Obama delegate cited for racist comment

April 8, 2008 8:01:16 PM PDT
An Illinois delegate for Barack Obama is denying a report by his campaign that she's stepping down after referring to a group of African American children as monkeys.Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski is a Carpentersville village trustee. She says the incident was a complete misunderstanding. She says five children were climbing in a neighbor's tree, and she was concerned for their safety and the welfare of the tree.

She says she told them to get out of the tree when their father swore at her.

"I says, the tree is not there for them to be climbing in like monkeys. He said, you didn't. It never occurred to me it would be taken as a racial slur," said Ramirez-Sliwinski.

One of the children's mothers called police, who issued her a $75 citation for disorderly conduct. Ramirez Sliwinski says she will fight the citation.

An Obama spokesperson said that the campaign has spoken to Ramirez Sliwinski and that she has agreed to step down, but she denies that.