Grose Joke: Mayor Resigns Over Racist E-Mail Picture

022609_watermelonMayor Dean Grose of Los Alamitos, California has resigned after sending friends an e-mail picture depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons under the title “No Easter egg hunt this year.” Not only is the picture strikingly unfunny and racist, Grose sent it to an African-American businesswoman among his “small group of friends”– a group that is decidedly smaller this week.

Local businesswoman and city volunteer Keyanus Price, demanded a public apology: I have had plenty of my share of chicken and watermelon and all those kinds of jokes. I honestly don’t even understand where he was coming from, sending this to me. As a black person receiving something like this from the city-freakin’-mayor — come on.”

For the full story, click here and here.

33 thoughts on “Grose Joke: Mayor Resigns Over Racist E-Mail Picture”

  1. MikeS:

    No one can be right 100% of the time, if we were we would be gods and that would be too much repsonsibility for me.

    On AR, I was not trying to change your mind just showing an example of at least one good work her writings accomplished.

  2. Bron,
    I’m sure growing up that way wasn’t easy for you. It is a compliment to you that you have let yourself evolve, most people don’t have the guts to change. My argument with Rand was not on her take on human rights, where she was actually ahead of her time in both sex, race and ethnicity.

    I believe her political schemes work badly. There is much about Libertarians that I agree with too. In some ways I like Ron Paul, for instance, but his opposition to abortion seems not to conform with his keeping government out of our lives philosophy.

  3. MikeS:

    I grew up in a racist household, it was pretty bad. I will tell you though that reading Ayn Rands works cured me of any delusion I had about race.

    here is a sample of her thoughts on racism:

    “I’d advocate the repeal of any law that attempts to legislate morality or that discriminates against men on any grounds whatever. If you want to solve the problem, set men free. In a free country, prejudice vanishes, and such prejudice as might remain does so only among the lunatic fringe or the kind of people who’d be afraid to admit it openly-and who cares to associate with them? Leave them to their bigotry. But when government power supports prejudice-when it enforces segregation or integration-then all you get is more racial prejudice,with each racial group growing closer together and further apart from every other”

    “I dont try to appeal to certain ethnic groups. I’m interested only in human beings and their minds”

  4. Buddha, RC and Bron,
    What gives lie to the narrative that the concepts of racism are unknown to many youth is that in my experience racist parents and grandparents speak openly about it to their children and grandchildren. Most bigots I’ve ever met were loud and proud of their bigotry. So for their progeny to be completely unaware of the stereotypes is not credible. Then to many comedians like Eddie Murphy (before he became a movie star), Chris Rock, Margaret Cho and the ones of all backgrounds who are hip today use stereotypes for satire. I’m suspicious of those who claim unawareness.

    Now its’ true that I’m of the over “55 set” but I’ve met people similarly situated who are blatant in their bigotry. While I can not tolerate them as friends or acquaintances, usually proceeded by my telling them off, I’m positive that they have shared these views over and over with their families.

  5. “Ridiculous!!!! I would like to see CNN do a poll on those people who understood, before today, that there was some sort of connection between African Americans and Watermelons.”

    Tina,
    In the spirit of good will I’d be willing to believe that you had no idea of the use of the watermelon as a disparagement of Black people. However, I must say that where this stretches credibility is then why would the Mayor decide to put a watermelon patch on the WH lawn? Tina, if not racism why would you surmise he chose that image at all? What would Obama have to do with watermelons that would make it funny to see a watermelon patch on the WH lawn?

    “Monkey and the Whitehouse??? Didn’t get that connection either.”

    You’re correct in part here. There was no logical connection between monkeys and the WH. Yet somehow the cartoon was about shooting a monkey and getting rid of the Stimulus Bill’s author. Now someone could say that because the Stim Bill is bad (in their opinion), it was so bad it could have been written by a monkey. But as you said you didn’t get the connection. There was no connection except that of the age old stereotype that Blacks are like monkeys.

    You profess ignorance of both stereotypes and perhaps that is so. If that is the case though you are quite lacking in your knowledge of the history of the treatment of black people in this country, or of any other minorities/newcomers. Ignorance of that history is nothing to be proud of, nor is it something to be hidden from your children.

    One of the things Black people have to face in this country is the supposedly non-prejudiced Whites, who tell them that racism is a thing of the past so get over it. Sadly, it is not of the past, but still present today. There are sites all over the Web and broadcasters/telecasters who tell black people “to get over it in one sentence and spout racism in another.” The amount of racist comment spewed in this past election against Obama was considerable. The fact that he won despite it does say good things for our country.

