Community: Email no joke

Carleton forwards racially insensitive letter to others.
Andy Ouriel
Jan 5, 2014


Several community members expressed extreme disappointment and outrage after a Norwalk city councilman distributed a racially charged email.

The Register learned on Friday that Bob Carleton, an elected councilman serving Norwalk for almost 20 years, sent an emailin December containing offensive and disparaging remarks about blacks, women and Hispanics.

Read the e-mail by clicking HERE

Carleton — who obtained the email from someone else and forwarded it to friends and colleagues — said he did not see the email as being offensive when he sent it, thinking it was a harmless joke.

The Register on Saturday visited various spots in Norwalk, such as Sheri’s Coffee House, asking people how they perceivedCarleton’s message and resulting response.

Almost everyone interviewed, including some of Carleton’s constituents, found the email crude, distasteful and tragic.

“I don’t know why he would send this,” Milan resident Tyler Voltz said. “It’s not appropriate. This should not be coming from a city councilman. I wouldn’t take him as seriously if he admitted to doing this type of stuff”

Said Townsend Township resident Susan Hamons: “It’s not right. As a representative of this community, you should not be joking about things like this”

Carleton’s message projects a poor reflection of himself and what he finds amusing, Norwalk resident Brittney Lesch said. “This is not OK in my book,” Lesch said. “This is not what I would want taught to my children. It’s sad. It’s very biased and very racial” Carleton said he’s not a racist and in hindsight regrets sending the email. But spreading a message like this proves he has a racist view, said Jim Jackson, president of the NAACP’s chapter in Sandusky.    

“This is an individual using the premise of a joke to actually pass on what he truly believes,” Jackson said. “That’s sad, and even more so that he’s a public official. A lot of times, when individuals pass something like this off as a joke, they actually believe the contents of the joke”

Norwalk city council is scheduled to convene Monday for an organizational meeting. It’s not known whether they’ll discuss this email in public session or not.

Jackson said Carleton must face the ramifications for his “ignorant actions”

“Whoever is over this individual needs to censure him and to say ‘something has to be done,’” Jackson said. “Since he didn’t know this was wrong, some type of punishment should be enforced to let him know that this type of thinking is not proper”


From the Grave

Next time, send an email about rampant heroine use...


Reminds me of the old SNL skit with Gilda Radner: What's all this talk about abusing female heroes? Chevy Chase: Ummm, they mean the drug heroin. Gilda: Opps never mind.

Thanks for the laugh and the example that slang and spelling errors are not limited by race or ethnic groups.

From the Grave

Thank God...


Did Mr. Carleton write it? No.

In retrospect, should he have forwarded it? No.

This is an Ebonics "joke"; a way of speaking and writing that not that long ago was being aggressively promoted by some in the black community.

We should all be thankful that Mr. Carleton hasn't forwarded by email some of the misogynistic and racially demeaning lyrics found in many of today's popular hip hop and rap songs.

Compared to those, the content of this hackneyed email is TAME.


Stick to what you think you know pooh. It's obvious you know very little about the Black community.

JMOP's picture

Wow! The paper is making a mountain out of a mole hill! There isn't even one person interviewed that is his councilman. If there was, maybe they didn't see the big deal.

It was a Black-Hispanic girl, not about Blacks, Hispanics, and women. Not a plural! One person!

But hey, at least they dropped the sexist bit.

Edit: my apologies. With the exception of Lesch, a Norwalk resident, no one else is his/her councilman (unless she lives outside city limits).


A Black Hispanic girl is Black, Hispanic and a female right? No, just one little girl that had won an award! Dumb joke!


Jim Jackson: “Since he didn’t know this was wrong, some type of punishment should be enforced to let him know that this type of thinking is not proper”

"This type of thinking is not proper."?

In George Orwell's book, "Nineteen Eight-Four" about a future oppressive, dystopian society this was referred to as: Thought crime.

According to Mr. Jackson, Mr. Carleton is a "thought criminal."

Where is Mr. Jackson's righteous outrage at hip hop lyrics?


Brittney Lesch: "It’s very biased and very racial”

How so?

Let's have a look at the word "Ebonics."

"A nonstandard form of American English characteristically spoken by African Americans in the United States" (The Free Dictionary)


"colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech" (The Free Dictionary)

Did the fictional author use Ebonics in her communication? Yes.

Was there any written commentary by Mr. Carleton about the fictional author's use of Ebonics? No.

So in other words, Mr. Carleton merely forwarded an Eubonics “joke,” leaving any commentary about it to the reader.

If one condemns Mr. Carleton for forwarding the email, then one must also condemn Ebonics.

