The mayor of a small city in Washington, Patrick Rushing reportedly admitted to have called President Barack Obama “monkey man” and first lady Michelle Obama “gorilla face,” but says he will not resign over the racist comments.
“Gorilla face Michelle, can’t disagree with that,” Patrick Rushing, mayor of Airway Heights, reportedly wrote in a Facebook post. “The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL.”
The comments led the city council to call for his resignation on Monday.
“When a figurehead makes comments such as these that sets us back and it’s hard to come back from,” police chief and acting city manager Lee Bennett told KXLY, the local ABC station.
However, Rushing insists he will not step down from his role as mayor of the city, which is just outside of Spokane and has a population of nearly 6,500, according to Census data.
“I made a mistake. I owned up to my mistake,” Rushing told the Spokesman-Review. “If I do resign that’s admitting I’m a racist and I’m not.”
He also told local NBC station KHQ that the comments were just “playful back and forth banter that my friends and I do.”
Rushing’s constituents however did not find the comments playful.
“Because I’m black, it’s offensive to me because many times blacks have been compared to a gorilla, a monkey. Some type of animal,” Tommy Gilbert told KHQ. “I’m a joking and jovial person but I know when something is acceptable or not and that is not acceptable under any circumstances.”
Source: Huffington Post