Former John Locke Foundation blogger Tara Servatius has issued the statement below about her use of an image of President Barack Obama dressed in gay fetish wear and high heels with a bucket of fried chicken.
Servatius, a former conservative radio host in Charlotte, resigned from the Locke Foundation's Meck Deck blog this morning.
"I am genuinely sorry my inclusion of the photo along with my blog post has caused controversy for the John Locke Foundation.
"If it has offended anyone, I sincerely regret that. That was certainly not my intention and I would feel awful if that was the case. It was meant to illustrate Obama's southern political strategy, nothing more. An honest reading of the piece itself shows there is nothing offensive in it.
"If you read the piece that goes with it, you will see that I actually think that holding the marriage ban vote this year is a bad political move in North Carolina because it could distract voters from the economy, which should be the main issue.
"PS: At the time, I was searching for a picture of the president in drag to illustrate his southern political strategy of courting young voters, 70 percent of whom support gay marriage. It was one of the first photos to come up on Google Images.
"Regrettably, I didn't think about the racial implications of the picture when I posted it. I simply don't think in those terms. Unfortunately some people do. To me, fried chicken is simply a Southern Cuisine."
Meantime, John Locke Foundation President John Hood is scheduled to meet this afternoon with NC NAACP President William Barber. We'll have more on the story at 6pm on WRAL.