Outnumbered 

More correspondence from racist Yellowstone official

As Yellowstone County's treasurer, assessor and superintendent of schools, Max Lenington probably should not have time for the internet. Yet the 40-year county employee is somehow a power user, having clicked his way into the news not once but twice in the last three months.

In August, he submitted a letter to the editor of the Billings Gazette that turned out to be plagiarized from conservative blogger Mychal Massie. Lenington's "Why I hate the Obamas" copied Massie's "Why I do not like the Obamas" nearly verbatim, including the parts where Massie, who is black, accused the president of trading on his race to get ahead.

That was amusing, partly because the superintendent failed to copy Massie's correct punctuation. Then, last week, the Gazette discovered that Lenington had used the n-word in replying to a chain email from his sister aboutthis will shock youPresident Obama.

"It still baffles me as to how he got elected," Lenington wrote from his county account. "It must mean there are more lesbians, queers, Indians, Mexicans and niggers than the rest of us!"

The exclamation point is his. Lenington has since explained that he is not racist and said he "probably" regrets his remarks. He also admonished reporters to stop thinking about Washington and Chicago and "get out with the real people, because you'll see that people still use that word periodically."

Lesbians, queers, Indians, Mexicans and n-words were not available for comment, because they are not real. Thanks to my unyielding enthusiasm for reportage, though, I was able to dig up several more emails from Lenington to family and friends, proving that the man who holds three offices in Yellowstone County is not racist. He is merely outnumbered.



From: Max Lenington <mlenington@co.yellowstone.mt.gov>

To: Sis <realquilter@yahoo.com>

Re: So tired

Don't think I'm going to make it to 4B's for dinner tonightI'm socked in at work. If it's not the schools it's the county tax receipts, and if it's not the receipts it's some land deal or another. There must be more students, accountants, county employees, Realtors and homeowners than the rest of us!

Max



•••

From: Max Lenington <mlenington@co.yellowstone.mt.gov>

To: Cousin Les <realskynyrdfan@hotmail.com>

Re: Last night at Chuck E. Cheese

Again, I want to apologize for ruining Timmy's birthday last night. I suddenly got the feeling that there were more animatronic mice, bears, ducks, squirrels and beavers than the rest of us, and I panicked. I don't remember exactly what happened or where I got the bicycle chain, but I am probably very sorry.

Maximillian



•••

From: Max Lenington <mlenington@co.yellowstone.mt.gov>

To: Mychal Massie <harrietbeecherstoked@project21.org>

Re: Huge fan

A nationally syndicated conservative commentator like yourself probably doesn't have time to keep track of what's happening in Montana politics or newspaper publishing, but I want you to know I'm a big fan. It would really mean a lot to me if you could send a 500–700-word column about black privilege with [NAME] instead of your name throughout. Sometimes I think there are more racists, career politicians, and people who want something for nothing than the rest of us!

Max Lenington

Treasurer, Superintendent, Assessor, Vizier, Equipment Manager

Yellowstone County, MT, Real United States



•••

From: Max Lenington <mlenington@co.yellowstone.mt.gov>

To: Lesbians, queers, Indians and n-words <faculty@umontana.edu>

Cc: Mexicans <info@mexico.gov>

Re: Curriculum

As the Yellowstone County Superintendent of Schools and part-time lunch lady, I think I know a thing or two about education. Yet the curriculum at your so-called "university" teaches Montana "students" nothing of what they need to "know" about real life. Please eliminate the departments of Spanish, Gender and Sexuality, Native American Studies and journalism.

Max Lenington

MSU Class of '38



•••

From: Max Lenington <mlenington@co.yellowstone.mt.gov>

To: Reader's Digest <editor@readersdigest.com>

Re: Plagiarism

Last week, as I was waiting for my ear medicine to settle, my wife read to me an anecdote printed in your "Life in These United States" about a lesbian, a Mexican and an Indian who walk into a bar. I've been telling that story for years, and I can furnish video from my son's graduation to prove it. You ns owe me 40 dollars.

Max Lenington

P.S.: Consider a separate feature called "Life in Those United States" for anecdotes set in Washington or Chicago.



•••

From: Max Lenington <mlenington@co.yellowstone.mt.gov>

To: Everybody <america@gmail.com>

Re: Sorry!

Just wanted to apologize to lesbians, queers, Indians, n-words, the Obama family, Mychal Massie, the Billings Gazette, Chicago, Cousin Les and the employees of Chuck E. Cheese for my recent homophobia, racism, personal attacks, plagiarism, anti-urban bias and bike chain freakout. The outcry has truly been amazingsometimes I think there are more of you than the rest of us! Anyway, I probably regret my behavior, even though probably nothing will happen to me.

Later,

Max

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