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Mayor in Washington refuses calls to resign over racist post about Obamas

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Airway Heights (Wash.) Mayor Patrick Rushing (Photo: Facebook)

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. (AP) — The mayor of a Spokane suburb is refusing to resign despite posting racist comments about President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

The Airway Heights City Council has asked Mayor Patrick Rushing to resign after the comments were posted on his personal Facebook page.

Rushing is refusing to resign, contending he didn’t realize his comments were racist.

The comments compared the Obamas to monkeys.

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

Rushing told The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/1dZhyHl ) that he is not a racist.

Deputy City Manager and Police Chief Lee Bennett says that’s not enough. Bennett says that as an elected official Rushing needs to hold himself to a higher standard.

Bennett told The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, “He said he is not going to resign, and that this was playful banter between him and some friends.”

According to minutes from the council meeting, the Spokesman-Review reported,  Rushing said his remarks were “completely out of character” and that he would work to “get past this.”

“I made a mistake. I owned up to my mistake,” Rushing told the newspaper. “If I do resign that’s admitting I’m a racist and I’m not.”

The City Council has asked for a resolution expressing its dissatisfaction with the mayor.


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  • today was a good day

    BOOOO get outta here!! you don’t belong. Who makes stupid comments like that on facebook??? being a big wig and all you would think you have more RESPECT and self control when blasting your PRIVATE thoughts thru the internet!! you didn’t know it was racist but then you say it was just a joke between you and friends?? that goes in a private lane not public!! you are racist and you have no bussines being a big wig for our state. HAVE YOU LOOKED AT YOUR SELF IN THE MIRROR??? you are no different than what you are offending others of.

    • John Barnett

      Obviously you’ve never been to Airways Heights, there are no Big Wigs and the town consists of one main road. Take a deep breath and relax the PC garbage is going to give you a stroke, let me guess, your a Progressive Democrat and you found something to latch on to.

      • Goaskalice

        But he is an elected official regardless of how small a town it is. He needs to learn diplomacy and exercise restraint in his opinions. If he had kept his FB settings to Friends only, his disgusting remarks would have not been known to the Public, but his settings were Public and he should suffer the consequences.

      • Ed Lee

        Obviously you are a non-progressive tea party lemming and can only latch onto Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. That is OK, we understand how hard it is to grow up in dysfunctional family and worship the bottom feeders in society. Now move along, your moonshine is getting ripe.

      • Dean Dixon

        His comment is unacceptable. He’s an elected official and his actions reflect of his entire community. If you think his actions are acceptable then both you and he are part of the greater problem of racism. What exactly does this have to do with being a Progressive Democrat? Even the staunchest Conservative Republican should be offended by such blatant racism. The only group I can think of that would find this sort of thing acceptable are Fascists. Perhaps that’s the group you most identify with.

      • chasebos

        No, being a caring person caused me to take affront to a man calling OUR President and OUR First Lady Monkeys. The very fact that you used this to bash Progressives or Democrats makes you out to be nothing more than a racist dirtbag who is willing to do anything or say anything to make a political statement. How very Teapartyesque.

  • Barb May

    Next time just say what a terrible job he has done and that he has divided this beautiful country!! 18 more months and the incompetent idiot will be gone!!

    • edp4bho

      You are indicative of the racism in this country, which has always been divided. It just took a black man as president for all you miscreants to come out of the closet.

        • hongkree

          Double effing A-MEN! What’s wrong with you people? The Obamas are a breath of fresh air in dirtbag-riddled Washington D.C. Time for all you minority white folks who hate other folks to understand what’s going on. You’re history, at last! Thank God Almighty, at last!

      • resqdogz

        An intelliegent, thoughtful, articulate, even-tempered black man, at that… who’s every move has been blocked by recalcitrant, retrograde Repugnicans (as they unabashedly vowed to to, from day one of his FIRST term)… regardless of merit, or the negative impact their obstructionism has had on the American people!

        Barb May – try researching the FACTS, first.. before succumbing to the faux-Fox “news” and talk fallacious talk-radio bable you apparently suckle on: More has been done on EVERY front to the public benefit in this President’s two terms that DECADES before!

        So go hug your precious, misconstrued Second Amendment “tool” and shoot yourself some of your fellow-ignoramuses!

    • DaisyBuchanan

      “Divided the country’ – into those who can’t stand a black president and the rest of us. Not his fault that racists are losing their minds.

      Otherwise…massive healthcare coverage, Lilly Ledbetter Equal pay, got Syria to begin disabling their chemical weapons, no more Bin Laden, MORE jobs, ended Bush’s wars, preventing nuke proliferation with Iran, opening a commercial relationship with Cuba. Maybe that’s incompetence if you don’t know the meaning of the word.

