(LOS ANGELES) -- Civil rights activists and some Republicans in Southern California are calling for the immediate resignation of a GOP party official and Tea Party activist who sent an email with a photo depicting President Obama as a chimpanzee.
The picture, which has Obama's face superimposed over that of a baby chimpanzee in the arms of two adult chimpanzees dressed as a human mother and father, was accompanied by the caption, “Now you know why -- no birth certificate!”
Marilyn Davenport, a member of the central committee of the Republican Party of Orange County, doesn’t deny she sent the email to her fellow committee members, and has rejected calls for her to resign.
In a letter to fellow committee members, Davenport wrote, “I'm sorry if my email offended anyone, I simply found it amusing regarding the character of Obama and all the questions surrounding his origin of birth. In no way did I even consider the fact he's half black when I sent out the email. In fact, the thought never entered my mind until one or two other people tried to make this about race.”
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, called the picture “vile,” “despicable” and “a racist slap at the president.”
Some of Davenport’s fellow Republicans are also upset by the incident. Scott Baugh, chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, told ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles that he was “shocked and offended” by the email and has called for Davenport's resignation, as well as an ethics committee hearing.
Baugh declared, “Anybody who crosses a line that is this bright has no business being an elected official representing other people, holding yourself out as a person of trust to make decisions on the behalf of the party. It was so outrageous, it warrants a resignation.”
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