updated 6/14/2008 6:54:37 PM ET 2008-06-14T22:54:37

A Utah company offering online a sock monkey named for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said it didn't mean to anger anyone with a "cute and cuddly" toy that some are calling racist.

"We simply made a casual and affectionate observation one night, and a charming association between a candidate and a toy we had when we were little," according to a statement issued Saturday by Sock Obama LLC.

Jeanetta Williams, president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called the toy "pure racism at its extreme."

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