In case you missed it, West Virginia Mayor Resigns Over Michelle Obama 'Ape' Facebook Post

Yeah, I read it last year; I’m familiar. But as you say:

Ask Super Chicken.


I knew who Justine Sacco was before I read the article. Now that I read it, I hate her even more.

No, I won’t.

Any argument one can make has been made before many times over, and I still don’t agree.

Regardless to anyone’s willful denial, actions do still have consequences (for most people, anyway); regardless to whether the repercussions are overblown or disproportionate.

Sometimes they are, and I’m not saying that’s okay.

What I am saying is that because there’s the distinct possibility of a ‘molehill-sized’ fuckup being snowballed into a veritable ‘mountain’ of negative backlash, many people need to learn how to keep their private thoughts private, rather than publishing them to the whole world.

Wise individuals would do better to learn from the well publicized mistakes of others, instead of repeating them ad nauseum, and then being ‘oh so shocked!’ when a similar outcome happens to them.


As someone who has spent the best part of the last four decades writing pithy comments on online message boards, I’ll admit to more than a few shockingly horrible clunkers of attempts at being clever. I’ve never crossed the line of being racist or repugnant, but I have gotten to the age where I fall into the trap of using words and phrases that have fallen out of favor with people half my age, and I’m sure I think that 90% of what I write is 100% more clever than it actually is. It really troubles me that people have destroyed their lives and careers in 140 characters or less. How can you ever know your audience when your audience is all of humanity? And I think that the only people who are immune from the possibility of saying something stupid are the people who always keep their mouths shut. And I don’t think anyone here are those types of people.


That’s fine, but Trump is still president on the back of this very same sentiment, just displayed less openly.

I feel like these kind of public outrages and pseudo-executions are a distraction from the larger picture. We really showed her what it means to be a racist in America in 2016, eh? :frowning2:


So either make better decisions about how when and to whom you express yourself… or just don’t ‘tweet’ at all; it’s not like it’s a necessity of life, like breathing, or eating.


Some peoples gray zones are vaguer than others. In mine, this is the sort of thing a person says to disqualify themselves from leadership positions.


Pretty sure Drumpf has a position in the new regime for her so it works out


And apes. They have the facebook now too. :wink:


Here’s the mini-goal (in service to the larger goal): demonstrating that this kind of sentiment is simply not expressible in polite society. That such sentiments have historically been cloaked in white hoods because one really can’t get away with expressing such sentiments in public. We start to accept such things, we start to normalize the racism, and whaddaya know, our kids start absorbing the lesson that it’s okay to equate black people with non-human animals, that “porch-monkey” is no worse an epithet than “butt-nugget” or “turd burglar,” and we find ourselves with decades’ worth of Actually Positive And Dearly Bought Social Engineering undone and in tatters.

“Distraction”? This particular public spanking took no effort at all. It’s not a good thing that a career or a life can be brought to ruin so very, very easily by underinformed internet outrage these days, but this here’s an instance where the bug that flew into the windshield really should have known better, and should serve as a warning to other bugs.

Yeah, I know, this is precisely the kind of thing we don’t like when some Trumpist warns darkly that people really oughta watch what they say, but you of all people will certainly understand the distinction between muzzling people’s right to express unpopular opinions, and an expression that breaks the “don’t be a dick” clauses of the TOS. People can be loudmouthed jackholes wheresoever they wander in their personal lives, but elected officials in a representational democracy are chosen to represent their constituents, and whatever they say publicly is part of that representation. You talk like that and the voters disapprove, you should expect to be professionally tossed on your ass at the earliest opportunity, else you dishonor the post and those you swore to serve.

Yeah, Trump won, by hook or by crook, but that does not mean that we can sit on our hands and passively swallow our bile when other politicians start thinking it’s okay to talk like he does. The only valid way forward is to reject such things, loudly and vehemently. And toss whatever bums can be tossed, as soon as we can toss 'em.


Not what happened in this case, though, nor what happened with Trump. The voters approved.

The media, and the global weight of the internet, did not. But “global media outcry” is not the same as local voters. Not at all.

As we’ve learned.


Isn’t it?


