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A federal judge in Montana admitted this week to using his own government email account to forward a racially-charged message about President Obama to a handful of friends.
A local newspaper in Montana, the Great Falls Tribune, broke the story Tuesday after it obtained the email in question. News of the forward immediately prompted calls for the judge to step down, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The judge in question is Richard F. Cebull, the chief U.S. district judge in the state, who was appointed by George W. Bush in 2001.* "Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching," Cebull wrote on Feb. 20 in an email with the subject line of "A MOM'S MEMORY." "I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read this. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine."
The text that followed was this:
"A little boy said to his mother; 'Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?' His mother replied, 'Don't even go there Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!'"
According to the Tribune, the judge acknowledged on Wednesday that the email was racist, but said he does not consider himself to be a racist. "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," he said.
*Correction: An earlier version of this post misspelled the name of Judge Richard F. Cebull.