Local politicians continue to think it’s okay to be publicly racist. Even when it comes to the First Lady.

The director of a nonprofit and the mayor of a small town in  West Virginia have come under fire after a racist comment about First Lady Michelle Obama became public knowledge.

The Washington Post reports that Pamela Ramsey Taylor, who was director of Clay County Development Corp., wrote a Facebook post saying, “It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels.”

Beverly Whaling, the mayor of the town, which is just outside of Charleston, then left a comment saying, “Just made my day Pam.”

As expected, the post and comment have since been deleted, but this is the Internet. Screenshots of the racist comment and its support were immediately taken and shared across social media platforms, resulting in an online petition asking for both women to be terminated.

The petition has more than 107,000 of the requested 110,000 signatures as of this writing.

Following the backlash of the incident, Whaling and Taylor have both taken different, but common responses. Whaling turned to the same defense that millions of Trump voters are still using by claiming that supporting racism doesn’t make you racist.

“My comment was not intended to be racist at all,” Whaling said in a statement 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!”

Taylor reportedly feels that she’s actually the one being targeted and plans to file lawsuits against anyone she feels has slandered or libeled her. She feels that the public response is a “hate crime against me.”

Meanwhile, Taylor has been removed from her position as director of Clay County Development Corp. and Whaling’s future will be discusses at a town council meeting on Tuesday evening.

Photo Credit: Wiki Commons


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