June 16th, 2009
01:06 PM ET
6 years ago

Racist e-mail aimed at Obama raises hackles in Tennessee

(CNN) – The chairman of Tennessee's Democratic Party wants a Republican legislative aide fired for sending out a "reprehensible" e-mail depicting President Obama as two cartoonish white eyes peering from a black background.

Obama's image is in the last square of a collage containing portraits of the previous 43 U.S. presidents. Copies of the e-mail were posted on the Internet Monday.

Sherri Goforth, an administrative assistant to state Sen. Diane Black, R-Gallatin, has admitted she sent the e-mail May 28 with the title "Historical Keepsake Photo." She said, without elaborating, that she mistakenly sent it "to the wrong list of people."

According to the Tennessean, a Nashville newspaper, a note on the e-mail said it was paid for by the Tennessee Republican Party, but GOP officials denied that they produced it. Black chairs the Senate Republican Caucus.

Full story


Filed under: President Obama • Tennessee
soundoff (261 Responses)
  1. Bob of Lompoc

    "...and then hits just keep on coming".

    June 16, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Mary Ann Watt

    totally tasteless with no place in the real world of taxes and healthcare and economy. Use the negative energy on something positive

    June 16, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. Grow up

    Oh come on it's only a joke!! Has this country become way too overly sensitive and politically correct that we have to walk on egg shells because Obama is 1/2 black?? It was ok to poke fun at all the other presidents for their "looks".

    June 16, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  4. Obama Victim

    wonder if Letterman said this it would be "just a joke"???..........Obamabots should not be so sensitive......

    June 16, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Goforth needs to resign. As for Sen. Black, it looks like you dodged a bullet.

    June 16, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. Tommy

    WOW! Diane Black is an incredibly thoughtful politician... NOT! What scum!

    I seem to remember a couple of years ago a group in that state wanted to secede from the U.S. LET THEM! No room in this country for idiotic bigotry!

    Aim high Tennessee!

    June 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Teena in Denver

    Where are the republicans now after seeing this being sent out from the republicans headquarters in Tn? I qguess they don't have time to fight racism, they are too busy attending rallies to support Palin against Letterman!
    Wake up people

    June 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    How many ways will the right-wingers try to spin this one?

    June 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Grrr-awful-o

    Why isn't there anything on the Iran situation here? There's a bunch of garbage stories but the important stories seem to be ignored?!

    I disagree with the president's "let them solve it themselves" approach to the massacre going on in Iran. At the very least we should be offering moral support to the demonstrators as they battle the dictatorship. And as the foreign press is being kicked out so that they can't report on what's about to happen. This may be a historic moment in the making, and the US administration seems to be sitting this one out. I really don't get it!

    June 16, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. Cassandra Washington

    This is beyond the pale. This really reveals what so many in the GOP stand for and also is proof why gay and lesbian civil rights must be provided by the Court and not left to the vote of these dinosaurs and racists.

    June 16, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Andrea Anderson

    I do not get this.Why do something this stupid? I hope people take this as what is should be taken as. Stupid, ignorant, pathetic, typical of Republicans and so embarrassing as an American. President Obama, get over it,-is the President!

    June 16, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Alfred E. Neumann

    Well, it didn't take long. Liberals didn't find an offensive Letterman joke to be, well, vulgar and offensive. "What'sa matter, can't Palin take a joke?" Campbell Brown, Jeffrey Toobin and others from CNN found Letterman to be funny. Don't think so – ask CNN to put the material on youtube.

    Now, as always, the table is turned –

    I hope the conservatives will take the high ground and find an offensive "joke" offensive.

    What's that you say Jeffrey Toobin – Barack Obama is not a public figure like Sarah Palin's children.

    June 16, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Jim

    So Ms. Goforth the gofer mistakenly sent her racist depiction "to the wrong list of people." I.e. she got caught. Her explanation implies
    that getting caught is the only issue and being a racist among peers
    is ok. Well, a Darwin award to you sweetie; you probably don't believe in evolution but guess what? It still applies to you.

    June 16, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. IndyVoter

    Sick and twisted! She should be fired. People have their biases and even prejudices. Even ones who work for the government. However, she should be fired for overtly expressing those biases on the job and using tax-payer, state government equipment while in an official government capacity.

    Shame on you TN. To quote Yoda....Your "hate,.... consume you it will"!!

    June 16, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. joe m

    this goes beyond stupid. this warrants the archie bunker term... meat head!

    June 16, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. Enough

    Why is it racist? He is 1/2 black. I think the proper term should be it is a stereotype. There are polish jokes, blonde jokes, asian driver jokes....etc. those are all stereotypes. We are becoming too sensitive to every little comment.

    June 16, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Lex

    Racists running the government in Tennessee! Who woulda thunk it?!?

    Just goes to show how far we still need to go to get equality in this country. Judge Sotomayor is another step in the right direction. So all the racists start crying foul about her.

    I like what Bill Maher said more or less last Friday: "Pretty much now if you are a racist, you are a republican politically!"

    June 16, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. Teena in Denver

    Where are the republicans now after seeing this being sent out from the republicans headquarters in Tn? I qguess they don't have time to fight racism, they are too busy attending rallies to support Palin against Letterman! And she explains away her mistake by saying she sent it to the "wrong people" What I would like to know is WHO exactly are the RIGHT people to send this too?
    Wake up people

    June 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    Way too much hate in this country. A country divided against itself cannot stand.

    June 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Steph

    Typical for people who dont have good arguments to confront the President. The cheapest way is a "racial way". Doesnt anybody know that we all have black blood?

    June 16, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Eliabeth Thomas

    The woman who sent this should be fired.
    The Person who designed this should be fired.
    Apologies should be made.

    June 16, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. CF

    Republcans think this is okay, but a satirical joke pointing out the Palin's philosophy of abstience and famly values while her daughter is an unwed teenage mother is cause for protest? All you GOP and their blind followers make me sick.

    June 16, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Right wing "looser"

    Stay classy GOP! Brought to you by the Tennessee Republicans who so effectively conjured up the 'black man going after our white women' irrationality to sink Harold Ford's campaign. I'm sure Limbaugh and Hannity will say 'it's just a joke' like the comparison of Michelle Obama to a gorilla, whereas Letterman's joke about Sarah Palin will inspire outrage for months. It's why the GOP will never win – they don't deserve to lead.

    June 16, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. renea

    I knew all along that there is a lot of rascism going on with these republicans even some democrats thats why a lot of things this president wants to do cant get done. Some want even say President Obama because they feel he does not deserve to be president. But the media dont want us to know,this yet we voted for this president and some of have even agreed with republicans when it comes to the presidents agenda. We cant see that alot of things he wants done the poor and middle class cant afford it, like health care, education and other things. These republicans already have it for them and there kids.

    June 16, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Dwayne

    Racism will eat this country alive. And when it does, don't stand around looking stupid as if you don't how something like this could happen. You teach it and breed it...then reap the benefits of it. Good luck with that.

    June 16, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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