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Official in West Virginia on leave after racist Michelle Obama post

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    First lady Michelle Obama.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. >> A local West Virginia official said she has been placed on leave after she made a racist post on Facebook about first lady Michelle Obama.

Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey Taylor made the post following Republican Donald Trump’s election as president, saying: “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.”

Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded: “Just made my day Pam.”

Taylor told WCHS-TV on Monday night that she was put on leave.

Clay’s town council planned to discuss the issue at a previously scheduled meeting Tuesday evening.

The post, first reported by WSAZ-TV, has caused a backlash and prompted calls for Taylor and Mayor Whaling to be fired. The post was shared hundreds of times on social media before it was deleted. The Facebook pages of Taylor and Whaling couldn’t be found Monday.

The nonprofit Clay County Development Corp. provides services to elderly and low-income residents in Clay County. It is funded through state and federal grants and local fees. It is not affiliated with the town of Clay, which is about 50 miles east of Charleston.

Owens Brown, director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s West Virginia chapter, is among those calling for the removal of both women.

“I feel so it’s unfortunate that people still have these racist undertones,” Brown said. “Unfortunately, this is a reality that we are dealing with in America today. There’s no place for these types of attitudes in our state.”

African-Americans make up about 4 percent of West Virginia’s 1.8 million residents, according to the U.S. Census.

About 77 percent of Clay County residents supported Trump in the Nov. 8 election. In 2012, President Barack Obama received 31 percent of the county vote when Republican Mitt Romney easily carried the state.

Last week in Kentucky, Republican Dan Johnson defeated incumbent Democrat Linda Belcher in Bullitt County in a race for the state House of Representatives despite a series of Facebook posts that depicted President Barack Obama and his wife as monkeys. Republican officials, including likely new House Speaker Jeff Hoover, had called on Johnson to drop out of the race. But Hoover declared last week that Johnson would be “welcome in our caucus.”

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    • Absolutely no class and it’s very sad that these type of people represent a large part of his base. These are the supporters who will be enraged when he appoints people of color,different religions and sexual preferences to his administration. The fact is that Hillary won the popular vote by 671,246 votes. I am sure that the president elect and his advisors are very aware that the electoral college cannot dispute that. Mr. Chump started the fire and fanned the flames and the racism that he allowed to spread like a wildfire is his responsibility to extinguished. His divisive rhetoric will haunt him for the rest of his term. He will learn that politics and reality tv should not be treated alike. I learned as a blue collar union representative that you never promise working class people something that you know you will never be able to deliver. Working class people live day to day. They struggle and are looking for relief for their families. They did ther part and now he has to do his.

        • Unfortunately, you are probably correct…and even if they didn’t say it out loud, the fact that the sentiment is there is enough.

      • He doesn’t have to learn that “politics and reality tv should not be treated alike” because it doesn’t seems like a lot of Americans actually know the difference either.

      • To den and jusris now that he is the president elect the only opinion that truly matters is his because he will be the POTUS. He wanted the job, he got it ,now lets see if he can handle it. We will see really soon because he has two months more before his inauguration and his team seems to be overwhelmed.

        • Also jusris he has to learn it because unlike us who have a reason to be ignorant he does not and the eyes of the world are on him.

        • Seems Keaukaha is sour grapes about the Trump winning the presidency over Clinton. Someone needs a timeout. Lol

        • Are you reading the kind of crap that is coming from this sickos mouth. If you are and you agree then you are also a part of the hate that the Chump promoted.

        • His name is Donald Trump and he is the future President of the United States of America. The female felon got her a$$ kicked so get over it.

        • I’ll call him president you know what when he earns the title. In the mean time sarge try and get some of your juvenile clowns under control because they are making an ass out of the Chump.He is in serious damage control with all of these protests and certainly doesn’t need to have these loose nuts promoting openly what he and his advisors are struggling to subdue.

        • You know that I am right so you get over it and help the Chump get this mess under control. Like I said if your dog sh-ts in your neighbors yard you clean it it up.Dont take no nuclear scientist to figure that out.

        • keaukaha….as of 4 hours ago
          Electoral College:
          Trump 306
          hiLIARy 232

          Popular Vote…Trump up +699,000

        • Republicans are too straight. Republicans needs to learn how to talk their way out of a mess like the Liberals/Democrats do. Never ever admit guilt, use smoke and screens and go off on the liberals/democrats evading the event and questions thrown at em. LIberals/Democrats are the Masters of deception! Hillary’s still not in JAIL, need we figure?

