not happy at all about this, naturally."
 
I'm sitting and facing Davenport in her living room. There's a brown couch, beige carpet, a ceramic duck on the coffee table and a lone, framed rural scenic painting on a beige wall over a credenza displaying family photographs. A piano sits in a corner of the room. There's nothing visibly flashy or garish in the house--so, in that sense it's hard to imagine that this woman has, at least temporarily, won herself a scandalous place in history.
 
I ask Davenport to describe what she believes has been her ordeal. Her shoulders slump. She sighs, shakes her head slowly and says, "I understand why everyone is contacting me. I wasn't wise in sending the email out. I shouldn't have done it. I really wasn't thinking when I did it. I had poor judgment."
 
Marilyn_Davenport_OCW_9.jpg
(c) Photograph by R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
Davenport says she looks forward to regaining her good reputation.
Davenport says that she received the doctored photo of a chimpanzee Obama from a Tea Bagger based on the media frenzy prompted by New York billionaire Donald Trump rehashing claims that the president might have been born in Africa and, therefore, disqualified to occupy the White House.

Scott Baugh, chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, and Michael J. Schroeder, former chairman of the California Republican Party, have denounced the email as racist and are demanding that Davenport resign her seat on the party board.
 
"I'm not going to resign," Davenport tells me. "I really have no plans to do so. My constituents have told me not to resign, and I'm very happy with their support. Everybody who knows me says they can't believe people are calling me a racist. I am not a racist, but I do think I need to apologize again with different words."
 
She grabs a single sheet of paper and begins to read an unfinished statement she may publicly release as early as tonight.
 
"Basically, I want people to know that I humbly apologize and ask for forgiveness for my unwise behavior," she reads, glancing up in between sentences. "Before I sent that email, I should have stopped to think about the historical implications [of depicting a black man as an ape]. That can be offensive. Obviously, I have unintentionally offended others, and I am so sorry."
 
She pauses, scans her draft statement and then looks back at me.
 
"Basically, what I'm saying is that as a Christian I won't ever repeat this," she says. "I will be much wiser from now on."
 
Several hours after this interview, Davenport--who cites Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater as her political heroes--released her formal statement, called herself "an imperfect Christian lady" and quoted the Bible in asking for forgiveness.

"I want you to know that I humbly receive your rebuke," she wrote.

In response to this story, Schroeder said he is "pleased that Marilyn Davenport has elected to accept responsibility for her actions." He called her remarks "sincere and complete."

"I think the healing process can now begin," said Schroeder. "And the party's ethics committee should take this apology into account when it decides what to do."

But Schroeder still believes Davenport should step down.

"Unfortunately, at this point, it's in the best interests of both the Republican Party and Mrs. Davenport that she resign," he said.

Baugh told me in a telephone interview tonight that Davenport's apology in this story is "more like the Marilyn I know--a sweet woman."

But, like Schroeder, he said, "the damage to the Republican Party has been done by her and I still think she should resign."

Tim Whitacre, a former U.S. Marine and a longtime Republican activist, said that calls for Davenport to resign are now "ludicrous."

"Marilyn has the support of her constituency," he said. "She should not step down. She is a great lady without a mean bone in her body."

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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359 comments
Kim
Kim

Marilyn Davenport....you have the audacity to call my President a Monkey.....have you looked at your wrinkled ass in the mirror lately? You are ugly, unattractive and I bet you can't even get a cup of " TEA" for free on the way you look!!!!!!!!! You are dried up and a has been. Time to retire, your career is over and also hurt the " Repubic" party. Keep up the good work !!!!

