Beverly Whaling, the mayor of Clay, West Virginia, has officially resigned after posting an approving comment on a racist Facebook post that compared First Lady Michelle Obama to an “ape in heels.”
Clay County Development director Pamela Ramsey Taylor wrote, “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.” Mayor Whaling commented on the post, “Just made my day Pam.”
Council member Jason Hubbard issued a statement condemning the “horrible and indecent” post, saying that racism and intolerance “isn’t what this community is about.” He told reporters, “This community is a helpful, hopeful, empathetic and God-loving community. Please don’t judge the entire community for one or two individual acts.”
Whaling also issued a written apology to news media outlets saying her comment wasn’t intended to be racist. She wrote, “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 in any way racist!”
Joyce Gibson, a town council member, said that after news of the post went viral, the small office’s voicemail system quickly filled to capacity with irate callers. An online campaign calling for Taylor and Whaling to resign drew tens of thousands of responses. It looks like the backlash worked.