The trend of this type of overt racist humor from our so-called political leaders, lead me to believe that those who were up in arms when the Attorney General Eric Holder said when it came to race we were a “nation of cowards” run and hide when stuff like this comes out.
LOS ALAMITOS – The mayor has sent an apology for an e-mail sent to a local businesswoman and community volunteer that she says is racist and offensive.
Keyanus Price, an African American, said she was appalled when she received an e-mail from Mayor Dean Grose’s personal account that showed a picture of the White House with a watermelon patch imposed as the White House garden.
“I was horrified when I read that e-mail,” Price said. “What I’m concerned about is how can this person send an e-mail out like this and think it is OK?”
Being a public official, Price said, made the matter worse.
“He’s putting the city into a bad place, and he is a liability,” Price wrote in an e-mail.
Grose sent an e-mail apology to Price, her boss and the City Council saying he did not intend to be offensive. He also called and left Price a message, he said.
“It was just poor judgment on my part, and I am deeply sorry,” he said. “It wasn’t meant to hurt her.”
The council received the e-mail from Price’s boss and also received a copy of the apology. Councilman Ken Stephens said he didn’t receive the original e-mail.
“Being totally out of the loop on this one, I think I would be speaking out of turn if I said anything about it,” he said. “I would think that anything like that at all would be inappropriate but, again, I haven’t seen the e-mail.” Calls to the other three Los Alamitos council members were not returned.
Price said she wanted a public apology for the e-mail and today contacted The Orange County Register to share the brief exchange that took place on Sunday.
Grose’s e-mail included the picture with a heading that read, “No Easter Egg hunt this year.”
“I think he’s saying that since there’s a black president, there will be no need to hunt for eggs since they’re growing watermelons in the front yard this year,” Price wrote.
She responded to the e-mail with: “Hey, that’s not nice at all. Not all black people like watermelon… you should know better than that.”
Grose replied: “The way things are today, you gotta laugh every now and then. I wanna see the coloring contests.”
Price said Grose’s response upset her more.
“As soon as I saw his response; that put me over the top because it was no big deal to him,” she said.
Price and Grose have worked together in the past – they both sit on the board of the Youth Center, and she often works with city officials in the community representing her employer. The two have exchanged e-mails in the past.
The e-mail was sent to at least one other person, but the mayor said he isn’t sure how many people received it. He said there is a “small group” of people he sometimes forward e-mails to.
In his apology to Price via e-mail, Grose wrote that he was not representing himself as a public official.
“It was not sent to a whole bunch of people, and it went through my personal e-mail,” he said. “People e-mail things all the time, but that’s not an excuse.”
Peter Eliasberg of the ACLU said that while the mayor wasn’t acting as a city official at the time, it doesn’t mean that it was OK to send.
“Even though as much as we may always think they’re always public officials, they’re not always public officials; it’s kind of going out as a private citizen,” Eliasberg said. “That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have every right to demand a public apology. It seems like it was pretty offensive.”
8 thoughts on “More Friendly Racism? Mayor is criticized for White House watermelon patch e-mail sent to Black business woman”
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I think black people isolate themselves more by forcing others to take blackness too seriously. I am sure chris rock and other comedians made similar antics. I got an email from one of my fellow black friends after the election telling all white people to “report to the cotton fields”. (Note I myself am also black/biracial). Yes prejudices will always exist to some extent- its human nature. However we as black people need to learn to laugh WITH others at ourselves just as every other group in America can laugh with others about themselves. The more we force everyone to walk on egg shells around us and prohibit them from sharing the SAME humorous anecdotes we share with each other in many cases; the more we build a thicker barrier between us and everyone else. I think his email was silly but would she really have gotten so bent out of shape had it been from a black man? Likely not. CHILL OUT.
How inappropriate, don’t these people know that racist commentary is only funny when it is directed towards old, white, male, christian chiropractors?
The Other Side, I agree with you that this mayor doesn’t need to be criminally prosecuted. That’s just overkill. He is an ignoramus who should face the condemnation that he is now receiving for sending the racist email. Without a doubt the email is racist. No one can finesse around that fact without being totally disingenous. I do not agree with you about Holder’s statement. He said that we are a nation of cowards when it comes to talking about race. You can’t separate the first part of that sentence from the last without being totally dishonest in representing what he has said. I agree with him and I believe his statement applies to everyone, not just whites. You’re just being defensive with this woe-is-me talk about what whites can say and can’t say. Everyone is fearful. I really think this episode with the Mayor’s cartoon is one of those moments when we all should be able to talk about it without all of the defensiveness. But as Holder said….nation of cowards.
Mick, don’t get crazy on this. The e-mail (by Grose) was in poor judgment and he acknowledged that. He resigned from his position and will face serious ridicule & shame, perhaps for the rest of his life. “Prosecute” him to the fullest extent of the law??? You’re hoping to rewrite the definition of Hate Mail, aren’t you? This was crude (and inappropriate) humor, not hate mail.
This should have little to do with Eric Holder’s opinions about race relations. Mr. Holder should be ashamed (and vilified) for saying we’re a nation of cowards. But he will not receive the same level (or even remotely close) of scrutiny for his outrageous remarks. Why? For the same reason that he accuses America, with the insinuation being ‘white’ America, of being afraid of racial discussions. You can never publicly take a stand on race that questions integrity or intent of leadership figures, policies, agenda, etc. without being cast as racist, bigoted, homophobic, anti-semitic or (insert derogatory label here.)
Besides, if those same people in question (by Holder) told you what they were really thinking, you’d be even more upset. I’m willing to bet most of them are sick and tired of racially-driven “debate” about issues. From a certain perspective, there is no new ground to be covered. Quite simply, they’re no longer interested in “beating the dead horse.”
Holder’s speech was nothing more than grandstanding from his little soapbox at a time where he knew he wouldn’t be held accountable for irresponsible remarks. After all, a vote for Obama was a vote for change. Why is Dean Prose set up like the newest Don Imus-like figure but idiots like Kanye West, Al Sharpton, and Eric Holder get a free pass into unbridled outrageous public commentary? We don’t walk on a two-way street anymore. Welcome to the new America!
A public official sending hate mail should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Things are never going to change. Racism is here to stay. I saw a picture of an aryan man holding a gun and his two-four year old son holding a gun pointing at the same target. Very sad.
I firmly believed that when the older generation died out, there out-dated racist beliefe would die with them, but they have already infected their children with the same hate.
What a joke, him saying he had know idea this was offensive, igorance is always used, just like the cartoon of the monkey being killed, These people know exactly what they’re trying to convey, that’s why they put those pics out there to keep the negetive stero type images on the narrow minded so we can stay divided by race. I believe the majority of whites don’t feel like this and I’m glad Obama proved me right