A Virginia school board has called for the resignation of one of its members over racist emails he sent from his board email account.

According to NBC12, Herb DeGroft forwarded his colleagues emails featuring images of topless African women and racially loaded references to first lady Michelle Obama. Board members have reported receiving other offensive emails from DeGroft beginning in January 2012.

DeGroft says the emails were meant to be “political” and not racist, and thinks that forwarding offensive emails isn’t quite the same thing as originating an offensive email chain, apparently: “None of them I initiated, if you look at them. They were all initiated by somebody else,” he told the Daily Press. DeGroft sent the emails in question to Vice Chairman Byron Bailey, who went on to share them with other county staff.