Op-Ed: California Mayor Resigns Over Offensive Email
Los Alamos Mayor Dean Grose announced -- by email -- that he will step down as mayor of the small California city after the storm cause by his emailing a local businesswoman and others what she said was racist and offensive, but he claimed was a joke.
Joke or not, the email depicted a watermelon patch growing in the garden of the White House.
The woman, Keyanus Price, an African American businesswoman
and highly respected community volunteer, said she was horrified when she opened the e-mail.
In another email Grose issued an apology to Price, her boss and the city council, but it was not enough to quell the recriminations and criticism.
“The attention brought to this matter has sadly created an image of me which is most unfortunate,” he wrote. “I recognize that I've made a mistake and have taken steps to make sure this is never repeated,” Grose
said in his emailed apology.
Repeated it won’t be, at least not by Grose (pronounced gross), the gross mayor with an equally gross sense of humor.
Price was not the only person who received the offensive email. Grose also sent it to a small group of people from his personal email account.
“What I'm concerned about is how can this person send an e-mail out like this and think it is OK?” she asked.
In another statement, Grose said he wasn't aware that there was any negative link between watermelon and African-Americans, which begs the question, for a man who's old enough to be a mayor, what rock has he been living under to not be aware of that racial connecting slur.
Those emails by Grose just keep on coming. Even his announcement
that will step down as mayor on Monday was sent by email.
Public reaction was swift and varied, ranging from “it was a joke and people are too sensitive,” to serious recriminations and a smashed watermelon left on the door steps of the mayor’s office.
Police are taking the smashed fruit seriously and considering it a “threat.”
Police presence has been increased around the mayor’s office, and they are planning a show of force Monday night at the council meeting where Grose is planning to publicly tendering his resignation.
In addition to submitting his resignation, Grose might want to consider closing his email account.
Live by email; die by email. They can be a career killers.