I apologize for you taking this way too seriously!

A Facebook story! 

Civil servant in small-town West Virginia refers to Michelle Obama as “a Ape in heels” [sic].

Mayor of said town replies to the post: “Just made my day Pam” [sic].

National outcry ensues. Civil servant is removed from her post. Mayor sends explanatory note to Washington Post, stating that JEEZ she’d been referring to the FIRST part of the Facebook post: “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House.” (Because, you know, we haven’t for the last eight years.)

obama-vogue-3

Third Vogue cover

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Second Vogue cover

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First Vogue cover

(The only First Lady ever to get three Vogue covers, because she’s SO not beautiful.) 

“My comment was not intended to be racist at all,” the mayor clarified. “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! Again, I would like to apologize for this getting out of hand!” 

Sigh! Exclamation point!

1. “sorry for any hard feeling” — nope. Be sorry for what you said, not how others responded.

2. “may have caused” — nope. There is no “may.” It did cause “hard feeling,” aka pain, sorrow, hurt.

3. “Those who know me” — nope. We don’t know you. Not relevant. What matters is what you say.

4. “I would like to apologize for this getting out of hand!” — nope. Again. Apologize for what you did, not for the reaction. You don’t get to decide whether “this” (what is “this,” precisely? name it) is “out of hand.” And you’re the one who thinks the response is “out of hand” — other people feel the reaction was perfectly in hand.

Also, the post was not about “change in the White House,” so to say that was what you were responding with your “made my day” comment is disingenuous. The post was about the excitement of having a “classy, beautiful, dignified” First Lady again.

In related news, the original FB poster tells local media she’s going to sue those who have “slandered” her, says she’s “sorry for everything that has happened” (“everything?” what, precisely, is she sorry for?) but adds that the “situation” (“situation”?) has turned into a “hate crime against me.” Mpphhhh.

Aaaaaand, via Clay, WV’s own WSAZ News Channel 3, as of an hour ago, the mayor has resigned.

UPDATED 12/29/16: Aaaaaaaand the civil servant has been removed from her position. She’d been suspended but was going to get her job back until West Virginia state officials said HMMMM and asked to see a copy of the nonprofit’s anti-discrimination policy. And lo and behold, soon afterward the governor’s office announced that the “a Ape” lady will not be coming back to work! Details at the Washington Post.

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3 Responses to I apologize for you taking this way too seriously!

  1. S. Smith says:

    You guys are awesome (and hilarious, I might add)!
    I, like many other people, was completely floored by: “I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House!” What??! How could we, of average intelligence, not have known that’s what she were referring to although “change in the White House” was never mentioned in the original post? Shame on us for not reading between the lines! I must personally surrender my Ph.D in Psychology for this oversight!

  2. Donna Moriarty says:

    Love this blog! And thanks for the link to the news coverage of the story, which, by the way, has an apology from the WV Democrats:
    Earlier Tuesday, The West Virginia Democratic Party released this apology to First Lady Obama:

    “On behalf of my fellow Mountaineers I would like extend my sincerest apologies to First Lady Michelle Obama. West Virginia truly is better than this. These radical, hateful, and racist ideals are exactly what we at the West Virginia Democratic Party will continue to fight against. These words and actions do not represent West Virginia values. We will continue to fight for a West Virginia that is inclusive, not divisive and a home for all to feel safe, welcome, and protected. In a time when we are at a crossroads and many fear the future we must stand together against hate of all forms.”

    I’d like to hear what you think about this one. (In my book, it’s pretty good. Maybe it’s just PR, but it resonated with me.)

    • snarly says:

      Thanks for your comment, Donna!

      We’re generally not a fan of the “this is not who I am” construction — the fact is, if you said it, it IS who you are. We also are iffy about apologizing FOR someone else’s behavior; only the person who DID the bad thing (or at best, the person who is the boss of the person who did the bad thing) can legit apologize for it. In this case, SOME West Virginians are attempting to apologize for OTHER West Virginians. Sadly, it’s clear that SOME West Virginians are indeed hateful and racist. (As are, we hasten to add, some New Yorkers and some Californians — the states the respective SorryWatchers live in.) You can’t say “we’re better than this” if…it happened. And it did.

      THAT SAID: The part of the statement that makes clear it’s referring to the West Virginia Democratic Party — i.e., we will fight against hate; we will fight for diversity — is good. The West Virginia Democratic Party IS empowered to speak for the West Virginia Democratic Party. The part of the statement that attempts to speak for all Mountaineers is…well, wishful thinking. Alas.

      Speaking purely as a reader, and not a SorryWatcher: It is a well-written statement, and it made me feel hopeful and positive too.

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