Adviser to Rep. Aaron Schock resigns over alleged racist Facebook posts

Michael Walsh
Adviser to Rep. Aaron Schock resigns over alleged racist Facebook posts

A senior adviser for Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., has reportedly resigned over a series of racially charged statements on social media.

Benjamin Cole tried to quell the commotion surrounding the congressman's “Downton Abbey”-inspired office decorations earlier this week. But that’s nothing compared with the media firestorm brewing around his Facebook posts from Oct. 13, 2013, obtained by Think Progress.

Cole, a former Baptist pastor, allegedly mocked two African-Americans outside his apartment in Washington, D.C., comparing them to animals that had escaped from the National Zoo. Each post was accompanied by the hashtag #gentrifytoday.

Two months later, he described witnessing the shooting of “one of the hood rats on my street” by “another hood rat,” according to the liberal news site.

But these racially charged posts were not confined to 2013.

Just last month, he reportedly described a confrontation between an African-American police officer and himself after an African-American woman allegedly assaulted him and said, "You white people need to learn."

Back in 2010, Cole wrote that a mosque should be built on the White House grounds so that President Obama, who identifies as Christian, would have a place to worship, Buzzfeed reported.

According to the online news site, he also wrote, “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.”

Schock sent a statement to the Journal Star in Peoria, Ill., distancing himself from Cole’s reported comments.

"I am extremely disappointed by the inexcusable and offensive online comments made by a member of my staff," the statement reads. "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."