        • Sorry, Sarge22, try as Trump’s minions might, Clinton is in fact not a “felon”. She has never been convicted of a crime. Neither the FBI nor the Congress has found any evidence of a crime either. And they have had unlimited amounts of our tax dollars to investigate. So if you think you have such evidence, you are smarter than both the FBI and Congress.

        • Keonigohan: You might want to fact check the popular vote, because Clinton is way ahead. Care to reveal the source for your “facts?” Of course not.

        • Still counting votes – illegals’ votes
          In a presidential election, the goal of the contest is to get the maximum number of electoral votes. Had the popular vote been key, then Trump would have spent time in California, NY, Chicago. He would not have won in those states but probably could have improved his vote count there. But given he had no chance at getting electoral votes in some areas, he didn’t campaign nor spend money on adds in those places.

          Trump won on what matters in a presidential election and that is electoral votes.

        • The problem with Keonigohan and other Trump supporters is that they are so easily led by fake news. Trump did not win the popular vote. That is just another part of the disinformation that bigots are so eager to swallow, like Obama is Muslim, not born in US, etc. So disappointed that many Trump supporters are not very discerning (I had another another adjective in mind, but unlike Trump supporters I am willing to maintain political correctness).

      • keaukaha… Trump did not campaign to win the popular vote. He (successfully) campaigned to with the electoral vote. If the rules were different, he would have campaigned differently, and probably still won. Stop making excuses.

        • Then why is he walking back on the promises that he made to you. It’s because he lost the popular vote. That’s the votes that really matters. Why do you think he is considering an openly gay male to be the U.S ambassador to the UN. The only way that he is going to unite the the country is to show the tens of thousands of protesters that he wants to have these matters resolved. He won’t be able to hide in the Chump tower for long and will have to face the problems that he created.

        • Yeah right sarge. You and I can argue this point till the end of time but the fact is that you own this horse and he is no Triple crown winner. The ball is in his court and he is still learning how to dribble. He is a rag doll right now in the middle of a historic tug of war. He will come out of it with his underwear in shreds. I worked in government for thirty years. The way that you survive is that you be humble and take care of those that you are responsible for. Don’t ever make promises that you can’t keep and treat everyone from the custodian to the director with respect. People don’t have to like you but it helps to be respected. Be a decent and compassionate human being and believe me life will be a lot more accommodating for you.

        • Believe you?? You must be kidding. Just take your ball and go home. We need a strong leader for a change to lead the country so let’s see how it plays out.

      • He is walking back on immigration, same sex marriage, Obamacare, and the wall and that must be driving all of you nuts. I am definitely not sour grapes just being entertained by the circus where the Chump and his supporters are the performers.

        • Yeah right his organization is a mess. Would you put your child on a school bus with a driver with no experience. Well hello, because this is what this whole fiasco boils down to. Most drownings occur because people take a chance in unfamiliar waters.

        • Keaukaha it seems that you are upset that Americas Savior Donald is back tracking his promises, maybe you are the one who wants him to fail so that America failsand now you can’t handle his intellectual decisions for us. #MAGA

        • Why? Like I said this is Hawaii we all get along. That’s why I’m telling you to be careful how you express yourself because it might not be a good choice for you. You should seek counseling from sarge because you’re more like him than me.

        • All that should make you smile from ear to ear. hahahahaha, tell your party to stop paying the the anti-Trump protesters as TheDoanld’s caving at their request.

        • keaukaha…get a grip…you lost in a LANDSLIDE..move on!
          You need to take Anger Management.

        • The fact that supporters like juris in comment above refer to DT as “Americas Savior” (sic) shows how close their mindset is to worshiping Der Fuhrer Donald.

        • It’s over. A candidate sets the strategy based on the rules. The rules say that the most EC votes wins. Spend money and time where there is a chance of winning the EC vote. The politically correct sheep have been led astray by the corrupt Clintons and are now on their own. Where will they go?

      • Being that they did not post a picture of the Clay County women officials I can only assume that they are white? Or maybe an ashen color like that of Clay. Oh yes they’re Clayions.

    • A lot of these people think this way in private. Now that Trump is in power, they are emboldened to share their opinions in public. As Trump would probably say, they said what they said and they meant it and they don’t care about any political correctness anymore. Just a sad state of what America has become in this era of hate.

  • OK, wait for it because here it comes. “I know those people, grew up with them and I have never seen any hint of racism. They are good people. That is not what they are.” Or, “It is all Obama’s fault. Racism had never been as bad as the past eight years.” Or, “Losers have no right to complain.”