Linda Hymes
Linda Hymes

THIS OLD HAG MARILYN DAVENPORT THE HATE MONGER ISNOT SORRY.I WILL TELL YOU WHAT SHE IS SORRY ABOUT HER ASS IS SORRY THAT SHE I SO DRYED UP SHE CANNOT PRODUCE ENOUGH SALIVA TO SUCK ANOTHER COCK.HER OLD DRYED UP PUSSY CANNOT GET WET ANY MORE.NOW PEOPLE MAY THINK THAT IS AN AWFUL THING TO SAY.ITS NOT IAM TIRED OF THES SO CALLED CONSERVATIVES SAYING ANY THING THEY WANT ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE WHO HAS DONE NOTHING TO YOU RACIST,LOW LIFE FUCKERS.YOU POLITIANS ARE SOME OF THE DIRTIES SCUM WALKING THE EARTH.YOU RACIST WHITE FUCKS THINK BECAUSE YOU TAKE A SHOWER AND PUT ON A CLEAN SHIRT AND SUITE THAT MAKES YOU SOME BODY.YOU CLEANED UP DEVILS AND DEMONS.EVERYTIME WE LOOK UP YOU ALL ARE. HERE  STEALING MONEY,FUCKING SOMEONE ELSES WIFE OR HUSBAND.THE CONSTUTITION SPEAKS OF ALL MEN CREATED EQUAL.NEXT WAR YOU REPUBLICANS GO SUITE UP WITH THE TEA PARTY AND FIGHT. NEXT TIME IN CALIFORNIA I MAY PUSH THAT OLD DRYED UP UP BITCH MARLYN DOWN THE STAIRS SEE HOW SHE LIKES THAT.I DONOT HATE ALL WHITE PEOPLE,I DONOT LOVE ALL BLACK PEOPLE.IM GROWING EACH DAY TO HATE  THESE TEA PARTY FUCKERS> DONOT GET THE POOR WHITES THAT AMERICA HAS TURN HER BACK ON AND MY OTHER ANCESTORS THE NATIVE AMERICANS.ITS ENOUGH HERE FOR US ALL TO EAT AND SLEEP UNDER AROOF AT NIGHT NOT OUT OF THE COLD AND RAIN.

Linda Hymes
Linda Hymes

IS THIS THE OLD DRYED UP,PRUNE FACE,CUM DRINKING HAG WHO LOOKED LIKE SHE ESCAPED FROM THE NATIONAL ZOO.YOU NEED TO BE ON YOUR KNEES PRAYING TO GOD THAT YOU ARE LIVING NEXT WEEK.YOU HAVE ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE AND YOU ARE STILL SPREADING HATE AT YOUR AGE SEEMS  TO ME YOU OLD BITCH,THAT YOU WOULD TEACH FUTURE GENERATIONS TO PUT HATE BEHIND THEM.BLACK KIDS AND WHITE KIDS.INSTEAD YOU ARE TRYING TO KEEP IT GOING.KIDS DONT KNOW COLOR THEY ARE TAUGHT BY IGNORANT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT RACES TO HATE.YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A DAMN DEMON SENT TO HURRAY THE WORLDS END ALONG.

Askmr_c
Askmr_c

Having recently moved to Orange County, I found her persona and views to be very common within this conservative county.  OC is very different from SD and LA, socially speaking.  I believe her views and comments fit right in with OC characteristics.  PS.... I love the way this county segregates according to race and city.

Ryansistah74
Ryansistah74

I almost choked cracking up from your post...OMG still LMAO

MDavenportPhoto
MDavenportPhoto

S-T-O-P!!!

Hey YOU, And all the Marilyn Davenport Bashers out there, Please remember thereis more than one Marilyn Davenport on the Planet.  I wish everyone would please REFERENCE which MarilynDavenport they are talking about. Including the Huffington Post which wasshowing my commercial photography as some how connected with the GOP woman inORANGE COUNTY. Details DO matter.

I am a registered Independent in another part of the country and the verbal abuse(direct and indirect) I've incorrectly received, may sway my vote! LOL!

Perhaps I should start up some lawsuits for defamation of character, liable,slander, personal injury, damage to my business??? Just put yourself in myshoes (and all the other Marilyn Davenports out there) add GOP, ORANGE COUNTYPLEASE - Thank you.

8finney
8finney

Marilyn- May God have mercy on your soul.  You are a racist. At your age you new exactly what you were doing. The white race has been portraying Blacks as Chimps,Apes, and Monkeys for many, many years and you knew that when you sent out the disgusting picture. I wish you no harm, because I am a Christian. There are much better ways to overcome people like you.

Yourmom
Yourmom

 Uh..You guys do know that this exact picture was being emailed years ago by Democrats with the face of George W on it right?

