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US judge sends anti-Obama, racist mail; apologises

March 01, 2012 16:34 IST
A top United States judge has turned in an apology after e-mailing a racially charged joke about President Barack Obama that likened African-Americans to 'dogs'.

To make matters worse, Richard Cebull, a chief district US jugde for Montana sent the e-mail from his courthouse chambers to his seven close "buddies," the Great Falls Tribune reported.

The judge apparently never thought that the 'joke' may become public, but said he was surprised that one of the recipients passed it along with his name on it, to the newspaper.

"This is a private thing that was, to say the least, very poor judgment on my part," Cebull said. "I did not forward it because of the racist nature of it. Although it is racist, I'm not that way, never have been."

"Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine," Cebull said.

Acknowledging that he was opposed to Obama, the judge said he did not consider himself 'racist' and the e-mail was intended to be a private communication. "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. "I didn't send it as racist, although that's what it is. I sent it out because it's anti-Obama."

The judge was nominated by former US president George W Bush and received his commission in 2001 and has served as chief judge for the District of Montana since 2008.

Human Rights Network has taken exception to a judge indulging in such past times.

Travis McAdam, executive director for the Montana, said the email contained highly racist rhetoric unbecoming of a federal judge. "We have a hard time believing that a legitimate criticism of the president involves distributing a joke that basically compares African Americans with animals."

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