Target: Illinois Representative Aaron Schock
Goal: Fire the press secretary who posted extremely racist comments on his Facebook page.
An Illinois press secretary compared black individuals to zoo animals and called them “hood rats” in a series of posts found on his Facebook page. This man, Benjamin Cole, is the senior adviser for policy and communications for the state representative Aaron Schock. Nobody who thinks of a race of people as animals should be allowed to advise a lawmaker on policy.
In his Facebook posts, Cole posted photos of black persons on his street of residence and said, “So apparently the closing of the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street.” Each of his racist posts were tagged with #gentrifytoday, suggesting that he supports intentionally pushing people of color out of their homes by raising the costs of living in the area. These posts have since been removed, but there has been no word of apology or on whether Cole will receive any sort of discipline for his incredibly racist comments.
Racism is clearly still a massive issue in the U.S. Not only do we have numerous cases of unarmed people of color being killed by the police, state governments apparently still employ overt and outspoken racists. Benjamin Cole has already been allowed to advise an Illinois lawmaker for years, and that needs to end as soon as possible. Sign this petition to demand that this abhorrent bigot be immediately fired.
Dear Representative Schock,
It’s come to light that your senior policy and communications adviser posted overtly racist comments on his Facebook page. These posts included photos of black individuals who were mockingly compared to zoo animals and referred to as “hood rats,” which is a clearly racist term for black people. The question I pose to you today is whether you condone this type of behavior from someone who works for you and directly advises you.
Racism is still a huge issue in our country. People of color are more likely to be living under the poverty line, have lesser access to education and employment, and are underrepresented in government. Part of the reason for this is that men like Benjamin Cole are still allowed prominent government positions where their racist attitudes can have an impact on policy. Every minute that he has been allowed to serve under you, the people of color whom you represent have been at even greater risk.
Overtly racist attitudes like this cannot be tolerated, especially in this day and age. If you care at all for the people of color you represent, you will immediately dismiss Benjamin Cole from his position and apologize for employing such a gross racist in the first place. Failure to do so will indicate that you are sympathetic with Cole’s views.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ardfern via Wikimedia Commons