No crime, no foul.


When the government starts monitoring my thinking or arresting me for thoughts, it will be time to move! I have already been found guilty by other people's erroneous thoughts but I pass that off as their ignorance. Thoughts are just thoughts; what one person thinks is improper may be perfectly acceptable to another. I guess that's why it's best to keep one's thoughts to oneself.


See: "Ebonics dictionary_ steve harvey " (YouTube)

WARNING: For gawd's sake DON'T FORWARD this video!!!!

Some will have their "shorts up their crack" and think it offensive and racist.


Why don't you hold your buddy's hand Clown tankerous... both of you are cut from the same bolt of cloth.


Re: "Clown tankerous..."

Resorting to childish name calling shows that you already lost the argument Sport.

Have a nice day.


Stop it, all of you! Affirmative action is a GOOD thing, especially in our schools! Anybody who wants to be a doctor (or a rocket scientist or the President of the United States) should be able to do so whether they're more qualified than another candidate for the job or not! Doesn't matter how many people die in surgery, blow up on launch pads, or suffer under ignorant policies! It's about EQUALITY OF OUTCOME, people!

Okay. You can turn the sarcasm switch off now...

P.S. Should he have forwarded the email? Nope. He should have known something like this would happen. Is the email still funny? Well, they do say the funniest humor stems from the truth, don't they...

The Bizness

The email isn't funny and can be seen as racist.

Is this story worth the print time? No.

I used to get emails like this and simply asked the sender to take me off their list. I don't like political correctness as much as the next person, but I don't like reading things that demean people either.


Re: "The email isn't funny"

Agree. And it's actually somewhat sad and indicative of the abysmal educational levels in the U.S.

We've created an almost entire generation of functional illiterates supported through the use of entitlements.

Don't worry about an education, the public will support you.


Naw..hardly. It was you historically that always tried to tarnish others whose opinions that differed from yours with name calling; again your past posts validate my truths. Willing to bet you probably are friends with Bob too. Willing to bet also that Bob's arrogance from years past is finally catching up to him. Old Bob didn't relish opposition to corporate welfare.

Dr. Information

Are you competent? Really I just have to ask. You name call all the time and even did it just above here, yet you are crying now?


Mr. Jim Jackson. It is ok for a white male to take a civil test for a government job and score the second highest score only to be told that he will not be considered for the job because only 1 white male will be hired and the rest have to be minority right??? This is discrimination in the highest. You don't get the job based on your scores and merit you get it based on color. Isn't this the exact thing the NAACP says it fights against?

Dr. Information

This spam filter BS is killing me. I can't type anything without some spam alert coming up and then trying to figure out what normal word caused it is boggling.

Its a joke. Watch the comedy channel. Watch the CC on TV, much worse is said. Get over it people. I believe most everyone on here who is complaining has repeated a racial joke or blond joke at some point in their life. Hypocrites working against themselves. lol.

Dr. Information

Don't ever watch old reruns of Eddie Murphy on Saturday Night Live. Ebonic's satire started with him. How racist (insert sarcasm).

the unsilent majority's picture
the unsilent ma...

Id be inerested to see how many minorities have ever sent a racially insensitive email.


"He got a 94% on the text but no extra points on acount of he have the same skin color as the opressirs of 150 years ago."

If you truly believe that the "joke" has nothing to do with race then you're simply not a very intelligent person. You're defending that rationale because either you personally know the councilman or you share similar beliefs that the type of thinking presented by the councilman with his "joke" is acceptable in today's society. Is this type of thinking illegal? No. But myself along with many other people will look at you in a different light because if you have those beliefs than you're an ignorant bigot and there's really no other way to put it.

Sending an e-mail like this speaks volumes and elected officials need to be held accountable by their voters. It's as simple as that. Another commenter mentioned Orwell's 1984? Nobody is suggesting that he should be rounded up by the government and prosecuted for "thought-crime". As an elected official he is responsible to his constituents. In all likelihood he betrayed the trust of a great deal of those people and he should probably step down.

The Bizness

I agree with most of what you say but this sentence doesn't sit well with me.

“Whoever is over this individual needs to censure him and to say ‘something has to be done,’” Jackson said. “Since he didn’t know this was wrong, some type of punishment should be enforced to let him know that this type of thinking is not proper”

I dont think punishmemt is necessary, rather his peers should be the ones telling him, "hey man, this is not right, and do you get why?"


I think that the people that are "over this individual" are his constituents. They are the ones that should be demanding his resignation or at the very least refuse to vote for him and similar minded candidates in future elections.

