Two officials in West Virginia have come under fire for apparently sharing racist messages about First Lady Michelle Obama on Facebook.
Pamela Ramsey Taylor, Clay County Development Corporate director, made a post following Donald Trump’s election as president complimenting Melania Trump, 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.”
The message about the current first lady was shared thousands of times after it was posted on Facebook, which caused a backlash and prompted calls for Taylor and Mayor Whaling to be both fired. An online petition signed by 1,000 people called for the two officials to be removed from office.
Taylor was put on leave, and argued that the incident had been turned into a “hate crime against me.” Meanwhile, Mayor Whaling issued a written apology to news media outlets saying that her comment wasn’t intended to be racist. The Mayor’s resignation’s was accepted by the Clay Town Council in a meeting, and said that 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 apologised on behalf of the town to anyone who is offended, including Michelle Obama.