Evelinedashchi
Evelinedashchi

If you don't mind my saying so, (in piggy-backing on what you have written,) I absolutely agree. It seems to be in only our nation, where a leader of any sort, on any level is made a mockery of... Such disrespect of thyne own self, much less to our president. It's uncalled for, it is saddening and nothing less of a display of ignorance...

Evelinedashchi
Evelinedashchi

Hello. I would like to preface that I do not intend to take the spotlight away from your written personal thoughts by sharing with you the following… Your comment has struck a chord in me. The part where you said,"These phonies think if they say the word Christian, anything goes." Someone very dear to me, (my father, who has passed on,) uttered those very words all throughout my life. I have been missing him a great deal today, (more than I have on any other day,) and though, (and with all due respect,) this post of mine is irrelevant to the topic at hand, I muster up the courage to reach out and say to you it is a breath of fresh air to have come across your comment… For it is brave, sincere and valid one... For unfortunately, (as you so eloquently put it,) some people think if they say the word Christian, anything goes… Again, I realize that my comment here has nothing to do with the above article, but I cannot help that your post moved me and helped me feel closer to him, closer to home. I thank you for this.

Smart 1
Smart 1

Old bi....'s like this still have that ignorant racist sense of humor, but claim they don't know why everyone is upset. Well, maybe if we showed a picture of her in-bred parents who are cousinse ; she may begin to understand why it's offensive to impict a black person as a monkey. She is awfully stupid if she really didn't understand that this is offensive

Vualafina
Vualafina

Yep ! Did like your comment.

Ann
Ann

Please tell me she has been forced to resign. If she continues in her position, then the Orange County Republican Party does not have a real problem with her email. People have been fired, for much, much, less. If she is in any position of power, than the republican party in Orange County approves of racist emails. Its that simple.

derik
derik

Your an idiot and should resign, plain and simple. But stupid people like you walk around the planet like the the "emperor with no clothes on", oblivious to their own incompetence and in total disregard for the damage your racist idiocy leaves behind. Adding insult to injury, is expecting good people to swallow your BS excuses and back-pedaling. So resign and get lost.

MILILANIROBINSON
MILILANIROBINSON

YOU OLD ASS HAG YOU LOOK LIKE A MAN,WITH BEDBUGS CRAWLING OUT OF YOUR SKIN,OBAMA'S FATHER IS YOUR FATHER.WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE ONE WHO CAME FROM THE CAVE.YOU ARE SO WRINKLE YOU LOOK LIKE AELEPHANT.YOU MEANT WHAT YOU SAID,ALL YOUR CHILDREN LOOK LIKE APE'S THAT'S WHY YOU LOOK LIKE YOU LOOK. YOU MAD CAUSE WE HAVE A BLACK HANDSOME MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

Nisha592
Nisha592

Marilyn Davenport, accept her apology, yeah just like we accepted Ojay's apology.

Fonziricky
Fonziricky

I look at her pic, take away the glasses and you wonder who looks more like an ape?

Ameh101
Ameh101

Marlyn Davenport never lived........

Eltrip
Eltrip

She apparently represents Orange Couny rather well.

Guest
Guest

she is sorry she got caught. and she is sorry those black folk and annoying liberals don't see how funny it is to put black people in monkey attire. Just like how humorous those fun loving Nazis were when they equated Jews with rats in the 30s. Why don't these stuffy liberals like cartoons?

john
john

She should be forced to resign. period.

Maridoe2000
Maridoe2000

Her constituents are looking to start a race war against Black and Brown Americans. They are still in shock over having a Black American in the White House, after all they are the only ones entitled to participate in the Democracy of the UNITED STATES????

Jonlu88
Jonlu88

I don't know how anyone could defend this woman. How can you say she isn't racist? She took the head of a black man and put it on the body of a chimp, a monkey, a primate. I shouldn't even have to type more than this, she's a racist Republican party member/hopeful. She should resign, Republicans already have to deal with enough racist stereotypes, she isn't helping.

Denise
Denise

She is saying she is an "imperfect christian" well christian or no christian we are all imperfect human beings but we know right from wrong ... dont we? we choose to do good and bad and this was a very disrespectful act ... next she will be saying "the devil make me do it" !! she should resign and go on with her life as a racist person since this is a free country but she can forget about her "good image" forever !!