    Racism and bigotry though are far from issues of the past in our country and perhaps you are unaware of it. However, in my experience for every person who thinks as you purport to think there are an equal amount that in their hearts see certain groups as inferior and hateful. My fear about that is often those believers, having dehumanized certain people in their minds, feel free to visit violence and harm upon them.

  6. rc,

    I have to agree with Bron. Racism is about education, not political party or leanings. And having a degree is not insulation against making the error. People of all races and level of education can make the mistake if they’ve never had the proper lessons. It’s easy to get educated in an insulated environment. It’s just not easy to get well educated in an insulated environment. That’s why I oppose all black schools as much as I’d oppose all white schools. Segregation, even self-imposed, does not make unity – this applies to higher education too. It makes more segregation. What humans have in common far outweighs what we have as differences. The differences we do have are also more often cultural than biological.

  7. RCampbell:

    I know a lot of right wingers who are not racists and I know a good number that are democrats. I dont think it is a left or right issue it is an ignorance issue.

    Who said about left wingers they engage in “the soft racism of low expectations”

    Most conservatives I know think blacks are more than capable of succeeding in this society and they do and they excel at about everything they do, acting, tennis, bass fishing (there is a black guy that is a top money earner on the circuit), sports, music, art, literature, medicine, politics, you name it. We dont think they need any help just a level playing field which the constitution guarantees to all of us anyway.

    I would be a little hesitant to talk about right wing politics like that considering the civil rights act had a bunch of republicans signing on to it and a bunch of southern democrats against it. I dont know what kind of conservatives you know but they arent my kind nor are they the kind that my friends are.

  8. Tina,

    1) You’d lose that bet. And I’m betting you’ve never been to the South much less lived there or you’d know your bet was pure garbage. Go in to any black owned establishment in the South and start mouthing off about watermelon and fried chicken. Unless they know you and know you are joking, you’re liable to walk out of the place horizontally – as in on a stretcher. Do you even know any blacks? Other than in a cursory way? I kinda doubt it based on your statements. But there are people of all colors in Vegas right now willing to take your money.

    2) As to your awareness, one cannot educate on a topic one does not understand. This includes the history of a topic, not just perceived current state of affairs. The demonstrated deficiency of knowledge is yours. Just because one does not understand a slight does not mean one has not been committed.

    3) Your “fury” is your business but your angry replies are the only anger being expressed here. “Get over it. You MUST have bigger issues to deal with.” – Ad homeniem and hostile, neither of which is a winning strategy with this group.

    4) Your “education” came about because you at least had the gumption to research a topic of demonstrated ignorance. You don’t have to thank us. You did all the work. If you don’t like what you found, change your name to Pollyanna or deal with the facts of history. Those are the two options available. No one here made the history, they just relayed the information. Your denial is your issue.

  9. if a man passes on an insult he is just as guilty as the originator of the insult.

    I think that is what Tina is trying to say. By making this a news story we are all repeating the insult.

  10. Tina wrote:

    >In my opinion it is the other 10% that keep these attitudes in >the forefront by feeling the need to make it headline news.

    That may or not be true for whites, but I can guarantee the percentage of blacks who fully understand the postcard’s intended insult is quite a bit higher. It’s also much larger for folks over 40 on both sides of the racism issue. There is no doubt the Mayor knew full well the intent. Why else would he send out this kind of trash? Would he send this to his mailing list because it’s a good picture of the White House? Why watermelons instead of lettuce or squash or tomatoes? Do you really think watermelons were chosen arbitrarily?

    Your personal lack of understanding of the depth of the insult is gratifying if it’s because you’re part of the younger generation for whom color is far less a divisive issue. It could also be ascribed to simple naivete’ and a sheltered unbringing. This would also be a positive. The worst case scenario would be for you to be in denial or so twisted by right wing politics as to defend this disgusting behavior. Resignation by the Mayor was completely appropriate. There is NO excuse for this kind of insensitivity to the feelings of others.

  11. Get over it. You MUST have bigger issues to deal with. I would put money on the fact that 90% of the population didn’t see the connection.” We have come a long way” Don’t cha think?

    As for my level of “awareness”, I am quite proud of it thank you. I guess along with the other 90% of the population I choose not to surround myself with the kind of people who have these attitudes and therefore use these words as a stereotype. So forgive me for not sharing in your fury over this foolishness. In my opinion it is the other 10% that keep these attitudes in the forefront by feeling the need to make it headline news.

    A good example? Congrats! Now we ALL educated in the “Watermelon, African American” stereotype, as are my children. Good job 😉

  12. Tina…that’s the problem…you used facebook to ask a question!!
    Just what were you expecting?

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