By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
I asked for her reaction to the scandal. Her shoulders slumped. She sighed, shook her head slowly and said, "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."
But, I asked, are you really repentant?
"Yes. . . . Before I sent that email, I should have stopped to think about the historical implications [of depicting a black man as an ape]," she said. "That can be offensive . . . and I am so sorry."
The scandal certainly isn't earth-shattering. Yet, if you are looking for evidence of progress in OC, here it is: In the long list of right-wing kooks who have turned the county into a political punch line during the past 50 years, none of them ever apologized and asked for forgiveness. Indeed, most of them shamelessly reveled in their nastiness. For Davenport, conceding that her email could have offended people—even if it appears she doesn't quite understand why—makes her footnote in the annals of the 2012 presidential campaign perhaps slightly less damning.
This column appeared in print as "Evolution of a Scandal: How Marilyn Davenport's racist Obama-family-chimpanzee email has driven the OC GOP apeshit."