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Mayor resigns for response to racist Michelle Obama post

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS First lady Michelle Obama welcomes guests and the winners of the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award today in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. >> A West Virginia mayor resigned her post today following a backlash after she posted a response to a racist comment about first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook.

The Clay Town Council accepted Mayor Beverly Whaling’s resignation in a meeting late this afternoon and said it would act quickly to name a replacement for the remaining three years of her term.

Council member Jason Hubbard issued a brief statement condemning the “horrific” post and said “racial intolerance isn’t what this community is about.” He apologized on behalf of the town to anyone who is offended, including 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.”

Whaling responded: “Just made my day Pam.”

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

Meanwhile, Whaling issued a written apology to news media outlets saying that her comment wasn’t intended to be racist.

“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 in any way racist!”

Taylor did not return a call seeking comment.

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 it’s so 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 posts he put on Facebook depicting 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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  • I’m sure if she resigns, she gets some bennies! But the City council, or whoever oversees the mayor should YOUR FIRED her and the other minion. Let’s get picture of these two. I bet they sport beehives.

  • Instead of apologizing on facebook, she should call the First Lady and apologize to her. “Sorry,,,I’m not a racist but I was bought up in a racist home and abused” I only want to perpetuate it in subtle ways”.

    • If she threw actual kerosene into a fire and got caught doing it she’d now be saying how sorry she is that her act would be interpreted by some as throwing kerosene onto a fire instead of the selfless act of feeding a starving fire that it really was.

  • Report says she apologizes on behalf of the town to anyone who was offended. Does this mean there’s a possibility that some were not offended? And I believe that.

  • Idiots. They claim they are not racist. But then the thought is instilled in their brains and it showed up for all to see. Racism will not change now or ever. It’s been around for 100 years or so.

  • I can’t help but wonder if there’s any wiggle room for Whalen that might explain her reply. Could it be that she just glanced at the first part of the message and didn’t read the insulting part? From her statement, this is what she seems to be implying: “I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House!” Her statement to Taylor, too, seems to support her claim: “Just made my day Pam.” I can imagine her saying “just made my day” to the change in the White House. For the insulting part, I’d expect a different kind of response, such as “ha ha” or “couldn’t agree more” if she were a racist. Failure to carefully read the comment before replying is a lame excuse, but it at least takes the hate out of her complicity. Do we have enough evidence to “convict” a public servant (and, by extension, her family) for the rest of her life for a stupid mistake? I guess we’ll never know. I searched the web for any info on her character and came up empty. Does anyone who knows her saying anything positive about her character that would support her explanation?

    • kimo,

      Look to most of the comments above. Many otherwise civilized people can only give lip service to the possible redemption of their fellow humans. They appreciate sentiments such as “when they go low, we go high” only insofar as it buys potential votes.

      As has been said before, “We can all agree to bury the hatchet, but nobody ever, ever forgets where the hatchet is buried.”

        • sarge22, yep, the media bought the Obama/Clinton version of the attack and ended up with egg all over its face.

        • And what about the how many other attacks on embassies that happened during other Administrations over how many years?

      • DeltaDag, sadly, I think you’re right. I wonder what ever happened to “benefit of the doubt” or “innocent until proven guilty.” The media has become judge and jury in a society hell-bent on making critical decisions based on sound bites.

        • kimo, sadly I think you’re right as well. So many sheeple rely on the media whether biased or not. They don’t have the logic to see between the lines and the bigger picture and simply except media bias as fact.

    • Also called all Trump supporters racist. What are your thoughts on BLM? “Token whity”? So typical for the left wing hypocrites to call people the names of the exact activity they themselves are engaged in. Liar, bigot, hate monger, fear monger, racist, ill-tempered, obstructionist. The list is never ending. Keep hanging label signs around peoples’ necks. Seems to be working for you. Take a look where all the hatred, racism, and in general f***ery is coming from while they continue to call Trump and his supporters the most despicable names they can come up with out of their limited vocabulary list.

  • Tell us warriorfannie why are they protesting? There is no excuse for the Mayor’s comment nor is there an excuse for yours. Republicans are always to blame in your racist mind. President Trump and his supporters are the winners so whine if you must.

  • I’d be willing to wager a fortune that 99.99% of adult humans would not care to have their innermost and honest feelings about race, religion, or class posted for all to see in front of their homes. That the remark about Michelle Obama is derogatory there is no doubt. It’s simply my belief that most people’s heads are filled with all sorts of four-letter words and racial or religious epithets. And yet, most of us seem to function quite nicely in polite society.

  • the mayor should not have step down, its a known fact that before michelle became first lady over nine years ago michelle was with a group like the black panthers that hated white people, michelle said worst things about whites than what you said about her. michelle is a racist through and through, thanks mayor for telling the truth about the ape lady.

  • also for years since the monkey trials scientist have been studying that we came from apes so that is not racial saying she looks like an ape in high heels heck the AP and the SA are probably a bunch of apes.

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