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February 18, 2011

GOP official names black cow Oprah

A Republican leader on the Eastern Shore has angered some members of her party by having a black Angus cow named Oprah.

Diana Waterman, the newly elected First Vice Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party noted on Facebook that the family cow, Oprah, recently birthed a calf. (She joked that the newborn would not be called "Veal.")

The post caught the attention of Sveinn C. Storm, who runs a Queen Anne's County-focused blog called "Pave Our County?" The blog mostly focuses on development related issues.

Naming a cow after an African-American  talk show host who has struggled with her weight is "precisely why an enormous number of Americans view Republicans as racists," Storm wrote. He identifies himself as a Republican.

We emailed Waterman, and she had a different take. The family owns three adult cows: Oprah, Ferdinand and Isabella.

She said the black Angus was named by her children "after a famous person they admire." The two others, also named by the children, honor the Spanish monarchs who approved Christopher Columbus' trip to the New World.

"That’s all there is to it," Waterman wrote.

The Maryland state party wasn't impressed with the flap.

"With Maryland facing a record budget deficit, historic unemployment and a government that spends beyond its means - I’m not sure why we’re talking about cows when we could be addressing these real problems facing our state,” said Maryland GOP spokesman Ryan Mahoney.


Posted by Annie Linskey at 5:42 PM | | Comments (46)


Ms. Waterman clearly could benefit from coaching in public relations so as not to veer off into political incorrectness, not to mention that Ms. Winfrey can counterpunch with the best. Ms. Winfrey can also influence folks as well as bestow substantial gifts.

Not a nice thing to do to the cow. Didn't he consider it's self esteem?

Now that is just flippin' stupid. First, she thinks it's funny? Then, she thinks it's wise to post it to Facebook? Who voted this idiot in? By the way, I'm a registered Republican.

Hmmm. Sure looks like someone struck a nerve there.

I'm an active Republican but I think that the Republican party is hurt by dumb stunts like this.

I am what I am.

Thank you for shining light on this incident. Below is a copy of an e-mail that I sent to the MDGOP Chairman Alex Mooney. Perhaps I should have cc'd Mr. Ryan Mahoney on the e-mail as well. This is much more than "people talking about cows".

"Dear Mr. Chairman,
I write this letter in disappointment and with a hardened heart. It has come to my attention that Diana Waterman, a leader of the Republican Party, posted photos of her “black angus” cow, Oprah, on her facebook wall this week. A mutual Facebook friend of ours called me on Tuesday evening to discuss Mrs. Waterman’s post. As an African American Republican she wanted my opinion on the post. While I am not one to play the “race card,” Mrs. Waterman’s post was insensitive, lacked foresight, and added to the toxicity of our current discourse on race and politics. For nearly 20 years I have watched liberals and their allies paint a caricature of the Republican party as a racist, whites only, party, while still doing my part to elect leaders committed to the principles of limited government, the immutability of our constitution, and the promise of economic freedom. Your refusal to address this issue and reprimand Mrs. Waterman shows that our party is not ready to confront the challenges within our party and transitively, address the challenges faced by Marylanders in these uncertain times. How can expect the voters to take us seriously and build a “big tent” if we continue to support people like Mrs. Waterman?

I hoped that one day our party would present a tangible alternative to the profligate Democratic establishment; however, my recent experiences within the party coupled with the acceptance of Mrs. Waterman’s ignorance have left me hopeless. I trust that you will do the right thing Mr. Chairman and I pray that one day I can proudly call myself a member of the Maryland Republican Party.

Best Regards,
Benjamin Johnson"

All of these comments are so asinine I can not wait to leave MD after I get my education. I named my CBR Dutch after RR for affection of that great man. Ben Johnson is the most dangerous ilk of racist.

Seriously - getting your knickers in a knot over the name of a cow? Gimme a break.

You lefties need to get a life - and a sense of humor.

I'm appalled that her children admire Ferdinand & Isabella.

This is not at all surprising when in the same week we see the GOP-controlled House cutting funding for Planned Parenthood and going after Big Bird (yet again), but voting to uphold funding for NASCAR racing sponsorship by the Pentagon.

