Mayor Patrick Rushing is under a tremendous amount of pressure to resign after his racist Facebook post in which he called first lady Michelle Obama “gorilla face.” According to the Huffington Post, Rushing also admitted to calling President Barack Obama “monkey man.”
The following text is what Patrick Rushing reportedly wrote on Facebook.
“Gorilla face Michelle, can’t disagree with that. The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL.”
The above comments were allegedly posted by Patrick Rushing, mayor of the small town of Airway Heights, located in Spokane County, Washington, just west of Spokane. Following Rushing’s racist Facebook post, city council members have demanded that Rushing immediately resign. However, Rushing refuses to do so, and he released the following statement regarding the matter.
“I made a mistake. I owned up to my mistake. If I do resign that’s admitting I’m a racist and I’m not.”
According to KXLY, the fact that Rushing is refusing to resign after making such controversial comments has outraged council members and residents alike.
Mayor, Airway Heights suburb of Spokane makes disgusting racist remarks about the Obamas, refuses calls to resign pic.twitter.com/qDZaaApuHI— Olivia McCray (@BogieF) July 17, 2015
“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 expressed. “I can tell you that in the matter of public opinion they were racist (comments). When you become a public figure I’m no longer Lee Bennett citizen. I’m Police Chief Bennett.”
Despite the obvious racist context behind the Facebook post, Rushing insists that he is not a racist and said the remarks were “just playful back and forth banter that my friends and I do.”
What’s even more troubling is that this is not the first time Rushing has come under fire for a questionable social media post. During his five-year tenure as mayor, Rushing has posted at least 75 posts with similar content on social media, according to the Pacific Northwest Inlander.
Bennett said Rushing’s actions must be punished and he explained that “the first would be to do nothing, which is unacceptable.” Meanwhile, city council members say they will limit Rushing’s involvement on boards and commissions if he continues to refuse to step down as mayor.
“I have lived here longer than anyone at this table,” city council member Steve Lawrence said. “We have worked hard to change the way people think of Airway Heights and this will be difficult to come back from.”
[Image via YouTube screenshot]