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Obama joke circulates around Oklahoma capitol



Getting tired of the racial comments about Barack Obama?

At the state Capitol, it's already no joke, according to a recent story in The Associated Press.

According to the story, Republican Rep. Doug Cox's legislative assistant, Jane Mitchell, was accused of distributing an e-mail about Obama that prompted Democrat Rep. Mike Shelton to complain that it was racist in nature.

The story states Mitchell distributed the e-mail the morning of Oct. 29, writing in the introduction: "I don't care if you are repubs or demos, I think that this e-mail that my daughter sent to me is funny."

The knee-slapping little e-mail included a knock-knock joke:

"Knock, knock."

"Who's there?"


"Eyes who?"

The program then flashes to a caricature of Obama with the statement "Eyes yo new Prezident."

(Cricket "¦ cricket "¦ cricket "¦)

Yeah. Ha.

 Actually, presidential election results were unavailable at the time the e-mail was sent. And for that matter, has anyone ever heard Obama speak? Does he sound like that? 

Shelton, who is a member of Oklahoma's black caucus, received the e-mail, along with his legislative assistant, who is also black.

"I cannot tell you how appalled I am that such an e-mail was disseminated among the staff, and that Ms. Mitchell thought it was funny," Shelton said in a letter to House Chief of Staff Chad Warmington. "It was not funny and in bad taste."

Shelton also said there were House policies against forwarding offensive e-mails.

According to the story, Cox's office was locked and Mitchell was not able to be reached. Cox told The AP he hadn't seen the e-mail and did not know about its distribution. The story said Cox apologized for the e-mail's content but also defended Mitchell, saying he thought she "didn't mean any personal offense."

"Jane has been a very good legislative assistant and helps me deal with constituent issues," Cox said. (What? Does she write your jokes for dinner speeches?) "I have never known her to have a racist thought or a racist bone in her body."

House spokeswoman Jennifer Monies said officials have not decided whether to take any action regarding the e-mail. Shelton said Cox apologized to him.

"I just basically told him that I was disappointed that something was generated out of his office like this," Shelton said. "I appreciate it, but that apology needs to go Capitol-wide. I was not the only person offended and disappointed with that."

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