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W.Va. Officials Resign After Michelle Obama 'Ape in Heels' Comment

by Sedria Renee /
County Clerk's Office sign.County Clerk's Office

A West Virginia Mayor has submitted her letter of resignation after receiving scrutiny from her remarks on a Facebook post demeaning First Lady Michelle Obama.

The post was originally published by Pamela Taylor, who served as a director of the Clay County Development Corporation following the presidential elections.

The controversial post said: “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.”

Clay County Mayor Beverly Whaling received a surplus of criticism after she responded to the post saying, “Just made my day Pam.”

Taylor’s post has launched a social media frenzy triggering users to take screenshots that have spread all over the internet and have been shared thousands of times.

In a statement sent to The Washington Post, Whaling apologized: “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!"

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West Virginia NAACP President Owens Brown released a statement to NBC News on Tuesday condemning their actions and pointing out that Ms. Taylor’s racist post "only reinforces the view held by many Americans across the nation that WV is a racist state. Ms. Taylor’s racist attitude is not indicative of the vast majority of white West Virginian’s."

"I believe that some people believe they have permission to express their racism since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. This type of attitude cannot be tolerated in this racially charged atmosphere," wrote Brown.

Many users expressed their dissatisfaction and had started a petition to remove both ladies from their positions.

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.

Before the petition could be finalized, several workers at Clay County Development Corp told NBC News affiliate WSAZ that Taylor was removed from her position.

According to Clay County Sheriff Garrett Samples, both ladies have been receiving threats since the post has gone viral.

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