Virginia school board votes to boot member who sent racist Michelle Obama emails

By Kay Steiger
Friday, May 31, 2013 14:20 EDT
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Herb DeGroft (screenshot via Daily Press)
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Members of a Virginia school board voted 4-1 on Thursday to demand the resignation of a fellow member who forwarded inappropriate and racist messages that compared First Lady Michelle Obama to members of an African tribe.

WWBT reported that Isle of Wight school board member Herb DeGroft sent the following messages:

He forwarded two emails from his county email account. One had a picture with bare-breasted, African female warriors with the caption “Michelle Obama’s high school reunion.” Another e-mail claimed Mrs. Obama was paid $50 to model in National Geographic.

DeGroft told WWBT that the messages were intended to be political and not racist. Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Byron “Buzz” Bailey reportedly forwarded the messages DeGroft sent on to others.

Isle of Wight NAACP Chapter President Dottie Harris has called for both men to resign, according to the Daily Press.

“I’m penalized right now … being publicly ostracized,” DeGroft said. “I stand out as an example to students, to young people anywhere for that matter. Here’s an adult who made a mistake, admittedly made a mistake, and is honorable enough to say, ‘Hey, look at what I did. Don’t be that stupid.’ ”
Watch the WWBT report, broadcast on May 31.

NBC12.com – Richmond, VA News

Watch DeGroft’s original hearing, broadcast by the Daily Press on May 23.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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