      • chasebos

        Republicans seem to be willing to say anything to validate their racist statements. Is it any wonder there are more racists down south?

      • jim

        You might want to hold off on some of that praise. A Marine was just killed in Afghanistan. ..not ended.
        Preventing Iran from getting a nuke? Nope. Nothing preventing that. Time will tell that story, let’s watch it unfold together. For the record, I think they will get it, and I think it will be used, and if it is it will be on Obama’s. ..and your shoulders. Yours because of your sheep like following of him.

    • bella2758

      President Obama hasn’t done a terrible job, considering the shape this country was in 2008, this President has done a dam good job and with no help from that do nothing racists right wing Congress. And President Obama can’t be blame for this country being divided, it’s you racists right wing haters who never accepted the fact that a black man was elected President twice. How is he to blame for your racism? If there is a incompetent idiot it’s you!!!!

    • Aram Vartian

      “Look at all of the things the President has carefully orchestrated in order to to divide this country! Also, he is totally incompetent and unable to accomplish anything.”

      You are so desperate to disparage the President you can’t even be logically consistent.

        • Charlie

          I’m thinking Germany, Engand, France, Poland, or Hungaria, maybe Russia. ALL of our families are from somewhere else. So where are YOUR roots Shar. Are you a pure bred American? I think not. Actually all of our families were MONKEYS. Unless you think the earth was created in 7 days, 5,000 years ago

      • chasebos

        I see that during The Obama Administration’s terms in office, the Federal and/or State Governments have passed Universal Healthcare, Passed the Stimulus and subsequently got our Economy and Unemployment Rates to fantastic levels, Re-regulated Wall Street, Ended the War in Iraq, Took out Osama Bin Laden, Legalized LGBT Marriage, The Treaty with Iran, States have started to decriminalization and/or legalize Marijuana, Proved that the government can kick-start a clean-energy revolution, During his terms racism has had an outcry against it due in part to major national issues regarding police brutality against non-white citizens, Pardoned numerous non-violent criminals who were victims of racist anti-drug policies, plus he is much more well-received across the globe than his predecessor… need I go on?

    • hongkree

      Barb, whatever racist insults you hurl at our gracious First Couple are only projections of your own inner dysfunctional attitude about yourself,. I’m really sorry for your inner suffering., but it’s time to for you to smell the distinctly hateful aroma you’re emitting.

  • KateBMyers

    >>>>my co-worker’s step-sister makes $81 hourly on the internet …. She has been fired for five months but last month her check was $20615 just working on the internet for a few hours. blog here>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Read More

    • Joe

      We have the right to free speech and the public has the right to expect more from public figures. Say what you want but you have to deal with consequences.

    • Matt

      No one’s arguing he didn’t have the right to say what he did. They’re just saying he should resign since he’s a bigot. The right to free speech just protects you from the government punishing you for your speech. It doesn’t free you from the social consequences of your speech.

      • chasebos

        Totally agree with you. If it is not going to benefit a national debate about racism just shut your fucking mouth.

    • Rick Smith

      Oh, the man can say anything he wants – but, he will be judged by what he says, and this is the talk of a racist. And that reflects badly on the town, and anyone who defends him.

    • John Barnett

      Obama is a racist, has he called the family of the Steinlies yet, no he calls and talks about how terrible it is that some black thugs were killed by police when these blacks were at fault. This was a young white woman walking with her father, where is the phone call, true Americans would like to know why our racist President can’ make that call.

      • bella2758

        President Obama went to the Memorial Service of the 20 kids murder in Connecticut, mostly white kids. He have been to number of Memorial services and most of them were white people, when the Arizona Congress woman were shot, and the other people were kill, this President went to the Memorial service, the killings in Colorado, he was there, now explain again how he is a racists because he have not contact the Steinlies family yet. If anyone is a racists it people like you and that loud mouth lying racist Donald Trump. By the way of course to you racists bigots those black human being ( not thugs) murder by the cops deserve what they got, to you people their lives meant not. But you have the dam nerve to call this President a racists, OMG!!! Look in the mirror John Barnett, look in the dam mirror and you will see the true racists.

      • Rick Blaine

        Thanks. You’ve convinced me that Americans can truly rate among the most ignorant, inbred and, yes, racist people in the western world. You, sir, are a true patriot! God bless America – it needs the help.

  • Rick Smith

    What kind of people would live in a town that has a mayor like this? Who could elect a man of this caliber to be their mayor ..? Who would even want to shop or have dinner or even drive through a town with a man like this in City Hall. I can’t imagine that they don’t know how to remove him from office, but he reflects so badly on the town, that everyone in it is a disgrace to the state, and the country. Shame on all of you.

