Monday, June 15, 2009

Republican Staffer In Tennessee Emails Racist Image of President Obama

NOTE and UPDATE: The worst part of the story detailed below regarding the state's Republican party is captured quite well by OpenPen:

This is an obvious racist’s email, sent out by a state employee, on state time, on a state owned computer. She will keep her job.

Her response when asked about whether she knew the controversial nature of the picture, she would only say she felt very bad about accidently sending it to the wrong list. Exactly what was the right list?"

2nd UPDATE: Tuesday afternoon:

GOP State Senate staffer Sherri Goforth offers an apology for her actions:

I want to offer my deepest apology regarding the offensive nature of the email forwarded to several of my colleagues.

I also want to make it clear that it was forwarded to me from an acquaintance with absolutely no political party ties and who is outside the Tennessee Capitol Hill arena. I should have deleted it upon receipt.

Again, I am deeply sorry and offer a sincere apology to anyone offended."

Also, her boss, Senator Diane Black made these comments via CNN

And Nashville political blogger Kleinheider at Post Politics writes about why he was slow to cover the story.

It is worth noting in his post how he recalls the recent and current climate in the state's GOP when it comes to racial issue. Sure seems to me to be a climate that embraces dubious tactics - "
Sherri Goforth is not Chip Saltsman. She is not Bill Hobbs. She is not Robin Smith. She ain’t even Scott Gilmer. She’s not a player in game."

Read on to the bottom of this post to see what I think of this event ....

A racist email was sent out by a staffer for Tennessee Republican State Senator Diane Black of Gallatin, which my friend Newscoma shared with her readers and with me today. Thanks to what 'Coma did, others in the state blogosphere followed up on the nasty email and Christian at Nashville is Talking spoke to the staffer and got the lamest response - "Oopsie, I am sorry I sent that out to the wrong people." The email arrived with the title: "Historical Keepsake Photo".

See Newscoma's original post here
. She writes:

Dammit, Tennessee, haven’t we moved past this kind of crap."

At NIT, we get this response from the staffer Sherri Goforth, who sent out this "Keepsake Photo", plus NIT has a round-up of other responses in the state:

When I asked her if she understood the controversial nature of the photo, Goforth would only say she felt very bad about accidentally sending it to the wrong list. When I gave her a second chance to address the controversial nature of the email, she again repeated that she only felt bad about sending it to the wrong list of people.

“I went on the wrong email and I inadvertently hit the wrong button,” Goforth told NIT. “I’m very sick about it, and it’s one of those things I can’t change or take back.”

It is wrong for elected officials and their staff to sling this racist swill disguised as 'humor' -- so why am I also sharing this with you? To shame the senator and Goforth, and because I've seen and heard what such nasty racial hatred can do to people, how it nurtures this madness and helps it grow. Well, I won't stand for it. I'll do all I can do to stop the growth and nurture a better world than the one the senator and her aide want to nurture. I trust you won't support their racism either.

UPDATE: The racist email was sent out to the following recipients:

From: Sherri Goforth
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 8:33 AM
To: Alice Bigham; Anna Richardson; Beth Chiles; Carolyn Newman; Catherine Haire; Christina Barber; Chuck Grimes; Darlene Schlicher; Deana Guenther; Debbie Martin; Debbie Rankin; Glenda Mayes; Jeremy Davis; John Michael Burch; Lance Frizzell; Lee Harrell; Linda Klingmann; Liz Alvey; Logan Grant; Loudene Gee; Matt King; Micki Coode; Pam George; Pat Farmer; Patti Saliba; Rick Nicholson; Sandra Smith; Sherri Goforth; Tina Still; Tonya Morelock; Valerie Yancey; Will Canterbury; Wilma Carney; Zach Bates


  1. I'm still trying to figure out what the "right" email list is to send this stuff to. She should be required to reveal that list.

  2. the best info i have is the list of who all that she sent it to, which i have posted. i suspect there were more on that "list" and seems most of them were her fellow Republican staffers.

  3. Anonymous9:57 PM

    I'll bet several of those people on that list have explained to her about using bc (blind copy) when she forwards something next time.

  4. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Just remember these people when the elections roll around again. There is a price to pay for hatefulness and that may very well be losing reelection.

  5. Anonymous11:42 PM

    Why should we the people wait until the next election to terminate this type of racist representation from our state government? It is time that we the people stand and demand Senator Black's immediate resignation. Black's failure to terminate Sherri Goforth for circulating this intolerable message should not be tolerated by the people of Tennessee.