West Virginia officials come under fire for racist Facebook post about Michelle Obama

person typing on laptop

Photo via hiphotos35/Getty Images


In a now-deleted Facebook post, Pamela Ramsey Taylor, director of West Virginia’s Clay County Development Corp, referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as an “Ape in heels.” And Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded that the post “made [her] day.” Just in case you thought cries of racism in America were overreactions.

[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/Celeste0427/posts/10211163840634721?match=cGFtZWxhIHJhbXNleSB0YXlsb3I%3D embed.]

The Clay County Development Corp’s Facebook page has been inundated with requests for Taylor’s removal, and a petition has been created calling for their termination.

[Placeholder for https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.williams.311/posts/10208889087883568:0 embed.]

Taylor told WSAZ that she has been reprimanded at her job. However, she also believes she is the victim now and is filing a lawsuit against the people who are slandering her (there is currently a fake Facebook page under her name featuring a photo of a pig’s head on her body). Taylor says the reaction is now a “hate crime against [her].”

The FBI defines a hate crime as any “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” 

Jaya Saxena

Jaya Saxena

Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'