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”


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.


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.