Pamela Ramsey Taylor, director of Clay County Development Corp (CCDC), a West Virginian non-profit, was heavily criticised for a Facebook post, which has since been removed, in which she wrote a racial slur directed at Michelle Obama.
In the post the senior official called Michelle Obama “an ape in heels” .
It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.
Clay’s mayor Beverly Whaling responded to the post with the comment:
Just made my day, Pam.
The exchange was quickly removed, but not before people took screengrabs and disseminated them online. What followed were petitions to have both women removed from their positions.
Eventually, both women apologised, and Whaling issued a statement to the Washington Post:
My comment was not intended to be racist at all...I was referring to my day being made for a change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feelings this may have caused! Those who know me know that I’m not of [sic] any way racist!
Again, I would like to apologise for this getting out of hand!
The mayor was quick to resign, and Taylor also lost her position.
However, the Charleston Gazette-Mail filed a records request with the CCDC and found that Taylor would be reinstated on 23 December.
So…Taylor will get her job back?
According to Reuters, West Virginia reviewed their contracts.
In a statement, Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office wrote:
Following the state’s request for specific assurances that the CCDC is following anti-discrimination policies, we have been assured that Pamela Taylor has been removed from her position as CCDC director.