This reminds me of a scene from “All in the Family,” where Archie Bunker is talking to Lionel Jefferson about the names of some city councilmen, and Archie is confounded by the “white-sounding” names of some of the black councilmembers, and vice-versa. They get to someone named “White,” and Lionel says, “Oh, no, he’s white. Sometimes it just works out that way.”
In this case, Tennessee State Senator Diane Black’s legislative aide, Sherri Goforth, confounds Archie’s expectations anew by sending a racist email to some folks who weren’t in on the joke. From ThinkProgress:
Wonkette notes that a racist e-mail was sent out by a legislative staffer for Tennessee GOP state senator Diane Black. The staffer, Sherri Goforth, e-mailed this composite picture of the country’s 44 presidents, which represents President Obama with only a set of eyes:
Luckily, Nashville is Talking was able to contact Goforth and clear the whole thing up:
When I asked her if she understood the controversial nature of the photo, Goforth would only say she felt very bad about accidentally sending it to the wrong list. When I gave her a second chance to address the controversial nature of the email, she again repeated that she only felt bad about sending it to the wrong list of people.
“I went on the wrong email and I inadvertently hit the wrong button,” Goforth told NIT. “I’m very sick about it, and it’s one of those things I can’t change or take back.”
Worst apology ever, and worst apology this week. Now, I want to know who was on the list she meant to send it to.
I tried to contact Black’s office, but have not received a return call yet. Unfortunately, the Senator’s contact person is listed as “Sherri Goforth,” so I will cease holding my breath.
This is not the kind of press that the Republican Party needs, so I predict a necessarily strong, if delayed, reaction to this. Reviving arcane racist imagery is definitely not the way to grow the party. Sherri Goforth may well be told to go forth without her job.
On the other hand, this is the work of a staffer to a state legislator, a very small fish. The fact that this, and similar incidents, occur only at the muddy bottom of the GOP pond is worth noting. Whether the mud sticks to them will depend on how they dredge that pond.
The Tennessee GOP has not returned calls for comment.