Davis apologizes for e-mail
August 23, 2001
RALEIGH A state legislator apologized Wednesday for forwarding to fellow lawmakers an e-mail that claimed, "Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity."
Rep. Don Davis, a white Republican, said he received the letter Friday and forwarded it to every member of the state House and Senate. He said he didn't consider the letter racist.
"I humbly want to apologize if the e-mail forwarded from my office on Monday night was offensive or disrespectful to any one in this General Assembly, state or nation," Davis said in a written statement.
"The only reason the document was forwarded to each of you was for information and to show the type of messages that come across the Internet. My purpose in sending out the e-mail was for no other reason and was not intended to be indicative of my personal views. In fact I made no personal comment with the e-mail, it was simply forwarded as information only."
Davis also said, "I am not now nor have I ever been a racist or white supremacist."
The e-mail's return address indicated it was sent to Davis from an Internet site called God's Order Affirmed in Love.
"There's a lot of it that's truth, the way I see it," Davis told The Fayetteville Observer. "Who came to this country first - the white man, didn't he? That's who made this country great There's nothing racist about it."
Bill Peaslee, political director of the state GOP, said the party didn't agree with the e-mail's sentiment but had no control over Davis.
"Needless to say, Representative Davis does not speak for the North Carolina Republican Party," Peaslee said. "It is regrettable that he decided to distribute that e-mail. There was just no call or reason for that to be sent out."
The letter angered lawmakers who considered it offensive and racist.
"It is offensive to me both in its advocacy of white male supremacy and its anti-Catholic stereotyping," said Rep. Paul Luebke, a white Democrat.
In an e-mail response sent to fellow legislators, state Sen. William Martin, a black Democrat, said such sentiments arouse suspicions among blacks.
"Whose brand of Christianity is this? It's not mine," Martin wrote.
Rep. Ron Sutton, the only American Indian in the General Assembly, said he had no use for such sentiments in the State House. "It just shows his white supremacist, Gestapo mentality," Sutton said. Davis
By ESTES THOMPSON, Associated Press.