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The Dog Forwarded My Racist Email

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, October 21 2010

David Bartholomew, until recently the chair of the Virginia Beach Republican Party, resigned this week after the local political blog Blue Virginia drew attention to an email message forwarded from Bartholomew's address back in March of this year that contain a racist "joke" about a black dog qualifying for welfare benefits. The email flap comes out of that area's hardball politics, but TPM's David Kurtz picks up on the weird tech-culture angle to the incident. After meeting with Bartholomew, local GOP official Gary Byler explained that his former chair distributed the email during that part of spring 2010 when "he was first getting familiar with the Internet." Byler later expanded on that explanation in a statement:

David apparently forwarded this email without reviewing its contents over half a year ago and was horrified when shown the contents yesterday. David condemns this e-trash and apologizes for inadvertently forwarding it.

Is there some early stage of getting the hang of the Internet marked by blindly sending around emails that you've never even glanced at? The email -- which, in a bit of irony, makes fun of said black dog because it "can't speak English" and yet is advertised with the inexplicably-punctuated subject line "my ,dog" -- featured nothing but the so-called joke, at least according to the copy on Blue Virginia. So this wasn't a case of accidentally forwarding part of an email thread you forgot was there. Bartholomew isn't talking.