West Virginia mayor resigns over racist Facebook post on Michelle Obama | News | DW | 16.11.2016
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West Virginia mayor resigns over racist Facebook post on Michelle Obama

A small town US mayor has stepped down from her post following an uproar over a racist social media post targeting Michelle Obama. The First Lady and her family have previously been the target of racial slurs.

A mayor from the US state of West Virginia resigned on Tuesday following outrage over her apparent endorsement of a racist Facebook post against First Lady Michelle Obama, officials said.

Beverly Whaling, who was mayor of the small town of Clay, commented on a colleague's incendiary post on Facebook comparing Obama to an ape.

Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey reportedly posted after Donald Trump's election: "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."

Mayor Whaling responded: "Just made my day Pam."

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Whalin stepped down amid the ensuing uproar, town official Joe Coleman said. Ramsey was reportedly fired after the comments emerged.

Clay Town Council member Jason Hubbard condemned the "horrible and indecent" post and said racism and intolerance "isn't what this community is about." He apologized on behalf of the town to Michelle Obama and anyone who was offended.

Whaling earlier issued a written apology to news media outlets saying her comment wasn't intended to be racist.

 "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!"

West Virginia Democratic Party Chairwoman Belinda Biafore offered an apology to Michelle Obama

"I would like extend my sincerest apologies to first lady Michelle Obama," Biafore said in a statement.

"West Virginia truly is better than this. These radical, hateful, and racist ideals are exactly what we at the West Virginia Democratic Party will continue to fight against. These words and actions do not represent West Virginia values."

bw/kl (AP, AFP)


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