Despite numerous calls for his resignation by city residents, a Pennsylvania mayor known for posting offensive and outwardly racist memes to his Facebook page said he has no plans of stepping down from his position.
West York, Pa., Mayor Charles Wasko apparently has two favorite pastimes, according to his public Facebook page: antique cars and posting inflammatory political memes.
One of the incendiary images showed a group of orangutans in a wheelbarrow with the caption “Aww, moving day at the White House has finally arrived,” The Washington Post reports. Another meme displayed a dog draped in a towel, with only its eyes and snout visible. The text read, “Guide dog for a Muslim woman. It’s called a Barka.”
But the most provocative — and threatening — one was about President Barack Obama. The image shows actor Clint Eastwood holding a noose in the 1966 film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
“Barry, this rope is for you,” it read, referring to the president by nickname. “You wanna bring that empty chair over here?”
To Wasko, the memes may be comical. But for the residents of West York borough, they’re embarrassing. According to CBS News, hundreds of residents poured into Borough Hall Monday night to urge the city council to force the Republican mayor’s resignation. The city’s NAACP and Black Lives Matter chapters were also present at the meeting.
“He is not just distasteful, he is dangerous,” said Carla Christopher, a member of York County’s Put People First branch. “He is dangerous to Hispanics, he is dangerous to African-Americans. He is dangerous to women, our Muslim friends and neighbors…He is dangerous to the economic stability and future of this borough.”
The West York City Council unanimously voted to censure Wasko and granted the borough solicitor permission to research the required legal means to have him removed as mayor, PennLive.com reports.
“If we’re able to draft articles of impeachment, we’ll be ready and well-situated to participate in that,” council president Shawn Mauck said Tuesday. “We will send a message to the mayor that his legislative body rebukes him in every way. He has embarrassed all of us. Not just this table, but everyone in this room. Everyone in West York. Everyone in York County.”
Taking their efforts a step further, West York residents even launched a MoveOn.org petition to have the racist mayor removed from office. So far, the online appeal has garnered 1,493 signatures — just 507 short of their 2,000-signature goal.
Wasko didn’t attend Monday’s meeting, although he was expected to. He called the public’s efforts for his resignation nothing short of a “witch hunt.”
“The racist stuff? Yeah I’ll admit I did that, and I don’t care what people label me as,” the mayor told Pennsylvania’s ABC27. “But I will bring everything out and there will be more resignations than mine, believe me.”
“And I hope the NAACP is there also,” Wasko said in reference to the city council meeting. “I will let them know what’s going on.”
According to NBC affiliate WGAL, Wasko was elected mayor in 2013 and oversaw the police department in the borough of 4,500. He was unpaid and voted in only to break ties on the city council.