The NAACP can't force him out of office on their own but they can put pressure on him through media outlets, by rallying citizens, or by lobbying with other city officials and that's pretty much what they're doing here.

I'm not sure if the city of Norwalk has a mayor, a city manager or other similar position, but if they do, NAACP officials can meet with that individual and voice their opinion. They can suggest that an official does this or that, but ultimately the decision isn't theirs to make.

JMOP's picture

@ MattDamon Then you are a hypocritical ignorant bigot, since you can't see how most people think this is not a big deal.


I do see how many people think that this isn't a "big deal" and to me it's quite sad that so many people in our country employ that line of thinking.

JudgeMeNot's picture

JMOP, So you resort to Name-calling. Nice.

JMOP's picture

Umm...hello JudgeMeNot! I was calling the kettle black. Read MattDamon's statement, it was in reply to his words. He was being hypocritical.
So, it's only okay if a someone you agree with calls other people names, and not the other way around? That my friend is a hypocrite.


How was I being hypocritical?

If you're purposely demeaning towards other people based on their race or socio-economic status, than your a bigot.

Raoul Duke

I prefer the idea that people can be bigots and racists and Godless atheist savages. Because the other option is that we are expected to all think the same, look the same, worship the same, vote the same, like the same music and movies, etc. It makes me laugh that people act so offended about something like this, yet scowl at some black kid in the mall with his pants down to his knees. Then you laugh at the gay guy couple holding hands at Starbucks. All of this so called political correctness has done nothing but exposed a nation full of hypocritical morons.

JudgeMeNot's picture

I don't need to read Matt's statement to know that there are people like you in todays society who feel its ok to resort to name-calling. Bigotry of all kinds still flourishes in America and you're name-calling reenforces it.

From the Grave

So it's okay to go into another country and put millions of innocent people 6 feet under for the sake of our so called safety, but don't make fun of a black dude that can barely speak English. I understand now.

The Big Dog's back

This guy is a public official. We have every right to know what he is doing. What makes it racist is that he forwarded it to people in the public sector who didn't ask for it.


His words are not Ebonics. Just a series of misspelled words strung together in order to insult. Obviously has little respect for some of the people he is supposed to represent. If I was Carleton, I would get ahead of this by making a public apology. These days you never know what will make national or even world news on a slow news cycle. This is something the UK Dailymail loves to print for global distribution. I am halfway tempted to forward them the letter to see what happens.


Ok, so we had the butt crunchers and the licker cabinets all in a uproar for two weeks, now its time for the others to get their two cents worth in. So, it's the lgcub or whatever they are called, the naacp,nba,cia,nbc,fbi,peta,nfl,ncis,aclu,abc,cbs, let's see what initial did I leave out. Get over it,someone just wanted to start some more sh== for the new year. It was a joke ok, a joke. You mean to tell me that there isn't a person that responded that hasn't gotten some kind of joke that is either racial, radical or otherwise. Then I think you fib. Of course, if you are picking on him your leaving phil and el presidente alone

Julie R.

Once again, this really isn't any different than the satire wrote by Vermilion's police chief that everyone thought was so funny. I didn't think it was and I don't think this is, either. Not that I don't enjoy satire. Some of it is really good. I specifically enjoyed the ones that a Bryan DuBois used to write during the Nuesse fiasco. Now THOSE were hilarious.


Please re-read the 1st Amendment!


The first amendment protects individuals from government prosecution and I don't think anyone is suggesting that the councilman should be prosecuted.

The first amendment does not protect people from being judged and "held accountable" by other people for their statements.


Our biased media judges every day and claims it is news.


And that's a 1st Amendment violation, how?


Actually there were several high profile cases locally that involved charging and or incarcerating people for making statements that reported official misconduct/wrongdoing and or satirized law enforcement/lawyers/media. These reports and opinions were considered "thought crimes".


Look into the mirror and remember our discourse about your buddy Stackhouse. His & Bob's attitudes are similar. The Marine in me affords me terse discourse & this paper deleted my comment about Shawna Good's racist language directed at Sandusky's cops. See *hit is *hit. Few follow standard's other than their own. Now wail for me. the end


The "joke" reflects the truth, it's what affirmative action has created.


It actually reflects why affirmative action existed in the first place.


Let me get this straight. Someone logs onto the internet and does not expect to be offended? If someone actually expects to log onto the internet and not be offended they are not smart enough to be elected to public office. The internet is like being at a after hours party at a biker bar, Not really the place for the easily offended.

dorothy gale

There will ALWAYS be something offensive to somebody, so what? It was in poor taste, not funny, and definitely not newsworthy.


What's next? going after Buckwheat and the rest of the Little Rascals.