Athena Jones, CNN, February 5, 2015
A bad week just got worse in the office of Rep. Aaron Schock, an Illinois Republican.
Benjamin Cole, Schock’s spokesman and senior adviser, has now resigned after news reports about a series of racially charged comments he made on his Facebook page over the course of several years.
According to the left-leaning website Think Progress, Cole’s online remarks included this comment about his black neighbors from 2013: “So apparently the closing of the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street. #gentrifytoday Pt. 1”
He also joked in August 2010 about President Barack Obama, who is Christian, saying, “They should build a mosque on the White House grounds.”
In that August post, Cole explained to a commenter, “I wasn’t talking about the Ground Zero mosque. I just think it would be nice for the President to have his own house of worship, since he’s not been able to find one suitable in D.C. since 2004 when he moved here.”
Another post read: “The fact remains that white people who live in my building are routinely harassed by black miscreants who blockade the sidewalks and entryways in front of and behind my building.”
Think Progress said the offensive posts appeared to have been removed by Wednesday.
[Editor’s Note: The context for some of his “controversial” comments is below.]