everly Whaling, the mayor of Clay, West Virginia, is resigning in the wake of the fallout caused by her decision to leave an approving comment on another city employee’s Facebook post that compared First Lady Michelle Obama to an ape.
In the hours after Donald Trump won the presidential election, Pamela Taylor, the director of the Clay Country Development Corporation, took to her personal Facebook page to express her elation at the idea of Melania Trump living in the White House. Rather than leave it there, Taylor went the extra mile and decided to cap things off with a little bit of racism.
“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House,” Taylor wrote. “I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.”
Not long after Taylor wrote her initial post, Whaling endorsed the sentiment, saying, “Just made my day Pam.” Within hours, tens of thousands of people who saw what the two women had written signed a petition calling for their dismissal. Taylor deleted the posting and replaced it with an apology attempting to explain what she’d meant to say “in a hope to make it less inflammatory.”
“I had posted a person opinion in regards to the current First Lady of the President of The United States which has been misconstrued as racist,” Taylor said. “I am in no way, shape or form, a racist, bigot, or chauvinist. My post, be it may interpreted as racist (though NO WAY INTENDED TO BE), was referring to my personal opinion of the attractiveness, NOT the color of one’s skin.”
Even though former Mayor Whaling was quick to apologize for her comment and both hers and Taylor’s Facebook profiles suddenly vanished, the internet rarely forgets things and screenshots of the racist exchange are still circulating around Facebook and Twitter. And now, both women are out of a job.