Isn't Waterman's son some kind of libertarian activist (who criticized the MD GOP on twitter after electing Mooney chairman)?

Is Oprah now a hero to libertarians?

One would think that "Ayn" or "Rand" or "Dagney" would be a more appropriate homage than Oprah.

But we all know that this isn't the case. What kind of mother throws her kids under the bus in order to deflect from what is, at best, political stupidity of the worst kind, or, at worst, deep racial insensitivity?


It's OK. I have a cat that's the dumbest animal ever created. Always whining, always cozying up at the wrong time, and generally making itself one giant pain in the ass. I named it Sarah (after Sarah Palin). Does this make me anti-Republican, and anti Sarah? You betcha!

Kuddos to Mr. Storm.

Yeah, blame the kids. That's what I'd do too if I got caught doing something so stupid.

This is funny as hell!

I will name my new mutt Obama.

Tell me again why I should vote Republican?

This is not some racist crank who calls herself a Republican - this is a Republican LEADER.

My mother used to tell me: "Be sure your brain is engaged before putting your mouth into gear." Good Advice.

Mr. Storm nailed it - if Republicans wonder why they are sometimes viewed as insensitive or racists, they should ask their so-called leaders. Republicans elected them to the committee positions that they hold.

In a few weeks the cow that has the calf can marry the other cow. It's still same-sex marriage, isn't it?

Really?? You people have nothing else to worry about in the world? Maybe we should ask the government to start an organization to monitor the naming of all animals in this country to ensure no one is offended. Give me a break. Even if the cow was named after a tv personality, this is still the United States, right? Does naming a cow after a person limit or infringe on that person's civil rights? Does naming a cow after a person influence others to infringe on the rights of another person. Grow up, get some thick skin and move on to a real problem, violence, budget issues, higher cost of living, lower wages, that sort of thing...

Anyone that acts like this is a problem is, quite simply, a complete idiot to be ridiculed and then ignored.

I would suggest that any African-American that is concerned about our country, wants to be involved in solutions, and wants to spend time helping those that can benefit from their help is wasting any precious second of time available to them by being concerned about this in the least.

I would suggest volunteering in schools, helping set up after school programs to keep kids away from gangs and to help them become successful in school, and offering time as mentors to those overwhelmed by a life without one or both parents.

Nobody ever could accuse the Waterman family of sensitivity, from Mareen (who admitted to local newspapers that he published false unemployment data in ads that led up to the last election), to Barry (Diana's husband who is blind to conflicts of interest serving on the QAC planning commission), to Diana with this gaff. And Kevin, the son of Diana (and presumably one of the namers of the cow) serves on the QAC Republican central committee! When will the QAC Republican Party figure out where its long-term interest is?

Political Correctness is, by definition, un-American. This great country was founded on the very premise un being Un-PC. the British tried, in vain, to make think and act in ways pleasing to them. As Americans, we owe it to our founding fathers to carry on tradition of speaking our mind, freely expressing our likes and/or dislikes, regardless of whether some overly sensitive nitwits get offended.

That's not to say we should deliberately go about pissing people off, but we should be afraid to have our own sense of humor, or to express our opinions.

The very fact that we can all contribute to these comments is an example. Am I offended by the liberal whiners on here claiming the cow's is somehow in violation of some law (spoken or otherwise)? Maybe a bit, but so what. That's their right too.

Before you get too carried away believing what Mr. Storm says you should take a look at this:

I have no problem with Ms. Waterman calling her cow "Oprah", so long as she won't object if we henceforth refer to her as "Imperial Grand Wizard".
As for Mr. Johnson, well, he's missing the point- his party IS largely (albeit not exclusively) made up of racist whites, so why is he surprised?

Folks don't be alarmed. This is the Republican party at it's finest. Hateful, racist and full of bigotry. When you give them power they use the power to be hateful and condensending to anyone not agreeing with them. Vote them out as quick as you can.

here we go again.

Your joking wright? you must me scraping the bottom when you are attacking someone OVER THE NAME OF THEIR COW!!!!!!! Get a life!

