Atwater, CA councilman Gary Frago continues the trend of using racial comments and imagery to criticize the president. Think Progress has links to a slew of examples of such unconsciousness. The Merced Sun-Star obtained 7 e-mails sent between October 2008 and February 2009 to city workers and other prominent citizens racially deriding President Obama, the First Lady and blacks in general.
Some compared Obama to O.J. Simpson while others suggested that “nigger rigs” should now be called “presidential solutions.”
Perhaps the most overboard e-mail was sent on Jan. 15. It read: “Breaking News Playboy just offered Sarah Palin $1 million to pose nude in the January issue. Michelle Obama got the same offer from National Geographic.”
Frago says he was just forwarding emails others send him and he sees no harm in them.
“I don’t see where there’s a story, I’m not the only one that does it,” he said. “I didn’t originate them, they came to me and I just passed them on.”
Frago said he sends all kinds of joke e-mails about every one from Jews to Portuguese (Frago is of Portuguese descent). These e-mails were just meant for friends, not public officials, he added. Frago said any e-mails were sent via personal accounts.
I feel so much better now, knowing that Jews were included, too. For a moment there I was feeling left out. And how reassuring to know that Frago isn’t the only one spreading bigotry.
Those who could be identified were Bob Rieger, a retired Atwater city works employee; Michael McIntyre, a Merced resident; and Lee Aldridge, a retired Air Force colonel in Alabama.
Most of the recipients said they do not recall receiving the e-mails and several of the senders either do not remember sending them or claim they were not meant to be harmful.