Cashcrenshaw
Cashcrenshaw

MS.DAVENPORT LOOK WHO YOU CALL YOUR HEROES RONALD REAGAN AND BARRY GOLDWATER. GOLDWATER 100% RACIST..YOU HAVE BROUGHT SHAME TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR LIMITED UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD "CHRISTIAN" YOU SAY YOU MADE A MISTAKE NOW DO THE RIGHT THING AND RESIGN. YOUR HUSBAND MUST FEEL VERY AWKWARD TRYING TO DEFEND AN OUTLOOK LIKE YOURS. MARILYN HOW CAN YOU DO THE FAMILY THIS WAY AND TEAR DOWN WHAT WE HAVE BUILD. SWEETHEART JUST RESIGN AND CHANGE YOUR WICKED OUTLOOK SO GOD CAN BLESS US.

Chimpanzee@aol.com
Chimpanzee@aol.com

Hope she's gonnaa be home saturday cause a bunch of folks are coming over to see her. I only hope these people act as respectfully as she portrayed our commander in chief. I sure hope we don't have to come.back every saturday.

mitchell
mitchell

Oh lord, she 'dissed' Obama. Apparently you spent 2000-2008 in Antarctica.

GM
GM

AMEN !!! You got that right. :) Some people just don't know when to keep their filthy thoughts to themselves and she is an excellent example.

mitchell
mitchell

I know when you 'anti-racists' get in a moral dudgeon -- like Victorian matrons going after the village slut -- that introducing facts are probably not important. However, from all accounts Davenport *forwarded* this email; she is not its 'author*. I doubt very much she knows what Photoshop is, let alone has the skill to make such an 'egregious' image.

Kapursanjay
Kapursanjay

So the fact that she is not the author makes it ok then ?

mitchell
mitchell

Were the Bush/chimp comparisons okay?

This 'error' on the part of Moxley is far more telling than this admittedly unwise email. Moxley is out for blood, and in today's world, getting a white person on supposed 'racism' is the best way to draw blood. So you spin the event in the worst way possible, and at times -- like here -- cross into outright falsehood which the poster must know to be falsehood.

That is the mentality of the so-called 'anti-racist' crowd.

GM
GM

It tends to amaze me at times how the truth slips out of the closet about what some Republicans mentality is really all about. Only for themselves. Let this so call Christian stay in office? During the next presidential election we can remember her stupidity. Perhaps her picture should be posted on a nasty "pig" it fits her demeanor for racism.

Ron Paul
Ron Paul

Remember when the GOP stood for balanced budgets, individual freedom and isolationism.

The Republican Party has run up these deficits, we want the federal government to be in our bedrooms and between our women and their doctors, we started two wars instead of ending them like the Korean War and were supposed to stop the Vietnam War the Democrats started. We have lost our way!

So why waste our time with these fools who use their racist rhetoric, like this Marilyn Davenport and Donald Trump with his birther unproven myth, why do we allow our Fox news people to keep talking down our country. Don’t they know we can win the next election with optimism and hope instead of the current rhetoric, that the sky is falling, if we are not careful we will end up like chicken little where no one will listen to us.

Ibsidd
Ibsidd

Let's face reality. Racism has always existed in this country. It is sadly embedded deeply in the very fiber which makes up this nation. People such as marilyn are in larger numbers than we may like to believe.Her kind is slowly becoming extinct and this is her way of gasping for air. I'd like to bring attention to the numerous emails sent between republicans, exchanged on a daily basis and conversations behind closed doors. So let's work hard to eradicate such views from both the private and public realm.

Sanjay Kapur
Sanjay Kapur

I must say I am very impressed with the general reaction to the clearly racist email. In Australia at least 50% would be writing back saying stuff like "PC gone mad", "race card" or "people should not have such thin skin" etc etc ...

Well done America !

Fireman Bahb
Fireman Bahb

Let's see.....I want to make sure I got this straight....She was following up to The Donald who is rehashing the claim that our POTUS isn't an American citizen....Hmmmm. Yeah this lady is a genius. Sure.....she had no connection that a black man depicted as a ape would be offensive....;0( Blah!!! People are always jumping to conclusions...;0) ha!! I am certain that she would do what's bestfor America in a lynch...Ooooops...I mean cinch....;0) ha!!

