The director of a West Virginia development group and a mayor are under scrutiny after a racist post about first lady Michelle Obama caused a backlash and prompted calls on social media for both women to be fired.
Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey Taylor made the post following 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.”
Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded: “Just made my day Pam.”
The post, first reported by WSAZ-TV, was shared hundreds of times on social media before it was deleted.
The Facebook pages of Taylor and Whaling couldn’t be found Monday. A call to the Clay County Development Corp. went unanswered and Whaling didn’t immediately return a telephone message.
An online petition seeks to remove Whaling and Taylor. The nonprofit development group 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 so it’s 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.”