Will West York, Pa., force its mayor to resign over racist tweets?
Charles Wasko, mayor of West York, Pa., has roiled his town with a series of racist tweets. Many are calling for his resignation but he says he won't go.
The mayor of a small town in Pennsylvania is in hot water this week, after a series of racist Facebook posts prompted outrage from citizens.
West York Mayor Charles Wasko angered many of the town's 4,500 residents with memes that compared President Obama's family to orangutans, poked fun at Muslims, and made joking references to Mr. Obama and lynching.
"He left no one behind in his hate," borough council president Shawn Mauck told The Washington Post. "I don't think there's a protected class or a group that he did not hate on.... When I saw the posts, I wanted to throw up."
The town council voted on Monday night to censure the mayor, saying it would send a message that Mr. Wasko had embarrassed the town, which lies about 100 miles west of Philadelphia.
"We also voted to approve expending any legal means to get him out of office," Mr. Mauck said Tuesday morning. "If we're able to draft articles of impeachment, we'll be ready and well-situated to participate in that."
Mauck said that Wasko's best course of action is to resign. Otherwise, the town council will pursue further action against him.
Wasko's racist posts affronted many residents who say that his views are offensive and downright dangerous to the groups he insulted. Monday night’s meeting saw citizen after citizen give voice to their concerns about allowing the mayor to remain in office after his racist views became public.
Hateful rhetoric, they said is just not acceptable, particularly when coming from such a public official. Mauck, however, said that he believes that Donald Trump's candidacy has led public officials to believe that they can say these sorts of things.
"He is not just distasteful, he is dangerous," said Put People First, York County member Carla Christopher, according to the New York Daily News. "He is dangerous to Hispanics, he is dangerous to African-Americans. He is dangerous to women, to our Muslim friends and neighbors. He is dangerous to the economic stability and future of this borough."
Wasko was elected as mayor in 2013, running unopposed as a Republican. Final election tallies showed 202 votes for Wasko and 78 write in votes for other candidates.
The mayor, however, remains staunch in his views, and says that he is unconcerned about the outrage that his posts provoked. He charges that other town residents are mostly concerned about covering up wrong-doing of their own and are using concern about his tweets as a smokescreen, hoping to get rid of him before he exposes them.
"The racist stuff, yeah I’ll admit I did that, and I don't care what people label me as," Wasko told ABC27, "but I will bring everything out and there will be more resignations than mine, believe me."