Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose
(March 2009)

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.

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