US mayor resigns over racist Michelle Obama post
A mayor from West Virginia mayor has resigned from her post after facing a public backlash for posting a response to a racist comment about US First Lady Michelle Obama on Facebook.
According to US media reports, Beverly Whaling, the mayor of the tiny town of Clay, had appeared to applaud the incendiary comment and stepped down on Tuesday amid the ensuing firestorm. Local television news channel WSAZ confirmed that Whaling had resigned.
Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey Taylor had posted after Donald Trump’s election: “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.” Following the reports, the comments were later deleted and both women’s Facebook pages were eventually taken offline, The Washington Post reported citing local media.
Clay has a population of less than 500, according to the 2010 census, and is the seat of Clay County in West Virginia.
‘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,’ wrote Clay County Development Corporation director Pamela Ramsey Taylor. Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded, “Just made my day Pam.”
Taylor and Whaling had been facing mounting pressure to resign over the racist post. An online petition has now racked up over 2,000 signatures demanding that both women be fired, prompting Taylor to “file a lawsuit against individuals who have slandered her” as she complains that there is now a “hate crime against me.”
The post, first reported by WSAZ-TV, was shared hundreds of times on social media before it was deleted. It sparked furor in the small county with many branding the post ‘racist’ and ‘vile’ and demanding that both officials stand down.
Both women involved later apologised publicly on Facebook. Whaling issued a statement to Eyewitness News about the incident saying, “I would like to apologize for any unintentional harm caused by my comment.”