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Friday, December 19, 2008

Alaska officials exchanged racist emails about Barack Obama

laska has launched an investigation after state officials emailed each other racist jokes about President-elect Barack Obama using government computers.
Following the president-elect's victory, one of the emails said: 'Another black family living in government housing!' Photo: AP

One of the five emails obtained by the Associated Press news agency asks about the outcome of the Democrat's victory after all the time and money invested. It concludes: "Another black family living in government housing!"

The existence of three of the racist messages were confirmed by the state's information technology division after an electronic search of the government's email system.

Annette Kreitzer, Alaska's administration commissioner, said: "It's embarrassing to the state."

She said that she had alerted the office of Governor Sarah Palin - the failed Republican vice presidential candidate - about the emails.

Bill McAllister, Mrs Palin's spokesman, said that the matter concerned individual actions taken by a handful of state employees among thousands.

"My understanding is that the department of administration is following up on this with the individuals who took action to forward the offensive emails," he said in an emailed statement. "This is, of course, a confidential personnel and disciplinary matter that has nothing to do with the governor's office."

The Rev Alonzo Patterson, state chairman of the Alaska Black Leadership Conference, encouraged Mrs Palin to comment on the offending emails.

"They're doing that in a state setting," he said. "She should condemn it."

Officials have not released the names or positions of the staff involved.

It appears that the original emails were sent to state employees from outside the government computer system, but that some state employees then forwarded them internally.

Original here

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