  • David Scott

    He says his remarks were “playful” and fun. The remarks aren’t playful, they are racist. Not only did they elect a racist as mayor but an idiot too if he thinks this is how an elected official should act and get away with it.

  • laytonian

    That was NOT a mistake. It was a purposeful statement made in an obviously-racist conversation with his “friends”. WHO just “jokes” like that?
    Another reason to avoid the entire Spokane area.

    • resqdogz

      UNBELIEVABLE (not just this man’s temerity in posting this trash on his Facebook page to all to see what a fool he truly IS, but the posts he shares, themselves, are an astonishing collection of completely racist, alarmist, incendiary falsehoods – truly worthy of the Tea Party he’s so enamoured of and the extremest of the extreme right wing propaganda mongers!

      How the HELL did anyone EVER elect him to office, and – now that Laytonian has exposed his long-term lunacy – WHY THE HELL WON’T THIS COMMUNITY ACT TO IMMEDIATELY TOSS OUT THIS TRASH-TALKING “TEMPEST-IN-A-TEACUP” WACKO???

  • Goaskalice

    I was on his Friend List on Facebook, I didn’t know him but we had a few mutual friends from high school back in the 70’s so he sent me a Friend Request about a year ago. He was always posting anti Obama comments (mostly political) but nothing so disgusting as this. He is also a bible thumper. Always asking for people to send him prayers because of some problems he has gone through. He knowingly had his privacy settings on FB set to Public, so he obviously wanted everyone to read what he had to say. I couldn’t take it any more so I UNfriended him. I notice now he has changed his privacy settings to Friends only.

  • Jim Kelly

    This man is not attracted sexually to the Obama’s and he is bisexual but that doesn’t mean he is a racist. A racist is someone who assumes a person is a criminal without any crimes then says it has nothing to do with that person being black, or a person who targets minorities because everyone is doing it. Racism has a lot more depth than simple name calling infact real racist frequently go to extreme lengths to cover-up their motives.

  • labman57

    Racism expresses itself in a variety of ways.

    Some knuckle-walkers are blatant and unabashed racists, as has been observed on numerous occasions throughout American history … such as when grumpy old white guys wax nostalgic for the days of yesteryear …. before the Civil War.

    Other folks indignantly proclaim that “some of my best friends are (fill in the blank).” One may behave in an extremely civil manner — or even be friendly — toward someone of a different ethnicity … so long as that person does not offend one’s sensibilities or disagree with one’s political ideology.

    It is often when confronting someone with whom one has a conflict that race suddenly becomes an issue and ethnic bigotry rises to the surface, such as when a person of color is the butt of a racially-insensitive joke delivered via email, tweet, or at a political event.
    Their usual defense: “Just because I enjoy disseminating racist jokes via social media does not make me a racist!” — Uh yeah, it does.

    Some pundits smugly demonstrate their bigoted views by assuming that Barack and Michelle Obama — and just about every other left-of-center minority — must have attained their academic and professional successes by means of handouts and special favors, because it certainly could not have been the result of hard work and innate intelligence.

    And for others, their racism is expressed by their tendency to apply stereotypical character traits to an entire ethnic demographic group of people, followed by a haughty disdain for these character traits and by their arrogant, condescending suggestion that they — as an outsider to the culture — understand the challenges facing people of said demographic group better than members of the group themselves.

  • Luke Smooth

    Seems like nothing has changed in the Spokane-Idaho area! Still as racist as ever. Maybe this mayor should take a look at his own features before he talks down on the First Lady and the president. It seems that Fox News, Tea Party, Glen Beck, Donald “Duck” Trump and others have managed to convert these idiots into thinking they can say or do whatever they want because they don’t like the black man and woman that occupies the White House . It’s disgusting to say the least!

  • Manoj Panicker

    “I made a mistake. I owned up to my mistake,” Rushing told the newspaper. “If I do resign that’s admitting I’m a racist and I’m not.”

    No, no! Owning up to the mistake would be to resign and then work to cleanup the damage he has done, I am sure, over the course of his life. A comment like that does not stand on its own, “just a little mistake”. It is just a signal of the prejudice. Prejudice is not illegal, he is welcome to maintain it, just not in public service.

  • Milan

    Let me get this right. A man who looks like a castrated baboon, whose teeth look those on a skull with no skin, and whose ears look like the leeboards on a drydocked ship, is critizising the looks of another person? I am sure his baboon wife can agree with that.

