A West Virginia mayor has been forced to resign after a public backlash over her racist comments about US First Lady Michelle Obama on Facebook.
Mayor Beverly Whaling resigned after liking a post in which Facebook user Pamela Ramsey Taylor, a director at Clay County Development Corp, wrote:
“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”, referring to Mr Trump’s wife, Melania and Mrs Obama.
“Just made my day Pam,” Ms Whaling responded.
The offending Facebook post
— Black Reparations!! (@ReparationsAct) November 13, 2016
Council member Jason Hubbard issued a statement condemning the “horrific” post and said “racial intolerance isn’t what this community is about”, apologising on behalf of the town to anyone who was offended, including Mrs Obama.
Ms Taylor, told local media on Monday night that she was put on leave, while Ms Whaling issued a written apology to news media outlets saying that her comment was not 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!”
The post was shared hundreds of times on social media before it was deleted, but also prompted an equally nasty response from other users, calling Ms Taylor variously a “pig in lipstick” and reminding users of Ms Trump’s nude photo shoot from 1996.
African-Americans make up about 4 per cent of West Virginia’s 1.8 million residents, according to the US Census.
About 77 per cent of Clay County residents supported Trump in the November 8 election. In 2012, US President Barack Obama received 31 per cent of the county vote when Republican Mitt Romney easily carried the state.