Mayor's Obama watermelon email likely came from blog post tagged 'nigga'
David Edwards and Rachel Oswald
Published: Thursday February 26, 2009

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The claims of a California mayor that he didn't know that a personal e-mail he sent about President Obama had racist overtones don't hold water when the likely source of a photo he included with the e-mail is known - a blog called the Chappyreport that included the source tags "watermelon," "obama" and "house nigga."

A Raw Story investigation has found the likely source of the image sent out in Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose's "No Easter Egg hunt this year" e-mail. Readers can view the Jan. 5 blog posting and doctored White House image on Chappyreport here but they are advised that to click on the Chappyreport homelink will direct them to a page with pornographic images. The doctored image is of a White House lawn filled with watermelons.

The source tags of the White House image are: "watermelon," "kfc," "whitehouse," "obama," "easter," "uncle tom" and "house nigga."

Grose is in firm crisis-control mode now as he tries to stem the public anger caused by the e-mail. The mayor has sent an apology for the e-mail to the Los Alamitos City Council and to Keyanus Price, a black businesswoman and community activist, who said she was appalled when she received the e-mail from the mayor saw the image and so took her concerns to The Orange County Register. The apology was also sent to Ms. Price's boss, who is an apparent valued member of the city's business community.

The mayor did not return two calls for comment from Raw Story on the source of the image in his e-mail.

"The mayor said he was unaware of the racial stereotype that African Americans like watermelons," reported The Orange County Register.

In his apology letter for the e-mail the mayor wrote, "I am deeply embarrassed... It was poor judgement on my part and was never intended to be offensive to Ms. Price, your company or anyone in the African American Community.... You can be assured that I will not allow this to happen again. I in no way was representing the City of Los Alamitos, or my role as a council member in sending this out and it went via my private business email. That doesn't justify the fact that it was sent, however, we gratefully appreciate the contributions that your company makes to our community and I wish to publically apologize to anyone within the firm or organization that may have been offended."

Price told The Register she was "horrified" when she read the e-mail.

"What I'm concerned about is how can this person send an e-mail out like this and think it is OK?" Price said, adding, "He's putting the city into a bad place, and he is a liability."

Both Dean and Price sit on the board of directors of The Youth Center of Los Alamitos California. In addition to his seat on the nonprofit�s board, Dean is also a member of the Los Alamitos/Seal Beach Rotary Club and he serves as president of the Delta Los Alamitos Business Association.

This video is from MSNBC's News Live, broadcast Feb. 25, 2009.

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