My observation as a non-farmer is that cows generally are peaceful, even pretty creatures. They serve our nutritional needs well. They are far more useful than many alleged humans who prey on other humans. Ms. Ophrey is a fine person, and at worst, this is a poor joke. Most poltical leaders of both parties, VP Biden comes to mind on the Democrat side, lack good taste in culture and humor. If I had a donkey however, I might name it Martin.

Wait a minute. On the very site mentioned above that supposedly straightens us out on Mr. Storm we learn that African-Americans:
1. Are poor
2. Live in certain areas of town
3. Don't have cars
4. Need to have liquor stores nearby

See especially the comments.

When people start saying things like "what's the big deal" or "aren't there more important things to talk about" that is when I start paying attention.

Considering Columbus was responsible for genocide, I'm more worried about the other 2 cows. Wow.

jerks. Oprah is a form of Orpah from the bible. So no-one is named Oprah except Oprah so they are ignorant and not funny. Why i don't want to claim as a republican but perhaps will change to independent. only reason I was was b/c MLK was.

Seriously, white people can't name pets after famous black people unless they are not black or brown? Can black people not use white people names? Is that what we have come to in America? Lots of people name animals after people they like - be that historical, famous, family members. Mrs Waterman grew up in an interracial family, her son married a person of a different race...and they are racist because they did not think that naming a baby cow after a potentially the most famous and powerful black woman in the world might years later offend someone?

This is nothing new...I nknow someone who has a load of white rats as pets, and he calls them the GOP.

I don't remember any racial outrage during the Texas beef lawsuit :

when the governor encouraged folks to sue Oprah and hundreds or thousands of mean bumper stickers showed up. Looks like people with their own agenda making something of nothing. Is it really so hard to imagine that a white person could look up to a black icon and one of the greatest humanitarians the world has ever seen? My dog is named after my favorite that an insult???

So the take away lesson is that only African Americans may name a pet after an African American. White people are restricted to only naming pets after white people.

No more Sheba, no more Duke....

Here, Charles!

Uh-oh, suppose someone thinks I named my cat after Ray Charles!!! No, he's named for Prince Charles.

How about if I get permission to name a pet after a famous African American? Would that be alright? I love the name Latifah (after Queen Latifah). If she sends me written permission, would it be OK if I name a cat after her?

If the folks above had named their cat or dog, instead of their cow, after Oprah, would that be OK?

Someone needs to get all the rules ironed out so we don't offend anyone anywhere ever again, even if we didn't mean to. :o)

Who cares!

What a fine way to celebrate Black History Month! Hopefully, the Queen Anne's County Republicans will see how destructive the Waterman's and their little army of minions operate and send them out to pasture. Mooooooo.

The torch website promoted in previous posts is written by Kevin Waterman, son of Diana Waterman. Now you don't think he would lie do you? His grandpa is an elitist millionaire developer in Queen Anne's County. Mr. Storm does his research and is appreciated by liberals and conservatives alike in his county. For greater insight into Mr. Storm click on The fellow named Kareem in the article is African American and has worked for Mr. Storm since he was fourteen. Mr. Waterman's lies don't hold water.

I tried to click on the link on Storm and came up empty. Finally found it:

Check out the pictures. Hey Kevin Waterman, the black kid love him. I think we know who's the bigot here and it isn't Storm.

I don't get it. With people starving around the world how can you people get your "you know whats" in wad over the name of a cow?

People need to get a life....everything is racist these day...but the most racist are the ones pointing out how everything is racist.

Once again the liberal left misuses and has no comprehension or understand proper usage of the word racist. Chris Rock can make racially offensive 'jokes' about Caucasians, the lame stream media leaves him alone and oddly, his vile observations are not considered racist. Huh? Racial equality is or isn't. Pick ONE.

Another example of political correctness run amok. Who cares what someone names an animal. Next I expect to hear the vegans complain about the veal joke. It is just another example of trying to find something to complain about.

"Oprah" doesn't come from a biblical name, it's "Harpo" spelled backwards, and a terrible anti-semitic slur to the great Jewish-American comic actor, Harpo Marx.

I wonder is anyone contacted Oprah to see what she thought of the situation. If the other cattle were named after Spanish royalty (or a child's cartoon character) then the Oprah name was up for grabs. Sometimes people make too much out of nothing.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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