Our View: Keep public criticism of the president about politics

DKS Editors

Last Wednesday, an email was forwarded to the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. The subject line: “A Mom’s Memory.” In it, President Obama’s true origin: bestiality.   

The story is pretty typical of what one sees from a politically–themed chain of forwards. One person writes a funny narrative about a politician he or she doesn’t like and sends it to friends on the email contact list. Those friends then forward it to 10 more friends. And so on. 

In this case, “A Mom’s Memory” was sent Feb. 20 to the inbox of U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull by his brother. And, in this case, the message of the email wasn’t just political.

It features President Obama asking his mother why he is black when his mom is white, with her response being, “Don’t ever go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!”

This, of course, is implying Obama’s white mother had sex with a dog.

Cebull obviously thought it was funny because he continued the chain to six of his “old buddies.” Now, he faces a judicial misconduct review to decide whether he misused his courthouse chambers computer by forwarding that email, which was published by the Tribune last week.

It’s not just that the content of the email is offensive. We recognize these emails are circulated all the time, and for the average outraged citizen to get kicks off a forward chain like this is not surprising. But for a federal judge to use his government computer to publicly share a racially insensitive joke about the commander in chief is unacceptable and unprofessional. 

Cebull, to his credit, apologized and said he can “obviously understand why people would be offended.” He said he was merely trying to express his disapproval of the president. 

But this isn’t like drawing George W. Bush as a dumb monkey or Bill Clinton as a pot-smoking sleaze bag. The humor supposedly behind these jokes isn’t funny to us. 

A United States president can be mocked, caricatured and ridiculed by his opponents for his policies, but a judge should not be endorsing the comparison of his black father to a dog. 

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board whose names are listed above.