Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose
Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos, California, is resigning his office after it was reported that he shared an e-mail photo showing the White House lawn planted with watermelons, with the caption, “No Easter egg hunt this year!” One of the recipients, a local businesswoman and city volunteer, revealed the e-mail and publicly rebuked the mayor for his actions.
Unlike the New York Post’s controversial dead chimp cartoon, this graphic is an unambiguous call to offensive racial stereotypes. Should the mayor have to resign for sending it out? That would be a “yes.” Public figures and elected officials cannot use racist images, even in jest. And it goes without saying (but I’ll say it) that the incident calls into serious question his judgement, taste and brain pan size.
But Grose earned the Scoreboard’s February Liar title with
his incredible statement announcing his resignation. He was sorry, he
said (that sounds reasonable) and would step down as mayor at the
next City Council meeting (good!). Grose added that he accepted
that the e-mail was in poor taste ( Duh!) and has affected his
ability to lead the city. (Correctamundo! )He said he didn't
mean to offend anyone (at least, nobody whom he thought would see the
e-mail) and…(here comes his prize winning moment!) said he
was unaware of the racial stereotype and long history of racist jokes
linking blacks to eating watermelons!
Of course! He just thought a picture of the White House
lawn full of watermelons was generally hilarious, and something he had
to share with all his watermelon-loving e-mail pals. Why, he would have
sent out the same picture while Bush was president! “What? There’s
an old stereotype about blacks eating watermelons? Fancy that! Boy, If
I had known THAT, I sure wouldn’t have sent around that photo! I would
have sent around the other funny one, with the White House floor
covered with fried chicken! At least there aren’t any racial stereotypes
connected with that!”
Sure, Mayor Grose. Whatever you say.
Don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out.