Evidently it isn’t racist for a state official to call the First Lady an ape.
Immediately following Donald Trump’s win, West Virginia’s Clay County Development Corporation Director Pamela Taylor referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as an “ape in heels” in a Facebook post.
“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House,” Taylor wrote. “I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.”
Her racist post received national attention and a petition calling for Taylor’s termination received over 196,000 signatures.
Taylor received quite a bit of blowback as a result and was suspended by the Bureau of Senior Services, which supervises Clay County Development Corporation.
Additionally, the Clay County Mayor, Beverly Whaling resigned after commenting on Taylor’s post, “Just made my day Pam.”
Both women apologized, but not really. Because WSAZ reported that Taylor said her comment “may be interpreted as racist but was in no way intended to be.”
So calling Michelle Obama an ape in heels was not really meant to be a racist comment. Mmmkay.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that Taylor is set to return to her job on December 23. The Gazette also reported that West Virginia’s Bureau of Senior Services Commissioner Robert E. Roswell fears Taylor’s employment might jeopardize the Clay County Development Corporation’s federal and state funding. The agency collected “about $1.5 million in federal funding and $363,000 in state funding in 2014,” Roswall said.
The Daily Mail reports that “this [wasn’t] the first time that Taylor, who has worked at the CCDC since the late ’90s and became director in 2007, has seen trouble there.”
She was dismissed in 2002 after being accused of taking fundraising money, but then hired back again shortly after, according to a lawsuit deposition seen by the Gazette-Mail.