A Facebook post by a community NGO official calling Michelle Obama an “ape in heels” and hearty agreement by the West Virginia town’s mayor has cost their jobs.
The rhetoric, typical of streams of venom spewed during and after the presidential campaign, is notable mainly for the fact that people actually faced consequences, even in a state where Donald Trump captured more than two thirds of the popular vote.
From BBC News:
A racist Facebook post about Michelle Obama has caused a major controversy involving a town mayor in the US state of West Virginia. Pamela Ramsey Taylor, who runs a local non-profit group in Clay County, referred to the first lady as an “ape”.
“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels,” she said.
Local mayor Beverly Whaling responded with “just made my day Pam”.
Ms Whaling is mayor of the town of Clay, which has a population of just 491. It has no African American residents, according to the 2010 census. In Clay County as a whole, more than 98% of its 9,000 residents are white.
The Clay Development Corporation, which provides healthcare and other aid to the community’s poor and elders, was forced to act, reports the New York Daily News:
The Clay Development Corporation confirmed Taylor lost her job following the statement.
While awaiting her fate, Taylor told WSAZ-TV she was considering suing those whom she claims slandered her.
Whaling told the Washington Post that her comment “was not intended to be racist at all.”
“I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me know that I’m not of any way racist!”
But she was the only one to lose her job, as the Charleston Gazette-Mail just reported:
Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling has resigned from her position after her comment on a racist Facebook post about Michelle Obama made national headlines Monday, according to a town council member.
Jason Hubbard, a town council member for Clay, said Whaling resigned from her position Tuesday.
Neither Taylor nor Whaling could be reached for comment Tuesday.
A previously-scheduled town council meeting will still be held tonight in Clay at 5.