Another GOP Staffer Loses His Job Over Racist Comments

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benjamincoleOn Thursday, Republican Congressman Aaron Shock (IL-18) accepted the resignation of his communications director, Benjamin Cole. Cole tendered his resignation, after past racist comments he made on social media resurfaced, causing Congressman Shock a great deal of embarrassment. One of the most offensive posts Cole made was a 2013 comment about an African-American woman who was speaking loudly outside his DC apartment. He recorded a video of the woman speaking and posted:

So apparently the closing of the National Zoo has forced the animals to conduct their mating rituals on my street. #gentrifytoday Pt 1

BenjaminColeRacist1

In another post, Cole referred to a black murder victim and the suspected assailant as “hood rats”. He also posted that he wanted to put “black criminals”, who lived and loitered on his street, behind bars.

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Congressman Shock was quick to go into damage control mode, stating:

I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff. I would expect better from any member of my team. Upon learning about them I met with Mr. Cole and he offered his resignation which I have accepted.

Accepting Cole’s resignation was the right thing to do. In addition, Shock cannot be held directly responsible for every word said by his staffer on a personal social media page. Nevertheless, it seems that the Republican Party’s worldview attracts staffers who communicate their racism, with little awareness that broadcasting bigotry on social media is not a career enhancing decision.

In late 2014, Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-TN) had to part ways with Elizabeth Lauten, after she accused Barack Obama’s daughters of dressing slutty, at the annual White House turkey pardon spectacle. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker once employed staffers who circulated a series of racially offensive emails, which included punch lines like:

I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug-addicted, Jewish homosexual on a pacemaker who is HIV positive, bald, orphaned, unemployed, lives in a slum, and has a Mexican boyfriend, but please, Oh dear God, please don’t tell me I’m a Democrat.

Another e-mail that his staff circulated, while he was Milwaukee County’s Chief Executive, joked about providing welfare for dogs, remarking that the recipients would be:

mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r [sic] Daddys [sic] are.

While Republican office holders are sometimes quick to pull the plug, and distance themselves from the racist remarks of their staffers, at some point the question has to be asked. With a vast pool of talent in the country looking for work, how is it that Republican politicians seem to end up settling on racists to fill some of their key staff positions? Is it just coincidence?  Or is there something about Republican ideology that attracts ambitious young bigots, who can’t seem to help themselves from making racially insensitive remarks that they feel they must share with the rest of the world?

 

Image: Roll Call

25 Replies to “Another GOP Staffer Loses His Job Over Racist Comments”

  1. Many of my acquaintances and FORMER friends, including high-ranking military officers and their wives, let slip some things like this around me occasionally. It is very disillusioning, and many of these are people who started out in very simple circumstances. They seem to think they are so superior and for us to be democrats is to be part of some lower caste.

  2. That’s not only issue this congressman been dealing with lately. The local NBC news out of Chicago has been reporting the last few days about possible ethics violations on his office make over. You folks here might want to check that out. You may find it interesting.

  3. The Republican party consists of 99.99999% White people.

    Hello?

    These are the same people Donald Sterling, the fired owner of the basketball team, was referring to in his racist comments to his girlfriend when he told her his friends didn’t like seeing her with Black people like Magic Johnson.

  4. As a liberal democrat, I believe that the right of free speech – as outlined by the constitution – should be enforced.

    Unless, of course, the speech involves ideas, words or phrases that I disagree with (i.e., hate-speech).

  5. Free Speech only means the govrrnment cannot curtailil it.It does not mean anyone else has to put up with speech violating an ethics code as part of your employment contract. A right to speak is not a right to respect.

  6. Skip, he had the right to say what he did, and he did. His boss had the right to fire him, and he did.

    Try telling your boss anything on your mind.

  7. How is the GOP ever going to attract minority voters when their white members hold these views about them?

  8. Schock is the Downton Abbey office guy, isn’t he? He accepted the services of the uber-decorator for free?

    (while voting against funding for PBS, the public channel that owns the Downton Abbey franchise?)

    This guy sure does love himself (I’ve seen the photos on his social media page) but he’s obviously in the closet.

  9. He looks like a typical redneck who proudly flies the racist rebel flag and attends a KKK meeting a few times a month.

  10. Free Speech only means the govrrnment cannot curtailil it.It does not mean anyone else has to put up with speech violating an ethics code as part of your employment contract. A right to speak is not a right to respect.

    Amazing how many teabag-nuts — who claim to be such “strict constitutionalists” — don’t understand that simple tenet . . .

    .

  11. The next time rightwingnuts say how necessary/effective racial profiling is, I’m gonna agree — and refer to this picture . . .

    .

  12. Is it just coincidence? Or is there something about Republican ideology that attracts ambitious young bigots, who can’t seem to help themselves from making racially insensitive remarks that they feel they must share with the rest of the world?

    You know what they say, “birds of a feather . . .”

    Its the new “republican outreach.”

    .

  13. Just saw a ad for the 10’00 clock news about some hanky panky about the Congressmen home. Looks like this guys going to be the gift that keeps on giving. Typical G.O.P hypocrite.

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