The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports today that a local Republican women’s group placed an offensive and racist depiction in its newsletter of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s head on a mock food stamp bill complete with photos of fried chicken and watermelon. (I won’t republish the image but if you want to see it, click on the link above the Press-Enterprise has it.)
Ugly. Very ugly.
Here are the first couple of graphs:
By MICHELLE DeARMOND
The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women’s group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.
The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”
The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist. …
It prompted a swift response today from Republican leaders, who denounced the use of the graphic as well as another use of a picture in Sacramento County of Obama wearing a turban and sitting next to Osama Bin Laden.
Republicans have been apologizing all over the country lately for the actions of a relatively few but highly visible acts of people who crossed the line.
GOP Chairman Ron Nehring put out a statement that said:
In the last few days I’ve seen some material produced by a few people in our party that is completely unacceptable. This includes content on the website of the Sacramento County Central Committee, and a Republican women’s club in San Bernardino County.
“We have a responsibility to wage a campaign that is focused on the real issues and qualifications of the candidates. Any material that invokes issues related to race is absolutely unacceptable, tarnishes our party, diminishes the hard work of the tens of thousands of volunteers who are working hard every day for our candidates, and must be condemned. This material I’ve seen inspires nothing but divisiveness and hostility and has absolutely no place in this election, or any public discourse.
“This is an important election, but that is not an excuse for bad judgment or actions that impugn the integrity of our party. As Republicans, and as Americans, we have a responsibility to set a higher standard.
“I have asked both the leaders of these groups to take immediate and swift corrective action on these issues, and indicated that the California Republican Party vigorously opposes any material of his kind. We will continue to denounce similar behavior in any similar instances.”