Friday, March 2, 2012

Republican Racism Example #32: A Federal Judge Compares the Romance Between Obama's Parents To Bestiality

Republicans apparently need to have the “return” key removed from their computers.

Once again, we hear news of a Republican official sending an unfunny racist joke to his friends via email.  This time, it’s a major official: U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull of Montana.  Appointed to his lifetime perch by George W. Bush, Cebull sent this gem to his online buddies on February 20 of this year:

“A little boy said to his mother; ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?’  His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!’”

In short, Cebull compares the interracial marriage between President Obama’s parents to bestiality.  Cebull described the joke as “touching” and wrote to his online friends, “Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.”

Federal Judge Richard Cebull compares the marriage of Barack Obama's black and white parents to bestiality.(Photo from the Billings Gazette at

To review for people new to the blog, so far we have posted stories about:

  • The Republican mayor of Los Alamitos, California sending an email to friends that included a picture of the White House lawn covered with watermelons
  • A member of the Orange County, Ca., Republican Party Central Committee sending a email with a picture depicting President Obama as the child  of chimpanzees
  • A Republican Party supporter and CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality Association sending his online friends a message comparing First Lady Michelle Obama to a chimp
  • A staffer of a Tennessee Republican state senator  sending an illustration with portraits of all the presidents except Obama, who was depicted as a pair of “spook” eyes against a black background
  • A South Carolina GOP financial supporter and friend of Bush 43 who sent an email claiming that a gorilla who escaped from a nearby zoo was an “ancestor” of Michelle Obama
  • A Republican city council member from Atwater, Ca., who sent a series of racist emails to friends including one suggesting that “presidential solutions” should be called “nigger rigs”
  •  A vice chair of the Republican Party in Collin County who in an email to her pals called the White House the “Black House”
  • The national leader of the Young Republicans group who posted “LOL” when a friend referred to the president as a “coon” in a Facebook thread on her page
  • A failed Republican city council candidate and Ron Paul fan in Carson, California, who refered to Obama as a “nigger” and called for the murder of the Obama family on his Facebook page
  • A Republican political consultant in South Carolina who in an email said that Obama was going to tax aspirin because it’s “white and it works”
  • And a GOP gubernatorial candidate in New York who distributed an email among his friends with a photoshopped picture of Barack and Michelle Obama as a pimp and whore and another that used the term “nigger”

One is tempted to ask whether these GOP supporters, candidates and officials realize that when they send the dumb, racist jokes via email and Twitter or post them on their Facebook page, that this ugliness will not somehow stay hidden from decent people.  The ugliness of their souls has been revealed on a global stage.  This repeated phenomena of online GOP racism is more disturbing than that, however.  It tells us that this guttural hate is what normally occupies the minds of these emotional cripples and constitutes what they regularly share with their friends face to face.

It also suggests that they think their white comrades share this racism, that racism is widespread enough that it is politically safe to share such jokes with people who are not intimate associates, and that there will be no social consequences from calling a black president “nigger,” comparing the president’s family to apes, or calling for the Obama family’s assassination.

After he was caught red-handed by the press, Cebull sheepishly admitted that the email joke was racist but, incredibly, claimed that his intent on sharing it was not racist. “The only reason I can explain it to you is I am not a fan of our president, but this goes beyond not being a fan,” Cebull said in an interview. “I didn’t send it as racist, although that’s what it is. I sent it out because it’s anti-Obama.”  (For more, see and

Sensing his career was in deep trouble, Cebull sent a personal apology letter to Obama and this Thursday asked for a formal judicial review of his actions since he became judge.  As the Billings Gazette points out, Cebull’s actions violate judicial ethics, which require federal justices to “acting in manner that 'promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary” and refraining from political activity.'” (For more, read

As a federal judge, Cebull serves for life although he can be impeached by the Senate. The national government reform group Common Cause has asked for his removal from the bench.  Perhaps my readers can call their senators and urge them to begin impeachment proceedings. You can call the Senate at 202- 224-3121. Trust me, however,: Cebull is only the tip of the GOP racism iceberg.

Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.


  1. I'm sure the democrats are perfect. While there is no excuse for any of the comments, racism is a universal problem and not exclusive to the GOP.

    1. The Dems aren't perfect. But if they're not Southern Democrats (= Republicans from all states) - if they're regular Northern Dems, they feel embarrassed when they hear racist garbage from others. I can tell people's racism (or lack thereof) by two things: what part of the country I happen to be in, and is the speaker White. If it's the South - racist Southern Dem. if it's the North - racist Republican (probably with a Southern Dem as a recent ancestor, LOL!)

    2. Sorry, both sides aren't the same, not anywhere near the same.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. I'm a little upset by the comment by Val. Saying democrats from the south are automatically inferior to the democrats of the north -- and topping it off with saying that being white automatically means they're racist if they're in said part of the country -- is as bad, ignorant, and offensive as those jokes. People of ANY race can be racist. And there are lots of very progressive people in the south, even if they're heavily outnumbered by those who aren't. And by the way, your joke at the end of your paragraph MIRRORS the obscene joke about Michelle's ancestor being a chimp. I'm sure that was the point, but fighting ignorant garbage with more ignorant garbage is like a doctor treating a head trauma patient by hitting them in the head with a hammer.

  2. I am sure there are Dem's that have imperfections just as anyone else but the blatant racism and venomous "hatred" spewed from republican constit's to lawmakers at Pres.Obama and any person or anything that agree with,vote for,or favor,etc. is very close to exactly what americans of color were subjected to 150 yrs.ago,and the greedy republicans who profit from the racial divisity,are to blame .

    1. And the reason you don't hear it from Dems is because lefties would be calling them out instead of ignoring it and making excuses.

  3. Two things republicans hate: prejudice and n/////

  4. no more racist than black leaders sharpton, jackson, and the two worst ,
    osama and holder

    1. So where are all these examples of racism?

    2. Ron Glass just provided a great example of the racists in the Republican party. #KeepTalking - Election day can't get here soon enough.

  5. This string says it all. We have a lot of work to do.