So you’ll remember that on Tuesday, a DOJ report found that John Tanner, the former chief of the department’s voting rights section, had told a colleague over email in 2004 that he liked his coffee “Mary Frances Berry style — black and bitter.” Berry, an African-American, was at the time the chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights.
Now Tanner is trying to make amends. Moments ago he forwarded to TPMmuckraker a letter of apology he sent to Berry dated January 13.
The backstory compounds Tanner’s predicament.
Schlozman surrounded himself with like-minded officials at the Department of Justice. When he was due to meet in 2004 with John Tanner, then chief of the Voting Section, he asked how Tanner liked his coffee.
“Mary Frances Berry style — black and bitter,” Tanner replied by e-mail, referring to the African American woman who chaired the U.S. Civil Rights Commission from 1993 to 2004.
Amused, Schlozman circulated the e-mail. “Y’all will appreciate Tanner’s response,” he wrote.
Tanner only apologized after the DoJ Inspector General report on Schlozman revealed that little gem to the general public, over a month after a black guy won the race for President. If Tanner thought that people might misunderstand his little gem then he might have spoken up while his boss was forwarding it around the DoJ.
You know, I can understand conservatives saying incredibly offensive things to each other when they think they have the room to themselves. It’s who they are, and the more ideologically pure a conservative gets the further his private statements get from anything a normal person would say in public.
What I don’t get is how these guys always deny themselves three times when they get caught. People like Tanner always claim that they couldn’t possibly mean to say what they obviously said. Refusing to stand behind what they say suggests an insecurity about their beliefs, a fundamental emotional immaturity. Unlike Aryan Nations types who at least stand behind their (sick, hateful) opinions with pride, all that Tanner has to take home now is shame.