    • Are you people upset because of what they said or because it’s not true. People are saying they were wrong to post this not that they were incorrect in their description of her.

      • You seem to have been bred of bad manners also. I think it’s ok to have your opinions even if it’s bigoted. However decent people would keep it to themselves. One day you might be in a life or death situation and God help you if the only person around will be one of color.

        • Keaukaha,I’m with you. No sense trying to talk to people who have a hatred for others. The funny thing is if you asked them most believe they are Christians. Yet, here they are spewing their hate for their fellow man. One parting question for all. What will happen to your elderly parents or you as you age when Trump and the GOP reduce or eliminate soc. sec. and medicare?

        • Yup. All this hate spewed against our next President. Obama the great divider will soon be gone and all will be good again. BTW something must be done to fix soc.sec. and medicare. Ponzi scheme that can not last.

        • IRT airsumo stop saying lies about most of them are Christians, did you bother to ask most of them? I bet not! Get a grip, you need to rest in peace.

  • No group, political party, or religion owns a monopoly on small-mindedness, bad behavior, and just plain bad manners but all should work to eliminated it.

      • Cellodad I think we can all agree that the president elect needs to take responsibility for the part that he played thru out his campaign urging his base to elect him to make America great again. A lot of his suppoters took it literally to make it white again.

    • Cellodad I think you need to have a man to boy talk with jusris. He is a perfect example of what makes all of the president elects supporters look really, really bad. What really concerns me is that he means what he says. Archie Bunker is alive and well.

      • So it’s your way or nothing? With your point of view no wonder Trump is Pres-elect, you discount the rest of America that doesn’t think like you. Treat an animal bad enough and he will bite and you seem to think that Trump supporters are animals. #MAGA

        • My advice to you is that you need to treat people with respect if you want that respect to be reciprocated. I sense that you are not from here and honestly don’t belong here. You need to go back to where your views and racists comments are more welcome. Just a sincere word of advice. When you live in Hawaii where all races generally get along well. Watch what comes out of your mouth because you might have to literally eat your words. This is not a threat just a friendly word of advice.

        • Don’t be a racist by telling me to go back where I came from and that I don’t belong here. I thought the America you talk about is inclusive to everyone, yet you are trying to keep me out. By what you just said, it sounds like maybe you should have voted for Trump too.

        • Jusris last piece of advice. Learn about aloha. You really want to live in harmony here then learn aloha. You will never learn about it from the Chump.

        • IRT keaukaha you seem to be the hypocrite that you are by saying nasty response comments to jusris, look in the mirror.

  • With Trump’s win, it’s as if many of his followers feel they have license to now act as bigots and racists. Be prepared for more of this, America. It will get worse before it (hopefully) gets better.

  • Everyone I’ve ever met harbored at least a few deep-seated prejudices. Fortunately most of them recognized prejudice for what it is and (1) kept it to themselves, and (2) did not let it cause overt harm to another human being. Someday, barring an extinction event, humans in general may evolve beyond this. Maybe.

      • Jusris you are the poster boy of what the Chump campaign has flourished on and now that he is the president elect I think that they will want you to kind of stay in the shadows. wave1 and hawaiikone see what I mean?

        • Do you mean that Trump got me all dressed up for the party only to put me in the corner? No way, he meant what he said during the campaign and values his supporters opinions, why else did he say those truths during the campaign. #MAGA

        • IRT keaukaha you seem to forget about Obama eight years ago with his promises, do you think the nation got better?

      • To all of you legitimate Chump supporters read this guys comments. Frankly it gives me the chills. He is for real and reaffirming that the president elect has given him and millions of others with his warped sense of mentality that they have his permission to make America white again.You think ISIS is bad. What makes me worry is that he might be a member of good standing with the NRA.

        • Don’t worry put on a sweater. Gun sales are way down since Donald Trump has been elected President. America will soon be great again. Racism is a two way street.

    • Agreed. If you could read peoples minds you would find that everyone is prejudice and or racist. The ones that claim they are not have as you said “kept it to themselves”.

  • Race wars were simmering under Obama and now with Trump in office, some are willing to next to take it to the next level on BOTH sides, and will go beyond mean tweets to situations of physical violence and murder. Even though her comments are probably one of the nastiest things a person can say about Obama, she should NOT be fired and let her consituents decide whether she should remain in office. No different on how former Hawaii State legislature state Fay Hanohano told State workers she did not want any art work hanging in her legislative office made by ‘Hao les, Ja ps, or Pa kes”. Even the Elderts / Deedy conflict in Waikiki leading to death started with racist hate. Hawaii and the rest of the United States are not immune to this kind of stuff and expect more after 8 years of Obama and 4 more with Trump.

