Tuesday, November 15, 2016

West Virginia official on leave after racist Michelle Obama post

I am saddened and ashamed of living in the same country with this kind of consciousness.  I  received many e-mail cartoons of this racist type from right wingers during the Obama years, which just served to make me aware of the ignorance that propels such thinking.   It's heartbreaking to discover that even people you are close to --  friends or relatives -- can actually think this way.   And ironic that they would rather see as First Lady a woman who posed nude for a men's magazine than a REAL "classy, beautiful, dignified" black woman in the White House.  That we have not yet risen above this LOW level of bigotry in our country is so disappointing, it makes me want to cry....  

But fortunately we have an intelligent woman, the present First Lady, to lead us in the right direction.  As Michelle Obama says, "When they go low, we go high."  And the Obamas have always gone high, role-modeling to the low-consciousness people among us what higher consciousness looks like.  Unfortunately, these low people have shown they are too ignorant to understand and too stupid to change.  After giving us Cheney/Bush and the 8 nightmarish years of that administration, they have now given us Trump -- they couldn't have gone much lower than that.  We're in demagogue territory now, and can see how the same thing happened in Germany in the '30s and '40s of the 20th century.   Some lessons are never learned and will be repeated over and over until they are.  I pray we will not have to experience the depths of hatred, cruelty and ignorance of that period of history all over again.   Yet, the consciousness of Trump and the lackeys who surround him  are of the same ilk as the racist bigots and white supremacist "purists" of that period.  ...Our country is heading in the wrong direction.  Woe is us.

West Virginia official on leave after racist Michelle Obama post

Last Updated Nov 15, 2016 11:40 AM EST

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A local West Virginia official said she has been placed on leave after she made a racist post on Facebook about first lady Michelle Obama.

Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey Taylor made the post following Republican 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."

Taylor told WCHS-TV on Monday night that she was put on leave.

Mayor Whaling apologized for her role in the incident on Tuesday, saying her comment wasn't intended to be racist. Whaling said in a statement sent to news media that she was referencing the change in the White House. She says she isn't racist.

Clay's town council planned to discuss the issue at a previously scheduled meeting Tuesday evening.

The post, first reported by WSAZ-TV, has caused a backlash and prompted calls for Taylor and Mayor Whaling to be fired. The post was shared hundreds of times on social media before it was deleted. The Facebook pages of Taylor and Whaling couldn't be found Monday.

The nonprofit Clay County Development Corp. 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."

African-Americans make up about 4 percent of West Virginia's 1.8 million residents, according to the U.S. Census.

About 77 percent of Clay County residents supported Trump in the Nov. 8 election. In 2012, President Barack Obama received 31 percent of the county vote when Republican Mitt Romney easily carried the state.

Last week in Kentucky, Republican Dan Johnson defeated incumbent Democrat Linda Belcher in Bullitt County in a race for the state House of Representatives despite a series of Facebook posts that depicted President Barack Obama and his wife as monkeys. Republican officials, including potential new House Speaker Jeff Hoover, had called on Johnson to drop out of the race. But Hoover declared last week that Johnson would be "welcome in our caucus."