Then, Councilman Jason Hubbard offered an apology on behalf of Council and the community.

“First and foremost, the council would like to condemn the horrible and indecent post that was the center of the controversy,” Hubbard said. “This kind of racism and intolerance is not what this community is about. This community is a hopeful and helpful, empathetic and god-loving community, and we are tolerant. Please don’t judge the community for one or two individual acts.”

Some people had crowded into the small council room to watch what council would do. Some of those people spoke after Whaling’s resignation was accepted and praised council members for the way they handled the situation.

“I really, really applaud your apology and your statement. It was very gracious, and I appreciate your community. I know it’s probably scary to have everyone come in here and bombard you like this. But I’m very proud to be here and to be a neighbor to this community,” commented one woman who said she had come two hours to the meeting.

Another woman in the audience also praised council.

“I’m very happy that you all have done the right thing. I think we’re all proud of where we’re from. We’re proud to be rural, small town America. And from another West Virginian to you all, I’m really proud that we’ve done the right thing because there’s no place for hate in West Virginia.

The Facebook post went viral over that weekend. She was out of her job by the end of the next business day. They cut her loose and hung her out to dry without making any real effort to rally around her, because they knew she was indefensible.

That right there turns out to be the correct outcome.

Edit: sorry, the mayor was out of a job on Tuesday. The author of the original post was fired on Monday.


Not the voters, though.

If you put that (horrifically racist, of course) statement up for an actual vote in the county, I think you might be unpleasantly surprised what results you get.

My dad was raised in West Virginia. It is… not a great place.


More didn’t.


Yeah, but electoral college. In the states that mattered, the voters approved.

In the states that didn’t matter, like California… well, after the final vote high enough to tally the winner, none of those additional votes counted.

Speaking of “not a great place”-es…


I guess the larger point is that if you get enough global media outcry, you can shame people into doing the right thing. Which is not wrong insofar as it goes, and if the correct result is achieved, then OK?

If only that worked on Trump. Or the average american voter.


I’d have to take his word for it. I’m told it’s got a lot of poverty, but I’ve never been near there, and I don’t think I know anyone from there.

Still: if it were this easy to get Trump to resign based on a stern afternoon meeting with the city council, don’t you think it’d be a great thing to do?

Look, I’m not saying that something like this actually uproots racism. And it’s not for me to opine whether racism is better when openly expressed, or kept somewhat hidden in daily public interactions. But a reinforcement of a public standard that proclaims that people just can’t use racist slurs in public without repercussion is a good thing, I maintain. Or should I feel it’s perfectly fine, here in the new dawning of Trumpistan, to start calling Lawrence the Office PA “boy” when I need his help finding legal-size paper for the photocopier? I mean, hey, I wouldn’t call Bryan the Executive Producer that, since he’s one of my bosses, but Lawrence is both subordinate to me on the org chart as well as younger than I am, so why can’t I call him “boy”?

Because we don’t do that shit. It gets us fired. It’s wrong, it’s demeaning. And we should actively fight against the attitude that thinks it’s okay.

You are operating under the (perhaps erroneous) assumption that she was shitcanned simply and solely because the council feared being painted as a backward, intolerant, racist boondock if they let her stay. I submit that there’s a very high likelihood that a sufficient number of the council’s members were sufficiently horrified that she felt she could express something like that publicly in the first place, that they wanted her gone. If this wasn’t the case, you wouldn’t have had the city councilman publicly apologizing and “condemning” the post as “horrible and indecent.”

Nothing works on Trump. And the average American voter didn’t vote for him.

I can’t imagine you’re speaking of California. That genuinely is a great place.


Yes. I’m aware of that situation. And others like it. Ron Jonson wrote a book on it. I don’t think it’s the same thing here.

I’m still okay with a public official losing their job over calling the FLOTUS an ape. Free speech doesn’t protect you from the consequences of those actions. She can THINK that the FLOTUS is whatever all day long. That’s not what she did. Do you honestly think that she can serve the public if she thinks that part of that public are animals?


So, because we got a president who rode into office on racism (and general apathy), we just ignore racist outbursts? Because ignoring it has worked well up to now?


A minority of eligible voters.