The Director of a West Virginia development group and the Mayor of Clay, West Virginia, are under intense criticism after a racially charged Facebook post about Michelle Obama.
The post came from Pamela Taylor, a woman who works as the Director at the Clay County Development Corporation in Clay, a nonprofit organization that is funded by state and federal funds. After the presidential election, Taylor posted on her Facebook page:
“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.”
Beverly Whaling, the Mayor of Clay, responded to the post saying “Just made my day Pam.”
The post has since been deleted, but not before it was shared thousands of times. She replaced the post with an apology which she edited in order to make it “more direct and clear, and in a hope to make it less inflammatory.” Now there is a petition with nearly 2,000 signatures as of Sunday night to have both women fired from their jobs.
Taylor also reports to WSAZ that she has been reprimanded at her job and is unsure whether she will be able to keep her position. At the same time, Taylor reported that she is working with her attorney to file a lawsuit against individual(s) who have slandered her. She says that while she is sorry for everything that has occurred, the situation has turned into a “hate crime against me.” She claims that her and her children have received death threats.
Whaling issued a statement on Monday:
“I would like to apologize for any unintentional harm caused by my comment. My comment was not intended to be racist at all. I was referring to my day being made for the change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me, know that I am not in any way racist! Again, I would like to apologize for this getting out of hand!”
Owens Brown, the Director of the NAACP’s West Virginia chapter is among those who are asking for the removal of both women from their jobs. “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 American today. There’s no place for these types of attitudes in our state.”