  • look years before she became first lady she hated the united states then were her husband became president now she likes the united states when he leaves she will go back hating the united states and yes before she came first lady she was in a black movement group that hated white people and that is a fact so, she is a racist and someone finally said something which is the truth and put her in her place.

    • You got it completely wrong. Just because people stand up against any form of racism, doesn’t make them a racist, quite the contrary. And regarding Taylor’s comments:
      Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey Taylor made the post following Republican Donald Trump’s election as president, saying: “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.”
      If you think that is putting Michelle Obama “in her place”, then I have to believe that you and Pam Taylor share the same racist values.

  • There has been a rise in racism that is affecting some polynesian students, including athletes from Hawaii. A Hawaii student was going to write an article about this but was talked out of it so they could keep a lower profile. The latest one involved athletes driving from Utah into Idaho who were harassed at a convenience store and told Trump would deport them. They could handle themselves but were outnumbered and did not want to get into trouble or call police. They felt the threat was minor, but they did not like the racist comments.

  • I don’t know what is worse, Trump and his wife who won’t hold a candle to a classy first lady like Michelle, or some of the racist commenters here that have come out from under a rock since Trump was elected.

  • This is the formula of America. R+D= HATE. The moment you put a D or an R after someones name the racism and hate starts to spew out of the mouths of the other side. I see no difference between the two. I’ve seen just as much hate for Barrack Obama as I have for Ben Carson. Just as much hate for Hillary Clinton as for Sarah Palin. We all need to join one race. The HUMAN RACE. Maybe if we ban political parties people will actually have to listen to what the candidate stands for before voting the easy way looking for the D or R.

  • Michelle Obama was not the first lady for all Americans. She disliked our country and failed in many of her initiatives as first lady. She will not be missed. Who knows how the next one will be ?

  • Prejudice is a human frailty. For some reason we are prejudicial even to each other, meaning even within our own ethnic groups. Down deep the political choices we all made were influenced to a large measure by greed and avarice. What gains can I accrue from my vote to secure my welfare. Then there is prejudice based on fears of the unknown. Also there is indoctrinated prejudice as demonstrated in the article.

    • Prejudice is often caused by our own observation and experience and less incited by others communications. To be a member of a prejudiced against group means you are paying for the shortcomings of other members of that group. By exemplary good behavior you can overcome it. Like the Obamas did.

    • Partially disagree, in the animal world, innate hate or prejudice for those that are different was rooted in survival. For example, lions are born and then further conditioned to hate hyenas and vice versa and they will kill the other if given the chance, even if they are not hungry and food is plentiful. Even lions will kill their own as when a new male lion takes over a pride of female lions by defeating a previous male, the new male will often kill the baby lions that was sired by the defeated male. For humans that would be child murder but for lions, that is just nature and not done out of hate or prejudice. Also some theorize that Neanderthals possibly went extinct when Homo Sapiens with superior intellect wiped them out with superior tactics and/or weaponry, even though Neanderthals are physically larger and stronger than Homo Sapiens. Agree humans with superior intelligence than animals can either learn to control or moderate their prejudice or take their hate to an entirely new level such as Hitler and Nazi Germany or Muslim extremists like Al Qaeda or ISIS. With finite resources in the human world, including many in US inner cities and rural poor areas, many do not have jobs and live below poverty level, which is prime breeding ground to foster hate, including indoctrinating their children. Both Obama and then Trump are not starters of hate and prejudice but they both have their share within themselves and are not afraid to reveal it publicly. BOTH are a reflection of our society as the pendulum swung from one extreme and now to the other. Hope that Trump and his inner circle who will control the US for at least 4 years actually try to show some tolerance the way Dave Chapelle talked about tolerance on his return SNL opening monologue and improve the economy that will take people out of poverty which are the prime breeding grounds for prejudice. Also responsibly dealing with illegal immigrants (they are technically illegal) and dealing with rampant waste, graft and corruption in government would also help the nation deal with hate and prejudice and probably give Trump another 4 year term.

  • Contrary to her comment, it was refreshing to have an articulate and bright “First Lady” in the White House these past 8 years. One who is very educated, with a Law degree.

  • We all know racism, in some form or degree, exists, but it’s stunning to think this city official thought she was being amusing or clever to post those words on social media. Even worse was the response by the mayor.

    I hope they’re severely reprimanded or fired, but doubt that will happen in a state like West Virginia … or Idaho. Neither of which are on my to-see list.

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