Mayor Patrick Rushing Not Resigning After Using Racial Slurs
The mayor of a small town in Washington State is refusing to resign from his post, despite urging from the city council, after referring to First Lady Michelle Obama as a “gorilla” and President Barack Obama as a “monkey.”
Patrick Rushing, the Mayor of Airway Heights, Washington, a suburb of Spokane, made the racist, offensive remarks in a recent Facebook post, in which he said:
Gorilla face Michelle, can’t disagree with that. The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL.
Rushing has since stated that he will not resign over the racist remarks, arguing that he somehow didn’t realize the remarks were racist, and that the comments were a part of “playful back and forth banter” between himself and his friends. But the city council of Airway Heights isn’t buying it and are calling for his resignation, according to The Spokesman Review.
This isn’t Rushing’s first time making controversial remarks, either. According to The Inlander, Rushing has a long history of publishing questionable content to Facebook, including referring to President Obama as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, defending the Confederate flag, and making inappropriate jokes about Caitlyn Jenner and Hillary Clinton. One blog from The Inlander chronicles several offensive posts by Rushing on his Facebook wall.
It will of course only be a matter of time before conservatives begin flocking to Rushing’s defense, as we often see whenever conservatives make racist comments or whenever race is involved in a major news story. Conservatives are always seemingly quick to take whichever side is against African Americans in general — defending George Zimmerman, or taking the side of police officers whenever an unarmed black person is needlessly shot and killed — so they probably shouldn’t be surprised when people label them as racists. Of course, in saying that, I’m sure I’ll soon be labeled a racist myself, because we all know that “reverse-racism” is the worst thing to happen in America ever, right?
Patrick Rushing is a racist. He said racist remarks, not just on this occasion, but on several, as The Inlander has pointed out. Will he resign? Probably not. And since his role as mayor is largely ceremonial, in a small town with a population of less than 7,000, chances are this story will not survive more than the present news cycle. But Rushing is just one of the many, many, many conservatives in the United States that have taken this radicalized, hyper-partisan stance, refusing to acknowledge racism or worse, pretending they aren’t aware of racism when they themselves perpetuate it. The culture of hate within American conservatism isn’t going anywhere any time soon, especially when people like Patrick Rushing tell themselves that all they need to do is apologize and pretend they aren’t racists.
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Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He’s now moving into more “serious” subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots