Los Alamitos Mayor Shocked To Discover Racial Slur In Own Email
Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos, California, says that he was "absolutely shocked" to discover that an email he sent to a friend, which showed hundreds of watermelons on the White House lawn with the caption "No Easter Egg hunt this year," was racist.
The comic, which has caused a great deal of controversy ever since Al Sharpton formally declared it to be racist, was "never intended that way", according to Grose.
"There is no way that I meant anything racist in my email," said Grose. "I was merely criticizing Obama's fiscal plan, which is so horrendous that it's almost as if it were written by watermelons."
Grose's intentions aside, the public has reacted strongly to the comic in a variety of ways, most of them negative.
"Leave it to the intolerant, stupid Republicans," read one comment on CNN.com, "to make sweeping generalizations that unfairly pigeonhole an entire class of people."
On the other hand, many elderly, white individuals found the comic to be entertaining, even if they didn't quite understand the stir it has caused.
"It's a bunch of watermelons at the White House," said Mildred Hanesworth, a retired octogenarian from Philadelphia. "What's racist about it? Coloreds like watermelon. That's not racist, it's just true."
Former Representative Tom Delay (R-TX) has gone one step further, condemning President Obama for purportedly planning to cancel the White House Easter Egg hunt.
"According to Revelations," said Delay, reading from a chain letter he recently received, "'The Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal.' And now he wants to cancel the Easter Egg hunt? Something smells Muslim."
In a statement, President Obama denied the White House Easter egg hunt would be cancelled, but did affirm his love for watermelon.
"I like watermelon. I like it because it's good," he said. "If it's racist to love watermelon, then I'm the biggest racist of all."
Al Sharpton later confirmed that this indeed does make President Obama racist. An apology is expected within 24 hours.
As for the original artist of the controversial cartoon, he or she remains unknown, though art historians place the painting in the late Renaissance or early classical period.
"The artist clearly had an understanding of perspective in art," said Dr. Jean Hagel, a professor of Art History at the University of Chicago. "There is also a chiaroscuro effect playing off the focal point of the painting, which is typical of a Rembrandt or one of his contemporaries."
"It's also really racist," she said, "so it's probably Italian."
Despite the controversy, Mayor Grose says he's still unable to understand what went wrong in his email.
"I mean, black people don't even like watermelons," he said. "If there were a bunch of fried chickens, and the cars all had 22-inch rims, and the President was sitting out on the porch without a shirt -- then I could see it being racist, maybe."
"I now realize, in retrospect, that this comic clearly represents Nancy Pelosi," he concluded.