Mayor In W. Virginia Resigns, Councilwoman “Removed” After Calling FLOTUS “Ape In Heels”

November 16, 2016  |  

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Sorry, but you’re going to have a hard time convincing me that a good number of the people who voted for Donald Trump aren’t racist. This is going to be especially difficult considering that some supporters think the best way to celebrate the news of a Trump presidency is to share hateful comments about the First Lady. I initially noticed this when a woman on the Facebook page of an old college classmate (mind you, I went to school in red state Missouri…) who supports Donald Trump posted, “At least the first lady will be easy to look at.” And then I came across a story in Clay, West Virginia, of the mayor and city development director creating an uproar after a racist statement made about Michelle Obama.

According to the Associated Press, Clay County Development Director Pamela Ramsey Taylor said on Facebook, “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” following Trump’s election win last Tuesday. Clay County Mayor Beverly Whaling played herself responded to the comment with “Just made my day Pam.”

When people saw this, they shared it, and the posts went viral. In turn, the voicemail for the office of the town council was bombarded with callers who found the comments of both women to be unacceptable. A petition also received thousands of signatures calling for the women to be fired. Taylor and Wheeling reportedly tried to delete their comments, as well as their Facebook pages, but according to The Washington Post, their statements had already gone viral. Taylor was initially placed on leave as director of Clay County Development Corp. according to the AP, but a representative for the organization told The Washington Post that she was actually “removed” from her post.

As for Wheeling, she offered her resignation from her position as mayor of Clay amid the commotion. An already scheduled council meeting took place last night where people, including some who weren’t even residents, attended to voice their disdain with Wheeling and Taylor. Council members apologized for the actions of the women, but asked those outside of the county not to assume their comments are representative of the beliefs of the whole town. However, it doesn’t help the town’s case when those who live in the community are making things worse with their clueless commentary.

“It wasn’t necessarily a joke, but it was stupid,” said Clay County Sheriff Garrett Samples, who The Washington Post said didn’t believe the comments were meant to be racist. “I’ve never heard either of them say anything racial before.”

Town clerk Tina Goode agreed, blaming Hillary Clinton supporters for causing the whole incident to go viral. “It wasn’t right, what was posted. We’re not like that,” she said. “They are good women, and I don’t think they meant anything by it. We’re not a racist town.”

But 16-year-old resident Katie Payne, who is Black, told The Washington Post that comments like the ones made by Taylor and Wheeling are made quite often in the town. However, “normally when people say things like that around here, it’s swept under the rug.”

Wheeling issued a statement where she also stated that she is in no way racist.

“My comment was not intended to be racist at all,” she wrote to The Washington Post. “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! Again, I would like to apologize for this getting out of hand!”

As for Taylor, she is deflecting. Taylor has said that sadly, she and her children have received death threats. She called the response to her comments a “hate crime against me” and said she was planning to sue those allegedly slandering and libeling her.

As The Washington Post pointed out, Clay County’s estimated population is 8,910. “Two-tenths of 1 percent of Clay County’s residents are African American,” and more than three-quarters of voters put their vote in for Trump.

According to the AP, councilman Jason Hubbard said the community is anything but hateful.

“This community is a helpful, hopeful, empathetic and God-loving community,” he said. “Please don’t judge the entire community for one or two individual acts.”

Images via WENN, social media

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