Capt Outrageous
Capt Outrageous

Take a good look at that Picture and while at it Davenport and the OC GOP. They are the embodiment of the Republican Party. No Apology Necessary...see you at the Polls.

Tona Bennett
Tona Bennett

MRS DAVENPORT, PLEASE DON'T LET ANYBODY DESTROY YOUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH REMARK. IT IS OKAY IF THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS SAY ANYTHING THEY WANT TO, BECAUSE NOW DAYS, RIGHT IS WRONG AND WRONG IS RIGHT. I AM SO TIRED OF THIS MENTALILTY. THAT IS WHAT ELECTED THE "CHIMP". PLEASE HANG IN THERE AND BE STRONG. WE DO NOT EVEN KNOW IF OBAMA IS AN AMERICAN. HE IS TRYING TO DO ANYTHING HE CAN, NOT JUST MY OPINION, TO DESTROY THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE.PLEASE STAND YOUR GROUND AND DON'T BUCKLE TO THE LIBERAL MEDIA. THEY SUCK!

GM
GM

I agree absolutely this "so call lady' needs to resign. Her apology is not acceptable and has no business serving in government. A fine should be placed on her like anyone else with her filthy thoughts.

Shawna McD.
Shawna McD.

I believe that Gov. Bush [the only office he was elected to by popular vote] was depicted as a chimpanzee by his actions-not his ears. He was also depicted as Alfred E. Neuman [of Mad Magazine fame] for the same reason; He was behaving irresponsibly with the public trust and funds.If you don't think that depicting a black man as having apes or monkeys as parents is racially motivated you either suffer from historical myopia or are completely delusional. It leads one to ask why someone would so desperately try and spin this in the fashion you have with this comment and use the tactic of calling those that find this repugnant as racists. I think you need to check your facts, your history and do some deep soul-searching prior to making anymore public statements as you have revealed yourself to be quite ignorant.

Seen It Before
Seen It Before

Being Black, aged 46...I grew up in and era where people like Ms. Davenport were more open with this type of behavior. When we went shopping at Baltimore area depatment store in the late sixties our mom would school us on the protocol - "...dont approach the sales tables until the white women were finished looking...never touch the clothes because she would be required to buy them as white considered them used and dirty if a black person has touched them...." Women like Ms. Davenport would keep a watchful eye of our every move and followed us everywhere while in the store. They were always nice to fellow whites, but curt with my mother and us. And oh was the monkey comment a favorite slur tossed around by others pulling there kids away from interactions with us - a mom with her 4, 5 and 11 year children.

So Ms Davenport saying she's "not that type of person", that she's a christian, and now that she needed to offer a more heart felt second apology means she wasn't and isn't sincere and that she really doesn't know why what she participated in on company time was wrong on so many levels.

And it definitely harkens back to a "long ago" time where people like Ms. Davenport were more open with their prejudices that they felt they were right to hold becaue they were good christian beliefs and just plain "American."

If I'm ever in CA, I'm most definitely noting on my map her area and the area of the constituents she represents, because it definitly a place I know racial profiling and bigotry reign.

mitchell
mitchell

I'll calling BS on this...you were born in 1964 or 1965, so probably weren't aware of much until the early 1970s. By then the whole modern edifice of 'civil rights' was in full swing -- a store that made you buy things that you simply had touched would have been sued.

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WottaWorld
WottaWorld

To avoid association, I'm (publicly) getting rid of my piano. (Just as well I have a second hidden away).

WottaWorld
WottaWorld

Believe what you're told. Its a female adult. Genderist.

guest
guest

i think you not only should apologize to all americans but specially to your President Barak Obama personally.

guest
guest

i think she should be fired not resign how dare you speak of the president of your country and the president of the United States Of America and question him where his birth is, when he was elected by almost all Americans, and he is doing a wonderful job cleaning Bush's mess.idiot racist republicans like you will bring this country down. You should be proud of your president and work side by side united together, that is what all American is you stupid puppet.

Charlie333
Charlie333

This woman is so despicable, that she doesn't apologize to the President. And she calls herself Christian? Disgusting this woman.

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