Yet another bigoted, white politician just couldn’t manage to keep all that nasty poison off their facebook. This time, bigotry presents one Charles Wasko, the mayor of West York, Pennsylvania, who likes making monkey jokes about the President and First Lady, and thinks it’s very funny to make jokes about lynching the President. Golly, I find myself with no desire to laugh at all.
Several West York borough council members have called on Mayor Charles Wasko to step down in light of racist posts he has made on Facebook.
Wasko, who was elected mayor in 2013, has posted several pictures on Facebook this year that council members took issue with: Two compared President Barack Obama and his family to monkeys, and one suggested Obama should be hanged with a noose. Another post featured a fictional black person saying that socialism is “when the white folks work every day so we can get all our governmental entitlement stuff for free.”
The four council members reachable by phone on Wednesday — two Democrats and two Republicans — out of the seven members of the council, said they want Wasko out as mayor.
Wasko didn’t respond to multiple messages seeking comment on Wednesday.
Council president Shawn Mauck said this was the first he’d heard about issues regarding the mayor’s posts. He was shocked when he pulled up the mayor’s publicly visible profile and read them.
One of Wasko’s posts from June features a picture of a wheelbarrow full of apes with the words “Aww … moving day at the Whitehouse has finally arrived” and “Kenya or bust.” Another, from February, is a photo of a monkey gritting its teeth, to which Wasko added the comment, “Most think it is Obama’s picture……sorry its Moochelles baby photo,” presumably referring to Michelle Obama.
Mauck and councilman Brian Wilson raised a particular issue: the fact that Wasko has some oversight of the day-to-day operations of the West York Borough Police Department.
“With those types of thoughts in your mind, how can you oversee the police department?” said Wilson, who also called on the mayor to resign. “We can’t have anybody being racist or bigoted … especially an elected official.”
Matthew Millsaps, the acting chief of the department, said Wasko does, by law, have some role in the department’s operations, though Wasko’s interactions with Millsaps have been limited, the chief said. The council appointed Millsaps acting chief after Justin Seibel, who had been chief, was suspended earlier this month.
“I’ve viewed these images and am disturbed,” Millsaps said in a statement he read over the phone Wednesday night.
He said two of the borough’s eight officers are minorities — a Hispanic man and a black woman — so the percentage of people of color in the department is about the same as for the borough as a whole.
“This in no way reflects the ideology or beliefs of this department,” he said,
“Of particular concern are any images with undertones of violence — lynching or that are threatening in nature,” he said.
When asked if the picture of Eastwood and the noose was one such image, he said: “I could understand how it could be taken that way.”
How it could be taken that way? FFS, in what other way could it possibly be taken? West York, you have a serious problem.
Wasko also has made headlines for physical confrontations with council members.
Former council member Tim Berkheimer said that in November 2013, Wasko grabbed his arm and tried to choke him. Wasko claimed the two men came together when they tried to walk up the stairs to the borough building at the same time, but said he indeed pushed the former councilman.
More recently, this past April, Seibel, the now-suspended West York Police chief, had to physically separate Wasko from Nick Laughman, who then was vice president of the council.
Gosh, what a charming guy.
Full story at York Dispatch.