  • Robin Scheff

    Calling his comments ‘playful banter’ is just bullshit. He may not consider himself a racist because he doesn’t feel his race is better than any other race, but that’s not all there is to being a racist. His comments were so ugly and so stupid and racist, and I sure hope the town demands he resign. Can they fire him? He needs to go back to whatever he was doing before he became Mayor and let someone, who doesn’t have these ideas about black people, become Mayor. The size of his town is a factor, I agree, but this kind of racist name calling should not be tolerated anywhere ever. We as a nation are maturing and this has to be put behind us. The nation as a whole needs to see us all disciplining any and all who think like this, especially those in public office.

  • OneonOne Riding Club


  • George

    This is disgraceful and insidious at best but a besmirch on the reputation of his community and the citizens of Washington. Disgusting

  • Michelle

    If this guy call Mr. president a monkey then he himself look like banana to me. In America, just because we have free speech it doesn’t give you permission to bad mouth other people for no reason and here he was name call to our President. This old man talk like an uneducated person, how in the world he became major in the first place!. If someone come to him and say “hey, your own mama look like monkey, how does he feel?”.

  • Judge Mental

    Oh yeah, you’re a racist alright! You haven’t “owned up” to anything! If this is just “playful banter between you and friends”, then it’s not out of character, is it? Not only are you a racist, but You are an ugly racist with big ears!

  • Cheryl

    He went a little far there I think too. His color not my issue with him, just the politics he does. Put on Facebook is a bit over the top I agree.

  • Robert Wales

    Who is he to comment on someone’s physical appearance? Those who live in glass houses..just like Limbaugh disparaging FLOTUS for her weight…WTF?

  • Janet Wicks

    I have no idea what goes on in Airway Heights but it’s clear the people of this community are being poorly represented by a rude and arrogant elected official. Mr.Rushing’s comments as mayor of your town have created a backlash that demeans all of his constituents. Sadly your small town is also representing WA state in this widely publicized story, and that’s why many of us feel the need to comment and counteract this kind of ignorance and crude disrespect.

  • Craig Brinson

    Get out Rushing!!! You have No business in politics. If you thought your comments weren’t racist then you don’t have enough sense for your position. Goodbye!
    PS… you have NO room to talk about big ears there Dumbo

  • storhertugen

    He was right to make fun of people, if this had been Bush, nobody would have cared. Whilst now it is an African born (according to himself on a book.cover and three of his half.brothers , Obama was born in Kenya) mulatto grown up as a muslim in Indonesia, then it is “resign! resign!”

  • Thomas Wilson

    . The Tail of an elephant WAS the Republican Party, now the norm is the Ass hole of an elephant. All of this is very prevalent and present of the Republicans and Tea Party which is now the 3rd political party, with their anti-American political policies. (Tea Party as a hole! naming) John Boehner, speaker of the house, follow the leader, not lead. Ted Crus, Tea Party Senator, the government shut down kingpin, Now Donald Trump calling Mexicans drug dealers, dog eaters, rapists, and murders… Ran Paul stating that lien is good sometimes to do. Rand Paul statement that Donald Trump is correct! Correct about the Mexicans. Paul Ryan Tea-Party, X-Wisconsin Congressman trying to take away Social Security. Then was voted out of office because of his anti-American status belief’s. Airway Heights (Wash.) Mayor Patrick Rushing. Now you are now part of the up-coming ass’s, welcome to the group!

  • arlene montemarano

    Ugh. This man does not deserve to hold public office. He has revealed himself to be of very low character and intellect. Surely we have better people than that to draw from. It is very important to our society who is in a leadership position in America.

  • Robert malvasio

    It is amazing that an elected official in this day and time in history can be so stupid and ignorant and racist and say the most offensive things get exposed and still want to keep his job. I hope he not a reflection of the people he represents .
    he should publicly apologize and resign his office immediately.

  • Brian

    DONT RESIGN!! Whatever happened to the 1st amendment? As a former soldier AND former Marine, I pledged my life to defend the rights of ALL AMERICANS!! In my humble opinion, there is NO ONE on this planet that is above disdain or “negative” remarks!! While I don’t necessarily agree with his remarks, he is ENTITLED to make them, without fear of repercussions OR consequences!!! It will be a miserable day when our freedom to express ourselves is taken away…

  • TruthHurts

    Not surprising at all. Washington is a pseudo progressive state and I’m not mad at the man. I actually prefer racists to show themselves instead of hiding behind the PC curtain that most Washingtonians wrap themselves in.

  • boitumelo

    Some forget that their ghost can never be our ghost..even jesus was crucified for being the son of God..we love you obama family,and remember that you are not there to celebrate,but rather to make big decisions..THE BIGGER PICTURE

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