Mayor Insults ‘Gorilla Face’ Michelle Obama, Won’t Resign Because ‘That’s Admitting I’m Racist’ (VIDEO)

A mayor in Washington State has refused to resign after he shared a racist post on Facebook comparing President Obama and the First Lady to gorillas and monkeys. His reason for not stepping down? Doing so would be like admitting he’s racist.

Earlier this week, Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing confessed to posting the disrespectful, offensive comment on his Facebook page. The message read:

“Gorilla face Michelle, can’t disagree with that. The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL.”

As the comment faced backlash, Rushing tried to pass it off as “just playful back and forth banter that my friends and I do.” When Rushing was asked if he would have said the same thing to a white person, the mayor said he would. He added, “If they’re offended I apologize. It was not meant to be offensive to anybody.”

Airway Heights City Council doesn’t think Rushing’s apology is enough. On Tuesday, the organization asked Rushing to resign, only to have him refuse. He said, “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.”

Deputy City Manager and Police Chief Lee Bennett said that there was very little room for misinterpretation in Rushing’s inappropriate and unprofessional comments. He said, “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.”

Airway Heights residents didn’t think Rushing’s post was funny, either. Resident Tommy Gilbert said, “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. I’m a joking and jovial person but I know when something is acceptable or not and that is not acceptable under any circumstances.”

Mike Larkins agreed, adding, “It’s just a terrible thing to say. Being compared to a monkey is offensive because we’re all human beings.”

The council has asked City Attorney Stan Schwartz to draft a resolution to address Rushing’s statements, the council’s concerns and possible sanctions. The resolution will be looked at next Monday.

Here’s a report via KHQ regarding the most recent council meeting, in which Rushing’s Facebook comments were discussed:

Spokane, North Idaho News

Rushing’s reluctance to step down after such an awful mistake is surprising, considering that he resigned from being a school bus driver earlier this year. He stepped down after failing to immediately report rear-ending another car with the empty school bus. So apparently, he doesn’t think racism matters as much.

Featured image courtesy of and DFID via Flickr.