UPDATE: A letter from Clay County Development Corp. has confirmed that Pamela Ramsey Taylor is to be re-instated at her job, despite the backlash from her racist post.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that she is to return to work on Dec. 23, even after warnings from the state bureau's commissioner, Robert Roswall.
Roswall wrote to the Development Corp. in November, stating that any discrimination from their staff could lead them to losing significant funding. The Clay County Development Corp. is going ahead with the plan to give Taylor her job back in spite of her overt racism and the potential financial fallout.
UPDATE: Pamela Ramsey Taylor of Clay County Development Corp. was removed from her director position after her Facebook post calling Michelle Obama an "ape in heels" went viral.
The state and federal-funded nonprofit Taylor represents did not confirm whether or not she was fired but they said, "all we can comment on is that she has been removed from her position," The Huffington Post reports.
Taylor has issued a formal apology for her post, claiming that it "may be interpreted as racist but was in no way intended to be."
Mayor Beverly Whaling also apologized after facing scrutiny for commenting that Taylor had "made" her day with the offensive post.
“My comment was not intended to be racist at all. 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!
“Again, I would like to apologize for this getting out of hand!”
Despite her apology, Whaling's resignation was accepted by the town council on Tuesday.
Of course, these apologies are standard protocol for racists trying to save their own skin. The original post and subsequent comment are not justifiable and the two women's apologies don't make their actions acceptable.
As if you needed more proof that the election of Donald Trump has emboldened the racists of America, a West Virginia development group official and a local mayor are currently under fire for a racist post about first lady Michelle Obama.
Clay County Development Corp. director Pamela Ramsey Taylor shared the offensive post after Election Day. “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an Ape in heels,” she wrote.
Adding insult to injury, Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling chimed in and replied, “Just made my day Pam,” to her racist remarks.
The post has since been deleted, but not before being shared hundreds of times and making national headlines.
It appears that Whaling and Taylor have removed their Facebook profiles as they were unable to be searched, according to the Associated Press.
Following these disturbing comments, a petition calling from the removal of Whaling and Taylor from their positions has been drafted. Ironically, the development company Taylor represents provides services to elderly and low-income residents in Clay County.
Unfortunately, with Trump heading to the White House and his white supremacist following feeling more validated than ever, the public outcry against these acts has been muffled, which is an issue that cannot be ignored.
Taylor’s post was pure, unadulterated racism — there is no way her comments can be perceived as anything less. The fact that she shamelessly shared those thoughts on a public platform is even more disturbing.
The same goes for the mayor, who should be held to a higher standard that would require her to denounce such rhetoric — instead, she praised it.
According to Raw Story, the city council plans to address the mayor’s part in the situation at their meeting set for Tuesday. Taylor was reportedly reprimanded by the Clay County Development Corporation.
While the entities that Taylor and Whaling represent may be working on damage control, these overt acts of racism cannot be easily dismissed or swept under the rug.
There needs to be some swift and transparent action taken against these officials. Closed-door disciplinary hearings or “discussions” often result in nothing more than slaps on the wrist.
The two women need to be held accountable for their inappropriate behavior but, going a step further than that, Trump needs to take a good look at the social climate he has created and be held accountable by the people for the divisive rhetoric he used to spark it.
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr, Simon Davis/DFID